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The Arab Spring: Where Are They Now?

A 2011 Pan-Arab Nationalist movement set the stage for change across the greater Middle East… Or did it?

The Arab Spring was a series of uprisings and rebellions staged in anti-government protests all around the Middle East in 2011. The purposes, successes and outcomes remain disputed and a large source of contention. The protests aimed to represent the discontent and misrepresentation that citizens felt towards the ruling elite class. The term “Arab Spring” was a spinoff of post-Soviet turmoil in Eastern Europe, when various communist regimes in the area began toppling in a sort of domino effect.

Regional Effects

Apart from calls for social justice, the economy of the Middle East still remained a troubled area. Union groups and left-leaning protesters wanted higher wages and reforms for the private sector. More traditional Islamists leaned towards the enforcement of strict religious norms. Each of the parties promised job creation, but none gave a solid plan for economic reform.

The country of Egypt has unfortunately remained at status quo. President Sisi, a military general, continues to rule the country with an almost merciless grip. There are still high tensions between the army and the Muslim Brotherhood, who are accused of supporting ISIS in the Sinai peninsula. The conflict in Yemen has since transcended into a bloody civil war.

Gulf states remained largely unscathed directly by the Arab Spring protests. Today, however, the rising Mohammad Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia has since turned the country’s policies into a less traditional reign.

2011 Arab Spring
2011 Arab Spring

Arab Spring- Success or Failure?

Although the Arab Spring did not produce the same effects as post-Communist eastern Europe, foundations of change were certainly set. There is still some contention regarding the status of places like Libya and Bahrain. And although the final outcomes are yet to be seen, the revolution’s main legacy smashed the myth of Arab political passivity and invincibility of the ruling class.

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