From Tunisia to Syria: Unfortunate Failure of the Arab Spring
By Mohamed Hemish
The Arab world will remember the so-called Arab Spring on Jan 14, the day that saw the fall of a longtime Arab dictator in Tunisia President Ben Ali, who had ruled the country for more than 25 years. READ MORE
Look South: Hollande's Terror Blunder is Tunisia, Not Syria
By Naomi Cohen
The former French colony, still intimately enlaced with the superpower’s legacy, sends more foreign fighters to Syria than any other country. It may be no wonder. READ MORE
Tunisia Marks Revolution Hero Bouazizi amid Uncertain Future
By Mohamed Hemish
Tunisia is still in the process of democratization and battling religious extremism, while extremist groups have been on the rise in the region in countries like Syria, Libya and Yemen. READ MORE
Who are the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet?
The 2015 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet for averting catastrophe in Tunisia through dogged dialogue and compromise. READ MORE
The Tunisian elections that took place in 2014 left some wondering if they had fulfilled the hopes and legacy of the Tunisian Revolution that ignited the Arab world five years ago.
Of all the regional uprisings, the Syrian conflict produced, in almost five years, two of the worst consequences of the Arab Spring: The rise of the Islamic State group and extremism, as well as a spike in the global refugee crisis.
Islamic State Group and Regional Extremism
In 2015, North Africa was hard hit with an escalation of extremist attacks seeking to terrorize residents and target the once robust tourism sectors that many countries rely upon for economic development.
Earlier this year in Tunisia, the Islamic State group claimed responsibility for an attack that killed 38 foreigners, many of them British nationals, in a beach hotel in the eastern city of Sousse.
And in late October last year, the Islamic State group also claimed to have downed a Russian airliner departing from Egypt’s popular tourist destinations in the restive Sinai Peninsula. International experts indicated the attack was one of the severest assaults on Egypt’s floundering tourist sectors.
The conflicts between militants and government forces in the region has affected both civilians and tourists. Last September, as the Egyptian military was conducting alleged raids against armed groups, security forces killed at least 12 people, including eight Mexican tourists and four Egyptian civilians, causing a partial fallout between the two countries.
How ISIS Became the Face of Evil
A still from the Islamic State group video showing men in orange jumpsuits purported to be Egyptian Christians, made available on social media Feb. 15, 2015
The Islamic State’s gruesome propaganda serves its purposes well, and those of the United States too. READ MORE.
Global Refugee Crisis
The aftermath of the Arab Spring led to a massive migration of refugees from conflicts across Africa and Western Asia in particular with many traveling over the Mediterranean in search of asylum in Europe. The fall of Libya’s government in particular lead to a massive security and political vacuum, enabling people smugglers to take advantage of refugees and facilitate the journey over the Mediterranean.