Arab Spring Cost Region $600 Billion

By Patrick Falk, International News Writer

The United Nations released a report estimating that the events of the 2011 Arab Spring cost the region 614 billion US dollars. The UN’s Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) stated that this is equitable to a 6% of the regions overall GDP.

Since the Arab Spring economic growth has stagnated tremendously. Although there have been some recent improvements, all progress made has been slim at best. This stagnation has been correlated to unemployment, corruption, poverty, and refugee crisis plaguing the area.

The Arab Spring was a series of democratic uprisings that arose independently and spread across the Arab world in 2011. The movement originated in Tunisia in December 2010 and quickly took hold in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan. Many of the protests were carried out by young adults in these countries and organized through social media. These movements were linked by the desire of protestors to transform their countries into more accountable democracies.

The Arab spring began when a young unemployed man set himself on fire because he was denied permission to sell vegetables to provide for his family. This was seen as a catalyst to the movement as it outraged the Tunisian public and sparked many into action. The movement was seen as being most successful in Tunisia as they were successful in running their first democratic election due to their protests.

The protests in Tunisia sparked rebellion in neighboring Arab nations. The protest called for democratic reform and to bring an end to corruption.

Instability from the protests has led to the stagnation in economic growth in many of these countries. Many citizens of these nations feeling hopeless and abandoned as they battle famine, corruption and poverty.

However, many still remain hopeful and still believe in a secure, democratic future for their countries.

A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, November 22nd print edition.

Contact Patrick at

patrick.falk@student.shu.edu

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