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An Egyptian protester waves the national flag during a demonstration in Tahrir Square in 2012 An Egyptian protester waves the national flag during a demonstration in Tahrir Square, Cairo, Egypt, Feb. 3, 2012 (AP photo by Nathalie Bardou).

Did the Arab Uprisings Really Fail?

Monday, Dec. 21, 2020

Editor’s Note: Middle East Memo will be off for the holidays next week. It will return Jan. 4. Subscribers can adjust their newsletter settings to receive Middle East Memo by email every week.

Ten years ago this week, the protests were spreading across Tunisia. The young fruit seller whose name would soon reverberate across the Arab world—Mohamed Bouazizi—had set himself on fire days earlier, to protest against the police who kept harassing him for bribes. He was fed up with the kind of daily abuse by authorities at all levels of government that Egyptians, Libyans, Syrians and so many others knew all too well. ...

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