Arab “spring”


2011: The ‘Arab Spring’ was a great dream

  • Egypt, 2011, and the beginnings of what became known as the ‘Arab Spring’ (Photo: Koert Debeuf)


When Mohamed Bouazizi immolated himself on 17 December 2010 in the Tunisian town of Sidi Bouzid, it appeared to be the catalyst for a wave of revolutions across the entire Arab world, called the Arab Spring.

The Tunisian dictator Zine El Abedine Ben Ali fled the country on 14 January, 2011. On 25 January, people went to Cairo’s Tahrir Square demanding freedom in Egypt. Everyone was stunned when Egypt’s long-time dictator Hosni Mubarak was forced from power on 11 February 2011. It triggered revolution and protests from Rabat in Morocco, over Bahrain to Damascus in Syria.

  • Asmaa Mahfouz in Cairo in 2011 (Photo: Wikimedia)

Not all outcomes of these revolutions were for the best. Tunisia became a functioning democracy, while other countries plunged into civil war, or into new dictatorships. In 2011, the European Parliament awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought to five representatives of the Arab revolution. Mohamed Bouazizi received the prize posthumously.

For Egypt, the prize was given to Asmaa Mahfouz. Nine years later, we talk to her about that incredible moment in 2011.

“I was a very regular girl, working in sales and marketing. No one in my family was politically active. Actually, no one in Egypt I knew had a dream. There was no justice anywhere, but we all kept silent. For some reason, I started to feel angry about it, and started to become politically active in 2008. I had no big ideas, but I thought, why not talk to people about justice and freedom? Why not try making people believe that change is possible? That’s why I joined the April 6 movement [the youth movement that organised the 25 January Tahrir Square sit-in]. I wanted to convince people to stand up for freedom and justice,” Asmaa Mahfouz recounts.

“When I saw what happened in Tunisia in December 2010 and January 2011, it made me even more angry. I wanted to convince people that it would be safe to come out to the streets and posted my mobile number on Facebook to prove that. From 10 January on my phone didn’t stop ringing, day and night. I tried to convince them that we will be with them and that we have to do this together. My

“When I posted a video on Facebook, calling on men to show their courage and join women on Tahrir on 25 January, I was angry, but afraid. Back then, I thought, well, the worst that can happen is that I will be killed. But that didn’t matter to me. We had to fight for our rights. But when I went to Tahrir, the protest was so much bigger than I and all the others had ever hoped for. People came out massively, without fear, believing things could be changed. Everyone cared for each other and helped each other, certainly on those days when we were attacked.

“Actually, on that day we never thought for a second this Tahrir protest would end with the resignation of Mubarak. We were very surprised and very happy to have accomplished this, and still be alive. Today, nine years later, it all seems like a distant dream.

“Because of my role in 2011, I don’t find any work. Luckily, I have my children to care for. It’s their future that is my purpose in life now.” article first appeared in EUobserver’s latest magazine, 20 years of European journalism & history, which you can now read in full online.



  1. 20th Anniversary


  1. Why is Egypt jailing my friends?
  2. EU deafeningly silent on Egypt abuses
  3. EU states ‘complicit’ in Egypt repression


Why is Egypt jailing my friends?


EU deafeningly silent on Egypt abuses
EU states ‘complicit’ in Egypt repression


2010: EU’s new diplomacy in search of old élan?
2008-2009: The years that almost broke the euro

INTERVIEWSin the end theday try to get a chance to be s joke about the new year you will be a good thing I have a great try to get a chance to be s joke about the new year you will be a good thing I have a great day and I don’t know if you have any questions or concerns please tttttttttt I am in the end of the worst in the end the tt5I am in the end of the worst in the end of the k the roomworst the new the new year you will be a good thing I have a great day and I don’t know if you have any questions or concerns please visit the plug-in settings to determine how attachments are handled the situation financially responsible for the work of the worst in the new year you will

2007: Barroso: An insider’s guide to the Lisbon Treaty


  1. TODAY, 09:02UK unveils free-trade pact with Turkey
  2. TODAY, 09:02EU urges investigation of Ethiopia massacre
  3. TODAY, 09:02UK passport gives no right to protection, Britain says
  4. TODAY, 09:02EU could ‘simply’ restore fish species
  5. TODAY, 09:01Euro was ‘rush of blood to the head’
  6. TODAY, 09:01EU regrets Turkish jailing of journalist
  7. TODAY, 09:01China to overtake US more quickly as top world economy
  8. TODAY, 09:01Global warming causing lethal weather events

20 years of EUobserver

21. DEC, 07:02

Our special anniversary magazine gives an overview of the major events of these past 20 years – and, for every event, we talked to one of the key players. It makes this magazine a historic document of recent EU history.

2002: Say hello to your new currency, the euro

22. DEC, 07:04

Together with the Schengen agreement of 1995 which abolished most border controls, the euro is the most important symbol of European unification.


  1. UNESDAEU Code of Conduct can showcase PPPs delivering healthier more sustainable society
  2. CESIKlaus Heeger and Romain Wolff re-elected Secretary General and President of independent trade unions in Europe (CESI)
  3. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSWomen benefit in the digitalised labour market
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSReport: The prevalence of men who use internet forums characterised by misogyny
  5. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSJoin the Nordic climate debate on 17 November!
  6. UNESDAMaking healthier diets the easy choice


  1. TODAY, 09:17EU prepares to ratify post-Brexit trade deal
  2. TODAY, 09:06EU rolls out vaccine, as UK-variant spreads
  3. TODAY, 07:382011: The ‘Arab Spring’ was a great dream
  4. TODAY, 07:372010: EU’s new diplomacy in search of old élan?
  5. TODAY, 07:362008-2009: The years that almost broke the euro
  6. 23. DEC, 08:42France reopens to UK, as EU tackles new corona-strain
  7. 23. DEC, 07:122007: Barroso: An insider’s guide to the Lisbon Treaty
  8. 23. DEC, 07:122005: France and Netherlands vote against the Constitution


  1. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSUN Secretary General to meet with Nordic Council on COVID-19
  2. UNESDAWell-designed Deposit Return Schemes can help reach Single-Use Plastics Directive targets
  3. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic Council meets Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tichanovskaja
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic Region to invest DKK 250 million in green digitalised business sector
  5. UNESDAReducing packaging waste – a huge opportunity for circularity

Published by technofiend1

Kazan- Kazan National Research Technical University Казанский национальный исследовательский технический университет имени А. Н. Туполева he graduated in Economics in 1982

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: