Arab World Protests And Crisis

The Arab World is in turmoil. Agitations are the order of the day - across several Arab world countries. And many of them are on a verge of a mass social and a political upheaval.

This has caused media furore all over the world. The eyes of the entire world is focussed on this region.

Which countries exactly are said to be a part of the Arab world? 

The picture above would give you a broad idea. Right at the center of the world map - slightly above the equator, these countries compose the elite Arab world.

Starting from the Middle East countries - Saudi Arabia, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Bahrain, and Kuwait to the countries in the north of Africa - Mauritania, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Lebanon and Sudan are a part of the Arab world. 

Also included are the African power houses - Egypt and Jordan. Iraq too is a part of the Arab world. And so is Somalia - which is known as the pirate capital of the world these days.

You might wonder why did I use the term elite to describe the Arab world nations?

It's not without a reason. First of all, these Arab countries are rich in oil. Not just rich - they are mega rich.

Oil is something which drives the energy generators across the world. It is the fuel for the vehicles which you own. And all of this increases the dependency of the world on these oil rich Arab countries.

A conflict in Iraq sends the cost of the oil barrel right through the roof. And this has a downward spiraling effect on the rest of the economy - right across the world.

How are these Arab world countries structured - socially, economically and politically?

Arabic is the first language for most countries in this part of the world. And most people practice Islam as their religion. A good point to note is that most of these countries enjoy a good literacy rate.

Arab countries are considered to be economically thriving. The Sheiks of the Arab worlds are the icons of this mass wealth. They make their money by selling oil, gas and other petroleum products.

Most countries are considered to be emerging economies. Dubai, a part of the UAE, for example, is a hub for expatriates and home to the tallest building in the world - the Burj Khalifa. Qatar has been chosen to host the Soccer World Cup in 2022.

Bahrain is the fastest growing economy in the Arab world. And Qatar tops the charts for the highest GDP in the world.

If oil and gas money unite these countries on the economic front, the style of leadership unites them at the political front.

Almost all these countries have an authoritarian regime. If we consider the Freedom Index, then it would be noteworthy to understand that countries with authoritarian regimes are considered to be dictatorial.

They would indicate a considerable lack of democratic freedom. And lack of democratic freedom would have an impact on various parts of life - the social freedom, the economic freedom, the political freedom, the press freedom etc.

Human rights are a reason of concern in these countries. Women rights too are a matter of concern.

With all this background information, you would be thinking of one thing.

If the economies of the Arab world are thriving, so must be its people? And if the people are thriving, are they really happy? Or aren't they thriving at all? What is it that is causing the sea of protests at the heart of the Arab world?

To give you a pre-cursor, have a look at this statement by the Saudi Prince - Bandar Bin Sultan.

"If you tell me that building this whole country ... out of $400bn, that we misused, or got, $50bn, I'll tell you, 'Yes. So what?'."

This would give you a view that Arabian leaders are quite cocky. And if the allegations are true, they would have amassed a mass of wealth while ruling their respective nations. The ex Egyptian president - Hosni Mubarak, the Saudi rulers, the former leader of Iraq - Saddam Hussein were known to be filthy rich.

It all started in Tunisia on Dec 2010. Starting 18th Dec 2010, people took to the streets of Tunisia - protesting against corruption, lack of freedom of various points which compose the Freedom Index, inflation, unemployment plus a lot of other factors.

The heat was directed towards the President Ben Ali who was in power for the last 23 years. Ben Ali could not sustain the pressure of mass unrest and resigned on 14th Jan 2011 and fled to Saudi Arabia. The winners were the Tunisian people.

But the real take away of the Tunisian revolution was the motivation it set in the mind of the other people in the Arab world - who were also be suppressed under such long running leaders.

The Egyptian protests began on 25th Jan 2011. People took to the streets of Cairo, Alexandria and other major Egyptian cities.

Hosni Mubarak had been the Egyptian president for 3 decades. He tried his best to quell the people's uprising but was unsuccessful. After trying to take some steps to make him appear good in the eyes of the nation, he finally resigned on 11th Feb 2011. Since then, he has been untraceable. But the Egyptian people got what they wanted.

Protests also started in Algeria in late December 2010. The people of Yemen and Jordan too have started with the protests against their regime since Jan 2011.

They have been unsuccessful till now to overthrow the current rulers. But with the kind of heat building up across the region, the leaders are bound to succumb and hand over the reins to the authorities chosen by the masses.

Taking a cue from the victorious Egyptian people, the janata in Bahrain and Libya have also taken to the streets in Feb 2011. In Bahrain, people took to the streets of Manama - demanding greater political freedom and an end to the rule of the monarchs.

The leaders of the Bahrain have used the military to squelch these protests. Till today, the protests are on. And these brave people are hopeful that they will get what they want.

The protests in Libya have been more bloody. Libya is under the rule of Muammar Gaddafi who has been ruling the nations for a long 42 years.

Now, four decades is a long time to be in power. And if someone in power for such a long time in modern times, you can safely conclude that brute force has played its part.

Needless to say, Gaddafi has the tag of been the worlds longest ruling autocrat. He has been accused of ordering the bombing of a Pan Am jet off the coast of Scotland in 1988, which resulted in the death of 270 people.

Protesters have been demonstrating strongly in Tripoli, Benghazi, and other Libyan cities. The protests have later spread to other cities too. While Gaddafi asked his armed forces to launch a deathly offensive against his own common men, some of the armed forces revolted against him and have gone against his order.

This has resulted in a deathly battle across various Egyptian cities. Gaddafi has also resorted to bombings by fighter jets to quell the uprising.

Libya is the largest producer of oil in Africa. And this conflict has sent the prices of the crude oil through the roofs. The cost of crude oil is hovering around 110 USD. This has resulted in soaring prices of the commodities across the world.

The entire world watches these protests in Libya and other African nations closely. They hope for a speedy resolution. They expect that the people of these nations are victorious, without loss of precious lives of men and women. All of this is in hope for a more democratic and secure world.
Arab World Protests And Crisis Arab World Protests And Crisis Reviewed by Vyankatesh on Thursday, March 03, 2011 Rating: 5

1 comment:

  1. We need oil and will always need oil.But what would happen if we develop alternative fuels more friendly to the environment? That´s a crucial question in a time like this.We need enough research on this.