Google the “Arab Spring”, and you will find more than 3,500,000 links directing you to an array of websites that hold various compilations of internet literature including current news reports, archived incident reports, economic analysis, political analysis, reported human rights violations, etc….
In order to evaluate the so called “Arab Spring”, one has to primarily understand the malnourished needs of the populations which were the primary drives behind the success of the revolutions in different Arab countries. After understanding the drives, one has to analyze the outcomes and the results so to be able to create a logical conclusion based on an unbiased assessment to the issue in question. So, with all that being said, what were the major drives that lead to that unexpected domino effect in the MENA region? What were the major outcomes of it? Who are the people in control now? And what do we know about their visions?
Regardless of the ongoing revolts, the three major countries that give one a major understanding to where we will be heading are Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya. Those three countries shared a common authoritarian model; a governmental system which is highly centralized in power, controlled through the repression and elimination of potential political oppositions. As history has registered, it all started with Mohamed Bouazizi, the man who set the region, along with himself on fire in protest for humiliation and unemployment. Soon after this event, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was overthrown, and the protestors got what they longed for; the downfall of the repressive political regime. This was followed by the downfall of Hosni Mubarak, and the infamous Colonel Gaddafi.
True, the people of these countries did an achievement; they overthrew their corrupt political systems. But one should not mistake the mean for the goal! The mean was the revolution; the goal was freedom along with placing an end to kleptocracy, a better understanding for human rights, and the construction of a better economical system.
Today, the world has begun to witness theocracies in the making. Shortly after the “Al Nahda” Islamic party won 90 seats in the constituent assembly, the Prime Minister Hammadi Jebali declared that the event was “a divine moment in a new state, and in, hopefully, a 6th caliphate” (i,ii); a statement which burst tremendous outcries in Tunisia. Various actions in Egypt such as forced “virginity tests”, the trial of Adel Imam, the plan to cover the pyramids with wax, along with the plan to ban alcohol and beach tourism imply a coming repressive Islamist rule. Furthermore, the acknowledgment of the Libyan rebel commander; Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, about his existent Al-Qaeda ties along with the pledge of the NTC leader to base Libya’s laws on the rule of Sharia without the consent of the people offer the world an insight about the upcoming Dark Ages to the countries mentioned above.
This myopic view which mistakes the mean with the goal has shown us what countries may achieve in a few years’ time; history has made its point since 1979. Today, Egypt’s economy remains in ruin, Libyan militias are spiraling out of control while women’s role is being considerably marginalized, and the Tunisian economy remains stagnant amidst fears of a rising radical religious force hidden behind the veil of modernity. With all this being said, one can sadly realize that the goals are yet to be achieved. There is no economical achievement in restricting Egypt’s tourism, no liberty in deciding the basis of country’s law without the consent of people, and no security amidst rising fears of hidden freedom restraining agendas. In short, the Arabs nations have to sort their things out, otherwise, what is now known as the “Arab Spring” will be deemed later on by history as a further “Arab Fall”.