- To follow how the Arab Spring symbolically began, we must go back to the end of 2010
Tunisia: December 17th, Mohamed Bouazizi sets himself on fire in Tunisia after repeated harassment from police who confiscated his fruit and vegetable cart, claiming he didn’t have a permit. Bouazizi’s self-immolation is widely considered the event that help propel the Arab Spring into motion.Translation of Mohamed Bouazizi’s last message on his Facebook Wall:http://omarkhayyam.blogsome.com/2010/12/22/last-message/ …
“I’m leaving, mom, I beg your pardon, any blame is useless, I am lost in a path out of my control, pardon me if I disobeyed you, blame our times, don’t blame me, I’m leaving forever, I’ll not be back, I am fed up crying without tears, blames are useless during these cruel times in this place, I’m tired and I forgot all about the past, I’m leaving while asking myself if my departure will help me forget”
- Bouazizi's act sparked riots, some of them began to be documented and surfaced on YouTube:
December 24th, a protester named Mohamed Ammari is shot dead in Tunisia.
- January 2011
Egypt: January 1st, 21 people die in a suspected al-Qaeda attack on a Coptic church in Alexandria.
Tunisia: January 2nd, Internet group Anonymous hacks Tunsia’s government websites
Tunisia: January 4th, Mohamed Bouazizi dies. Many young people in Tunisia shared Bouazizi’s frustration with their government and in a show of solidarity over 5,000 joined in his funeral procession. Protests had already been forming in Tunisia prior to Bouazizi’s incident, but after they grew much larger.
- Egypt: January 7th, In a show of solidarity, Muslims attend Coptic Christmas mass and protect Christians from attacks.
Algeria: January 7th, people take to the streets to protest unemployment and rising food prices.
Tunisia: From January 8th to 10th, demonstrations grow more violent, dozens of protesters are killed.
- Tunisia: January 13th, President Ben Ali promises to step down in 2014, but the protests grow so large and violent that Ali flees from Tunisia to Saudi Arabia the next day.