The Arabic Spring is a sequence of uprisings, demonstrations and armed revolts against the government that happened in the Arab Countries in the Middle East in the early 2010. These are revolutionary waves of protests and demonstrations, civil wars and riots in the Arab countries that began on 18th December 2010. A number of the protests occurred because of the problems of unemployment, dictatorship rule, rising prices, brutality of security forces, as well as corruption that led to the privatization of state parastatal in the states. The term ‘Arab Spring’ in 2011 was disseminated by the media to refer to the uprisings when Tunisia successfully led an uprising against former leader Zine El Abadine Ben Ali. Several rulers from Egypt (twice), Yemen, Libya and Tunisia have been forced from power. Countries such as Iraq, Kuwait, Sudan, Morocco, Algeria and Jordan have experienced major protests while countries such as Oman, Djibouti, Palestinian Authority, Mauritania, Saudi Arabia and Western Sahara have experienced slight protests. The intention of the Arab spring has been to bring positive change to the governance of Arab nations; however, it has negatively affected the states involved since resources have been misused and the causalities deeply affected.
The various Arabic springs that have taken place had one intention, to usher in reforms and modernity in the Arab countries. After the start of Arab springs, there was worldwide expectation of justice, democratic institutions, peaceful changes and reduction of poverty that were expected to take place after the onset of the various revolutions in the Arabic countries (Henery 23).
The onsets of these revolutions were triggered by the immolation of a 26-year-old hawker in Tunis on December 18th 2010. This sparked widespread demonstration in Tunis and thought the whole country. The revolutions had no particular ideology at the moment but later on, various reasons were brought up such as high food prices, arbitrary power, economic equality, unemployment, right to freely express their freedom and corruption of those charged with governance (Danish 52). The question to be asked is has the revolutions changed the lives of the Arabic citizens in any way in economic and political terms?
The revolutions and uprising have not led to any change in life to the better but have created more problems. Power struggles, scramble for the countries resources by the high and mighty in the society including leftists, liberals and Islamists are seen all over these Arab states leading to rampant violence and power struggles between parties involved. Democracy and equality is still yet to be observed.
Various street protests have been conducted against the harsh economic policies and equality among citizens in the 19 states. The Arab countries are well known for the rich oil reserves they hold; hence most of them are not as poor as portrayed, eight of the countries being among the wealthy nations of the world. Qatar for example has a GDP, per capita income of $70,000 per person. But in countries such as Egypt, poverty has increased majorly.
There is need for political change in most of the countries, with countries such as Tunisia and Egypt having their political leaders overthrown while other of the leaders been threatened by the mass protests leading to their resignation. There has been promise of a new constitution to address the needs of the people more appropriately. But up to date, few political reforms have taken place. In Saudi Arabia, few women and the minority group of the Shia led some protests but no fruit of has been born up to date as there is still no real institution representation. The various protests that began were eventually put to an end by the Saudi troops. The Gulf nations have increasingly limited the freedom of expression to their citizens.
Egypt has a population of over 84 million people currently with various Islamist groups including the Brotherhood, National Salvation Front and other various moderate Islamist groups and the military which is headed by General Abdel Fattah al-Sissi. In Tunisia, Rachid Ghannouchi leads the Islamist Ennahada Movement that won 41% of the seats in parliament. In Morocco, the prime minister is King Mohammed who heads the Islamist Justice and Development party (Henery 39).
These protests and revolution have caused more refuges and Internally Displaced persons all over the Arab countries while million have lost their lives in these conflicts dating back to the 1970s. Most of these revolutions are not that meaningful but yet millions have been affected negatively by these events. The continuing internal civil wars experienced in most countries such as Libya, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq have not helped the situation. The Iraq-Iran has resulted in many causalities, deaths and refugees, than even those experienced in the Israeli-Arab conflict in the Gaza strip (Danish 11)
Various changes in the affected regions have been brought by demographic factors, religious factors, internal social factors and international community involvement. In states that lack central control. Tribes and clans have taken control to ensure law and order. Education in most of the countries is being promoted, especially the girl child education as they are most affected as compared to boy child. With most countries such as Jordan embracing technology, also the death rate has adversely reduced but the major problem is now the rising youth unemployment (Henery 47).
The events of the Arab Springs have led to a realization to the Arab Countries, its people and the rest of the world that they have wasted their time, energy and resources in protesting against small issues while they could have used the resources and time in the development of their own economies and infrastructures. The issue at hand is whether or not the Arab people can admit their mistake and move on to the next objective of reconciliation and country building or still continues pointing a finger to each other (Prashad 13). The Arabic Spring will be of advantage if the same problems will still be focused on in the long run.
The Arab Spring has not only has it resulted in destruction of infrastructure, the Arabic Spring has led to waste of time and resources that could be used for nation building and economic growth. The problems that sparked this revolution were to minute to cause all the suffering and turmoil that these nations underwent. Adding to that, the issues have not yet been resolved to date but more problems greater than those at hand have emerged. If the Arabic Spring could have been avoided it would have been best for the nations. A good example is Qatar, Arabic Springs haven’t occurred in the country, but the country is flourishing with a high GDP of $70,000 (Prashad 22).
In conclusion, this research paper attempts to explain how the Arabic Spring has not shown any positive results but how it has negatively affected the states involved through use of resources in the wrong way and the causalities of the protests. Protests and riots is never the right way to solve issue as seen from the Arabic Spring. Constructive dialogue should be used instead so as to gain audience and reconcile the various situations and groups instead of rioting and protesting leading to other endless problems.
Danish, Ishtiyaque. The Arab Spring. New Delhi: Published by Kōjō Press in collaboration with Pigeon Books India, 2012. Print.
Henry, Clement M. The Arab Spring. Basingstoke: PALGRAVE MACMILLAN, 2013. Print.
Prashad, Vijay. Arab Spring, Libyan Winter. Oakland, CA: AK Press Pub, 2012. Print.