Boston, MA- The Arab Spring is a regional phenomenon that began in Tunisia on December 18th, 2010. The revolution began with the self-immolation of Mohammed Bouazizi, a fruit vendor who set himself on fire to protest against the high levels of unemployment, high costs of food, high levels of corruption, censorship laws and lack of freedom of speech. This led to a series of demonstrations across the country which eventually led to the resignation of Zine Ben-Ali. This seemed like an isolated event yet it would soon be understood that it was anything but. Little did the world know that this phenomenon would spread through all of North Africa and some of the gulf countries as well.
The domino effect of the Arab Spring that was initiated by Tunisia was immediately followed by another North African country: Egypt. Things played out differently in Egypt since Hosni Mubarak’s regime was already alert that a “Tunisian-Style” explosion could occur in his own country. In Egypt,the protests ran for 18 days until finally on March 4th, Mubarak resigned from his position as president of the country.The level of importance of this revolution was not only measured by outcome but also because of the methods utilized in order to achieve the success they did.
The usage of social media in order to organize these protests was probably the most influential factor in the entire revolution. In countries where things like internet censorship, news bias and alteration and government oppression towards freedom of speech were the norm, the common citizen rebelled against this oppression and utilized tools such as facebok and twitter in order to voice their ideals. The revolution was actually documented by the bloggers, twitter users and YouTube stars more so than the mainstream news networks. Hence the nickname “The Twitter Revolution.”