Other than Arab springs, winter for ten years!

On 17 December 2010, precisely ten years ago, a Tunisian street vendor set himself on fire to protest against the violations committed by the authorities. Those flames sparked demonstrations in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Bahrain, beginning in Tunisia. Those protests were named Arab Springs by the world.

But then came the disenchantment of fighting, of Isis’ affirmation. What remains of those days’ hope? What has changed between yesterday and today in the statistics for economic and social indicators? Is it right to talk ofarab winter?

If Tunisia is the only country which can be viewed as a good model of the Arab Spring, this interpretation is not agreed by all Tunisians. As always the issues to be tackled are the same for a country in an area undergoing tough times: low economic growth, high unemployment, terrorism, systemic corruption and tax evasion, illegal migration, the crisis in Libya, social inequality, the crisis in institutions. All is compounded by a pandemic that has also blocked the tourism industry.

Indeed this “revolution” required many free and fair elections to be held. Including the administrative ones, the promulgation in 2014 of a new Constitution, the establishment of stable and democratic institutions, the awarding at the end of 2015 of the Nobel Peace Prize to the Quartet of the Tunisian National Dialogue, in order to consecrate, in some way, the progress of the dialogue model adopted in Tunisian society.

But beyond all this in terms of economic security, unemployment and recession, the Young Republic paid a heavy price. The local society is much more complicated, in addition to the simple Western simplistic readings of a nation often battling between secularists and Islamists. And there is still a fight for political influence to enforce successful governance.If the revolution died out in Egypt and the nation reverted to the past with Al-Sisi, spring will become a long civil war winter in Libya. The situation is out of the hands of the Libyan citizens, suffering from barbaric living conditions following the Russian and Turkish intervention.

In Syria, the uprising of the children of Deraa has turned into Daesh’s nightmare (Isis). The world is now facing the bill of war for which the West is still responsible. The initial demonstrations never ended in Iraq, and yet another spring has recently erupted.

In Yemen, the revolts that erupted ten years ago turned into an international war and a humanitarian emergency. Eventually, south of the Sahara, the wind of rebellion also blew. Like the African storm, it was called Harmattan. But it did not help the people, only suffering, chaos and terrorism.

Speaking of “spring” definitely does not seem fitting in the light of all this. The dreams of millions of young people were frozen by the Arab winters. They have stripped the people of Libya of confidence in the international community. They took away from Tunisians all hope for a life worth living. Hopes of independence for Egyptians. God died in Yemen. And young Syrians are joining in with Ankara’s salary.



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