Spring in the Arabian Desert

October 30, 2011 by

Since the outbreak of peaceful protests against President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia in December last year, popular rebellions against authoritarian rule have swept the Arab world. Extraordinary acts of courage and non-violent defiance in Algeria, Egypt, Yemen, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and elsewhere have been witnessed. Citizens have taken great risks, made sacrifices, set shining examples of character and selflessness. This sudden and refreshing turn of events raised hopes of an end to a long, dark winter. It seemed that autocratic rulers no longer would be able to suppress life, which burst out with vigor like young plants do as winter weakens. A fledgling Arab Spring was born.