Unfortunately, everything belongs to those who have authority and money. The gap between the people in power and commonplace men appears to be growing in many countries. From time to time, our planet is shaken by a next-in-turn wave of civil disorders and takeovers. The Arab Spring, also referred to as the Democracy Spring, was a wave of violent civil disturbances that hit many countries of the Arab World six years ago. The Arab Spring is believed to have started with the revolution in Tunisia that took place in December 2010 (Cleveland and Bunton 522). After a little while, people from other parts of the Arab world also started making a stand against governments of the day that had authority in their countries. More than twenty countries were touched by this wave of demonstrations and for each of them the consequences took different directions. The Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia belongs to the number of the most dramatic events of the Arab Spring.
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The events that took place in the Arab world more than six years ago resulted in a real tragedy. For these two parties of the conflict, represented by the little people living a hand-to-mouth existence, and the authorities who did not want to make best bow, it was impossible to make a compromise. In fact, people were so exhausted with the growth of unemployment and the price of development that they had no way out but getting up the nerve to join the ranks of the opposition. More than one hundred thousand people died during these tragic events as the protesters’ disaffection with the state regime was offered a rebuff by those who had the power. As a result, the Democracy Spring acted as a prerequisite to the next wave of social instability, usually referred to as the Islamist Winter. The Arab Spring was a real social catastrophe that claimed the lives of many people and inflicted a financial loss equal to at least fifty billion dollars.
Taking into consideration the current events taking place in Tunisia, we cannot state that the situation is peaceful. Social tensions and continuous clashes between local police officers and the members of the fringe groups appear to be a backwash of the events that took place a few years ago. The revolution of 2011 was a series of demonstrations involving a self-immolation of one of the members of Tunisian opposition. In the end, numerous strike actions and clashes resulted in the president’s resignation from office. Due to the people’s growing dissatisfaction with his policy decisions, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who had been the president of Tunisia for more than twenty years, had to leave the country at the beginning of 2011. As a result, the revolution became a step forward toward further democratization of Tunisia. Furthermore, keeping in mind the terror of the Jasmine Revolution, the authorities started to pay more attention to keeping honest the presidential elections. Tunisia was considered to be a country experiencing certain economic growth. To continue, it was making strides in the fight against terror. Besides, the gap between the rich and the middle class was not too big in this country. Nevertheless, these factors did not contribute to social stability in Tunisia. Despite the economic growth, there was mounting unemployment.
The driving force that was behind the Jasmine Revolution was mostly represented by unemployed graduates. Their learning costs were causing significant losses to their families’ budget and after that they were unable to find a job in their own country. Such a situation was a final straw and the unemployed saw no solution but staging a series of demonstrations to make a statement. Furthermore, a web of corruption appeared to be growing, and people belonging to the middle class were very unhappy about that situation. Their claim appeared to be quite reasonable because soaring corruption could prevent them from improving their income level. As for other reasons of discontent, the members of the opposition believed the sitting president to have seized the reigns of government by illegal means. The government was declared to work in accordance with the principle of political pluralism. At the same time, the fact of the matter is that the ruling party suppressed all the ideas of the opposition. An additional prerequisite to the revolution was rooted in the ideological split of the Tunisian society (Yambert 37). In general, it was supposed to align with pro-Western values. At the same time, a certain part of the citizens believed that society in Tunisia should act in accordance with the traditional values.
To conclude, it can be said that the Arab Spring encouraged Tunisia to get on the path of democratization. At the same time, it spurred a kind of political chain reaction allowing people to voice their dissent in any form. Thus, last year Tunisia experienced a wave of the acts of terrorism and it shows that it is too soon to speak of the establishment of social stability in this country.
Cleveland, William L., and Martin Bunton. A History of the Modern Middle East. Westview Press, 2016.
Yambert, Karl. The Contemporary Middle East: A Westview Reader (third edition). Westview Press, 2013.