In December 2010, anti-government protests erupted in the small Tunisian town of Sidi Bouzid, soon spreading across the country, and finally sparking similar demonstrations in neighboring countries. By February 2011, Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, Yemen and Syria had embarked on a revolution of their own, with their independent governments under increasing pressure.
Ten years on, the beginnings of the Arab Spring have turned against governments and led to wars. But in those early months at the heart of the protests was hope, anger and conversion. Here are some of the stories made by Al Jazeera filmmakers on the front lines of change.
Images of rebellion
“Images are weapons. They can help to influence the regime, ”said Ali al-Bouazizi, a political analyst. In many ways, the Arab Revolution of 2011 was proof of that. Ordinary people used their mobile phones to capture photos and video they took on social media. And these images inspired revolutionaries in other countries, who also rose to raise their voices.
This 2012 film takes a fresh look at the stories behind some of the iconic images that came to symbolize the early days of the Arab Spring, as told by the filmmakers.
Tunisia: The revolution continues
On December 17, 2010, Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire in Tunisia, an act that sparked a region-wide uprising that changed the history of countries including Egypt, Libya and Syria.
Complaints that began spontaneously were well organized when people were uniting in support of a common goal. This short film, part of the Revolution Through Arab Eyes series, follows Tunisians who came together to offer a sense of security to their families, neighbors and other activists at the beginning of the uprising. .
Tweets from Tahrir
Inspired by protesters in Tunisia, young demonstrators for democracy in Egypt took to the streets in January 2011, demanding the fall of Hosni Mubarak’s regime. Mubarak resigned 18 days later, but a year after the start of Egypt’s protests many young activists felt that little progress had been made.
This film, made in 2012, follows the experiences of five young Egyptians whose tweets from Cairo’s Tahrir Square revealed the scale of the uprising with a minute-by-minute account of the protests. Using his post, the film follows Egypt’s journey through the euphoria of the 18 days that ended when Mubarak fell into the harsh reality of the ensuing 12 months.
Libya 2011: Tron teine
In February 2011, two months after protests erupted in Tunisia, demonstrations against Muammar Gaddafi ‘s rule began in Libya. In Benghazi, a city at the heart of the uprising, citizen journalist and independent broadcaster Mohammed Nabbous fought against black communication in an attempt to give people there a voice.
Through the eyes of Libyan filmmaker Abdallah Omeish, this award-winning documentary broadcast in 2012 explores the dark stories that emanated from the country in the early days of the 2011 Libyan revolution. .
Hala Mohammad: Waiting for spring
When people all over the Arab World rose up and wanted change in 2011, they did it with poetry. And with a verse, they continued to control a blind rule written on the wall. Hala Mohammad, a famous Syrian poet, saw poetry as essential to political awakening in the Middle East.
In this 2012 film, she watched the exile from Paris, in despair at the country’s own crisis. But even with her faith in politics crushed, she maintained her belief in the power of poetry to inspire change.
Ahmed Fouad Negm: Writing a version
The late Ahmed Fouad Negm discovered poetry in prison in the 1950s. When the Egyptian Revolution erupted in 2011, his words were sung by protesters in Tahrir Square. But as people looked to him for leadership, Negm was unable to write.
In this film, first aired in 2012, a year before his death, we follow the sad, reckless and controversial 83-year-old man as he seeks his place in the Scottish revolution. youth as he searches for words and inspiration again.
Bahrain: Shouting in the dark
The island kingdom of Bahrain was the only country in the Gulf where protests began in early 2011 as part of the wave of revolution sweeping through the Arab World. But it was not long before hope on the streets turned to despair, for the demonstrations that already resembled a secret rebellion were silent for good.
In this award-winning film from 2011, we tell the story of an Arab revolution abandoned by the Arabs, abandoned by the West and forgotten by the world.