June 30th, 2011
11:33 AM ET

Explaining the Arab unrest

[Updated October 20, 2011] In January, protesters in Tunisia forced out longtime President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in a popular revolt that triggered unrest across North Africa and the Middle East.

In some countries, demonstrators have forced their governments to enact reforms. In others, brute force has met the protests.

CNN.com’s interactive map highlights differences among the countries, offering an overview of the region and the major changes that have taken place since beginning of the year.

Note that the categories and the countries within them could change as events develop.


Countries: Egypt, Libya, Tunisia

In these countries, leaders and their governments have been deposed.

Sustained violence

Countries: Bahrain, Syria, Yemen

The governments of Bahrain, Syria and Yemen have taken aggressive steps to quell unrest.

There has been sporadic violence in other countries, but it has been a consistent problem in these three, often resulting in deaths.


Countries: Algeria, Djibouti, Jordan, Kuwait, Mauritania, Morocco, Oman, Saudi Arabia

There have been anti-government protests in all these countries following the Tunisian revolution in January.

In some protests, there have been occasional reports of violence, but nothing as consistent or as deadly as those in Bahrain, Syria and Yemen.

In countries such as Jordan and Morocco, the governments have proposed reforms.

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Filed under: Arab unrest: developments • Middle East • World
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Imglad

    Heck I thought Arab Spring was a bar of soap.

    June 30, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Jazzzzzzzz

    Ok where is the Arab flying carpet. He he. LOL.

    June 30, 2011 at 2:35 pm | Report abuse |

    i can explain it real easy...
    they need better beds... maybe water beds or a beaty rest..

    June 30, 2011 at 2:49 pm | Report abuse |

    Had it not been for Julian Assange and Wikileaks there would never have been an "Arab Spring" at all. My only regret here is that the cursed Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen has somehow managed to cling to power and now Obama has gotten us into this civil war on his behalf and that makes me sick. It's too bad that the right-wing thugs in Washington keep on persecuting Assange but that's the politics of Washington!!!

    June 30, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Report abuse |
  5. banasy

    Good post RuffNutt,thank you.

    June 30, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Jazzzzzzz

    🙂 Good one Troll Jazzy... Any posts over the next 5 days aren't mine. Have fun Trolls!

    Happy 4th to all 🙂

    June 30, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Philip

    UNCLE sam got involved in Yemen's 1986 civil war too, by arming both sides. Saw it with my own eyes so don't bother argueing.

    June 30, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  8. fernace

    Yeah, thanks RuffNutt, you are very knowledgeable. Thanks also to Philip, nothing like an eyewitness account. I think many of the allied nations, UN & US thinks it's a positive to have these nations in inside sqirmishes, because it destabilizes the area. I guess the thought is to swoop in & take advantage of that, like wars were fought in ancient times. It wont work though, because no matter how non progressive they seem, humans are very resilient& clever, & we already know the internet has caused upheaval in their governments. Don't think them weak because they cling to ancient traditions!!

    June 30, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  9. fernace

    Happy 4th to you Jazzzzzz! We wont pay attention to the trolls, when you're on vacay, or we'll have a little fun with them! Hear that trolls!!

    June 30, 2011 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jazzzzzzzz

    fernace you just referred to my personal troll. He he. It has been saying the same thing in other threads. I'm not going away for the next 5 days. Sorry to disappoint you troll. Happy 4th of July fernace and all.

    June 30, 2011 at 6:17 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Oreo

    For the real story check out FOX news.

    June 30, 2011 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Grant Powell

    In the very midst of adversity and change , we find ourselves facing a new challenge that will not only test the human soul , but compassion as well. There are demonic people out there and they plan to plot against us , right here on U.S. soil. Please make no mistake , I'm not talking about 9/11. No , I'm talking about something far worse. The Muslim nation is our friend , right now. As , they work and train with us in preparation for a second great depression that will not only affect Koreans , Chinese , Black , White , Hindu , it doesn't matter anymore about the color of your skin. Or , what your attracted too. It's about are you or are you not , here on the better half of our country. Religious belief or background will not have an affect on the hatred stemed from job loss or the dying need for money that affects the families of low income housing. Suicide rates in the next coming years will raise to an all new high. People will go without and turn to violent criminal activity to support themselves. Unless , we do something about it now. We must care for one another as we would a brother or sister of any ethnicity. God pray for us , we are your children. And , if you don't care about human life and the struggles that we face : Let's just say , " We have guns , too. "

    July 8, 2011 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  13. Evil_Zionist_Settler_666

    Although Jews and Palestinians have been fighting for 80 years over a place that has no oil, we can both agree that we are infuriated by you map's assigning of the West Bank to Jordan. Fix this at once or face the wrath of Allah.

    August 18, 2011 at 8:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • joe

      Umm ,actually ,Israeli land or God's/YWHA's land has ALOT of oil on the coast lands and aquifer's that are worth more then any other country in the world.

      November 19, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Johnny


    100.000s of people have been protesting there ... demanding democracy for all.

    October 14, 2011 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  15. BC

    Hey CNN,

    Stop being ignorant. Libya is in AFRICA and its not an Arab country at all!
    Moammar Gadhafi is AFRICAN, not Arab. He is not an Arab leader. Stop lumping clear, African countries in with the Arab world.

    October 21, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • joe

      Still,Islam corrupts africa as well as other continents all over the world.

      November 19, 2011 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
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