The “Arab Spring” Lives On Uprisings in Times of Pandemic

Publication date:
1:36:00 minutes

Ten years ago, the Arab uprisings were celebrated as world changing events. The emancipatory experience was so contagious that people were inspired all over the world. Occupiers from London to Wall Street and the Indignados were proud to “Walk like an Egyptian”.

The revolutionary process that has swept North Africa and West Asia, driven by demands for bread, freedom, dignity and social justice, has seen ups and downs, gains and setbacks, which materialized in a liberal democratic transition in Tunisia and bloody counter-revolutions and imperialist interventions in other countries. This led some pundits to pronounce a death sentence on the so-called “Arab Spring”.

A decade on, this protracted revolutionary process is well into the second wave of revolt, triggered by the same features of governance and political economy that shaped the first wave. This time, it started from Sudan in December 2018 and spread to Algeria, Iraq and Lebanon. 2019 saw massive popular movements erupting onto the political stage, demanding radical change and achieving some historical gains.

However, these movements find themselves pitted against entrenched authoritarian and counter-revolutionary forces that do everything to crush and bury them, including in times of COVID19. However, these have not said their last word yet and there are already signs that protests will  resume after the pandemic subsides.


  •  Muzan Alneel – Sudanese engineer, political activist and blogger.
  • Brahim Rouabah - Co-founder of Algerian Solidarity Campaign. PhD candidate in Political Science at CUNY.
  • Rima Majed - an Assistant Professor of Sociology at the American University of Beirut (AUB)
  • Zahra Ali (Iraq): is a sociologist and feminist based at Rutgers University and author of "Women and Gender in Iraq". 

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