On this first anniversary of Arab Spring, City Island Images Looks back at those demonstrations in Tunisia that rapidly toppled the longtime strongman. 2011 was an extraordinary and exceptional year for news junkies. However, no one can actually deny that ARAB SPRING was one of the top news stories of the year.
The Arab Spring protests began on December 17, 2010, when Mohammed Bouazizi, a 26-year-old Tunisian vendor, set himself on fire in a protest against the government. Anger about Bouazizi's desperate act led to massive public demonstrations against Tunisia's longtime dictator. However, it turned into the most important period in the history of the Arab peoples of the 20th century.
These civil uprisings quickly became a tsunami of citizens roaring for freedom. First in Tunisia, then next door in Egypt, the region's most populous country, where the crowds declared Cairo's Tahrir Square to be a "Mubarak-free zone.",
which ousted Hosni Mubarak from power.
These protests also fueled a civil war in Libya that climaxed with the execution of Moammar Gadhafi's, and fomented the continuing bloody uprising in Syria against the abusive Assad regime. Bahrain and Yemen have also experienced major protests and unrest.
Many questions still remain... When will the ARAB SPRING reach Saudi Arabia?
Will it stop there, or spread to Iran and other key countries in the region.