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Arab Spring

A billboard depicting Tunisian President Kais Saied hangs on the side of a building in the east-central city of Kairouan, on July 26.
A billboard depicting Tunisian President Kais Saied hangs on the side of a building in the east-central city of Kairouan, on July 26.

Democracy Fades in the Arab Spring’s Success Story

Few restraints remain for Tunisian strongman Kais Saied after his constitutional referendum passed overwhelmingly and opposition parties boycotted the vote.

Tunisian military forces guard the area around the parliament building in Tunis, Tunisia, on July 26.
Tunisian military forces guard the area around the parliament building in Tunis, Tunisia, on July 26.

Keep Tunisia’s Military Out of Politics

President Kais Saied has broken a 65-year taboo.

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad sits along side Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, east of Beirut, on July 30, 2010.
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad sits along side Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah at the Presidential Palace in Baabda, east of Beirut, on July 30, 2010.

Assad Is Friends With the Arab World Again

After 10 years of war, Syria’s erstwhile enemies are welcoming it back in from the cold.

A supporter of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, then Egypt’s army chief, holds a military boot on her head in a sign of support for military rule in Cairo on Jan. 28, 2014.
A supporter of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, then Egypt’s army chief, holds a military boot on her head in a sign of support for military rule in Cairo on Jan. 28, 2014.

Sisi Learned the Wrong Lessons From Mubarak’s Fall

Wanton repression is building up more pressure for the next uprising.

A Tunisian woman carrying a dog gestures with her middle finger at police officers during a demonstration in Tunis on Jan. 30.
A Tunisian woman carrying a dog gestures with her middle finger at police officers during a demonstration in Tunis on Jan. 30.

Ben Ali’s Ghost Still Haunts Tunisia

The Arab Spring’s democratic success story is wrestling with the vestiges of an authoritarian past.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel poses for a selfie with Anas Modamani, a refugee from Syria, after she visited the AWO Refugium Askanierring shelter for migrants and refugees on Sept. 10, 2015 in Berlin, Germany.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel poses for a selfie with Anas Modamani, a refugee from Syria, after she visited the AWO Refugium Askanierring shelter for migrants and refugees on Sept. 10, 2015 in Berlin, Germany.

The Arab Spring Changed Everything—in Europe

A decade after Arabs started a regional revolution, it’s the neighboring continent that will never be the same.

A near-empty square in Stockholm
A near-empty square in Stockholm

Our Top Weekend Reads

Swedes can’t figure out their government’s coronavirus approach, a progressive push on U.S. foreign policy, and an honest assessment of the Arab Spring’s fallout.

A man mourns the death of seven members of a family in Syria
A man mourns the death of seven members of a family in Syria
Tunisians wave national flags to mark the fifth anniversary of the 2011 revolution on Jan. 14, 2016.
Tunisians wave national flags to mark the fifth anniversary of the 2011 revolution on Jan. 14, 2016.

Tunisia’s Decade of Democracy

Ten years after the Arab Spring, Tunisians are discovering that political reform alone isn’t enough.

A demonstration in Tunis in December 2010
A demonstration in Tunis in December 2010

The Arab Spring Let the People Shout, Not Whisper

I was a teenage protester, then a prisoner, now a refugee. We won’t go back to silence.

A woman cries in Tahrir Square after it is announced that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was giving up power Feb. 11, 2011 in Cairo, Egypt.
A woman cries in Tahrir Square after it is announced that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was giving up power Feb. 11, 2011 in Cairo, Egypt.

Arab Dignity Is Real. So Is Arab Failure.

Ten years after the start of the Arab Spring, it’s time to accept that the revolution may never return.

A soldier runs for cover in Libya.
A soldier runs for cover in Libya.

The End of Hope in the Middle East

The region has always had problems—but it’s now almost past the point of recovery.

Santiago Demonstrators Clash With Police Over Food Supply
Santiago Demonstrators Clash With Police Over Food Supply

Food Price Spikes and Social Unrest: The Dark Side of the Fed’s Crisis-Fighting

Emergency monetary policies produce an unintended consequence: rising food prices around the world.

A Lebanese protester confronts soldiers during ongoing anti-government demonstrations in Lebanon's southern city of Sidon on Nov. 1.
A Lebanese protester confronts soldiers during ongoing anti-government demonstrations in Lebanon's southern city of Sidon on Nov. 1.

Lebanon Has Suffered From Sectarianism for Too Long

Mass protests could put an end to the ethnic clientelism that has empowered corrupt leaders. But demonstrators must stand their ground or risk being co-opted like those who rose up in 2005.

U.S. President Donald Trump greets Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in the West Wing of the White House in Washington on April 3, 2017.
U.S. President Donald Trump greets Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in the West Wing of the White House in Washington on April 3, 2017.

Trump to Arab Protesters: I Stand With Your Rulers, Not You

As demonstrations erupt from Iraq to Lebanon to Egypt, the United States is sending strong signals that it no longer has any stomach for democracy promotion.

Policemen and residents demonstrate in the office of the main policy labor union in Tunis, Tunisia on Oct. 28, 2013.
Policemen and residents demonstrate in the office of the main policy labor union in Tunis, Tunisia on Oct. 28, 2013.

Tunisia’s Authoritarians Learn to Love Liberalism

Police unions are using their country’s newfound freedoms to protect themselves—and attack freedom fighters.

Algerian protesters wave a national flag as they take part in a demonstration in the capital of Algiers on May 3.
Algerian protesters wave a national flag as they take part in a demonstration in the capital of Algiers on May 3.

How Algerians Ousted Bouteflika

On the podcast: Algeria’s Arab Spring has been peaceful so far, but its future remains uncertain.

Students demonstrate in Algiers, Algeria on March 12, 2019, one day after President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced his withdrawal from a bid to win another term in office. (Ryad Kramdi/AFP/Getty Images)
Students demonstrate in Algiers, Algeria on March 12, 2019, one day after President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced his withdrawal from a bid to win another term in office. (Ryad Kramdi/AFP/Getty Images)

Don’t Get Your Hopes Up About Algeria

The Middle East’s latest protests seem like the Arab Spring all over again. That’s no reason for optimism.

An Algerian man holds the national flag during a demonstration in the center of the capital Algiers on March 11, after President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced his withdrawal from a bid to win another term in office and postponed an April 18 election, following weeks of protests.
An Algerian man holds the national flag during a demonstration in the center of the capital Algiers on March 11, after President Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced his withdrawal from a bid to win another term in office and postponed an April 18 election, following weeks of protests.

The Fight for Freedom in Algeria Isn’t Finished

The 82-year-old Abdelaziz Bouteflika has pledged to step down, but the protesters’ victory won’t be complete without a genuine democratic transition.

الجزائريين يحتجون على ترشح بوتفليقة في الجزائر اليوم الجمعة ١ مارس.
الجزائريين يحتجون على ترشح بوتفليقة في الجزائر اليوم الجمعة ١ مارس.

الربيع العربي لم ينته بعد

روح الربيع العربي لا تزال مستمرة كما أظهرت الاحتجاجات الكبيرة في الجزائر والسودان.

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