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The Middle East has traditionally been important for the world economy. The Middle East situation today has an impact on all aspects of life in America and much of the world.

Only by understanding the motivations of the various factions in the Middle East can we hope to understand how to promote peace and national security for Middle Eastern nations, Europe, and the United States.

Apr 29, 2011

Spring Revolution in the Arab World

The turns of political tsunami in Tunisia and Egypt and have already impacted the political states in the Arab world. Both political regimes of Tunisia and Egypt have been removed with minimal causalities, due to two factors. First, the armies in both states did not support the regime and refused to turn their guns against their populations. Second, the massive support of the younger generation’s revolution provided a strong backing that led to the success of the revolutions in both Tunisia and Egypt. Both factors led to a shorter period of time in which to force the regimes to surrender their powers. I would add another factor that the young generation, especially of Egypt, utilized: technology, especially Facebook, which facilitated the planning and execution of their revolt. The planning started nearly six months prior to the 25th of January 2011, during the summer of 2010. The major cause behind this was the killing of Khalid Said by the police in Alexandria. Said was a well-known blogger connected with other young people all over Egypt. His death led many of the Facebook participants to reach a boiling point, which created the Khalid Said page on the Internet. That facilitated communication to millions of people, young and middle aged, exposing the filth, crimes and corruption of Hosni Mubarak’s regime. The Egyptian revolution was already on track even before the Tunisian revolution began. Nevertheless, many analysts in Egypt and other places were saying that the Tunisian revolution would have no impact on Egypt or any other states in the Arab world. These remarks, made by various people and experts, insinuated that Egypt is different from Tunisia.

These experts or analysts have failed to see or examine the consequences of dictatorship rule in all Arab states during the past six decades, since independence from Western colonialism. They failed to see that Western colonialist rule was replaced by national colonialist rulers. The transition was smooth and Arab authoritarian rulers took the submission of their people for granted. A few rebellions took place here and there in the Arab world and were silenced and/or crushed, as was the case in Syria, Algeria, Sudan, Iraq and Lebanon. The experts have failed to examine the forces that led to the revolution in Tunisia and Egypt. Two years ago, in 2009, I developed a blog to put emphasis on the problems and challenges facing the Arab world. These problems include population growth and its impact on the social, political and economic sectors of Arab society.

The problems of desertification and the shortage of fresh water in all Arab states led to the fact that not a single Arab state could be classified as self sufficient in food production. Another problem is poverty, which in some states like Egypt affects nearly 50% of the population. This percentage might be higher in other Arab states. The tragedy of this situation is reflected in the lavish living of nearly 10% of the Arab population, which reflects good side of being rich and wealthy and this leads to frustration. Furthermore, there is the problem of high unemployment, especially among the younger generation (between the ages of 15 and 29 years old) who constitute more than 50% of the total population. Many of the unemployed are college graduates who were unable to find jobs.

The experts and analysts were not even aware that the educated and unemployed are a walking ticking bomb. That bomb exploded in Tunisia by the unemployed college graduate, Mohamed Bouazizi, who set himself on fire.

The problem that analysts have failed to see is the absence of democratic institutions and the lack of transparency and accountability, which encourages corruption and spreads at all governmental levels. Hundreds of billions of dollars were transferred illegally from Arab states into Western financial institutions, instead of being invested at home to create jobs for the unemployed.

The analysts have failed to assess the impact of fraudulent parliamentary elections year after year, where the ruling governmental political parties are always the winners.

These major factors, in addition to others, led to the political explosion that is still going on in the majority of Arab states. The spring revolutions in the Arab states were expected by those who were well aware of what was going on in the Arab world. Personally, I thought it would occur even soone

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