Starting with a street vendor in Tunisia, the “Arab Spring” protests took over much of the Middle East and Northern Africa ten years ago as people fought against oppressive governments. Although many observers and analysts believed that this would be a turning point for the region, high hopes turned to despair. A decade after citizens throughout the region rose up against its dictators, authoritarianism still has a tight grip and people are exhausted and drained. Poverty has deepened, and the pandemic and falling oil prices have exacerbated the situation.
On February 23, the ACG hosted a discussion about the legacy of the “Arab Spring” and its impact across the region today with former U.S. diplomat Ambassador James F. Jeffrey and award-winning journalist Souad Mekhennet. She was on the ground during the uprisings and has spent the past decade researching the long-term strategies of terrorist organizations after the “Arab Spring.”