Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Middle East unrest

Tunisian president Zine Ben Ali was the first one to go. Following weeks of unrest over corruption and unemployment the 74 year old leader left Tunisia for Saudi Arabia, which granted him and his family asylum. He fled his country after 23 years in power.

Egypt was next in line. The whole world was glued to the news, waiting for what would happen next in the now-famous Tahrir sqaure in Cairo. Finally the 82 year old president decided to step down as the leader of his country after 29 years in power.

Today BBC reported that similar protests are taking place in Algeria, Libya, Yemen, Iran and Bahrain.

A wave of anti-government unrest is sweeping through the Middle East.

Poverty, inequality, a poor social sector and corruption are the main reason why citizens in the Middle East are going to the streets demanding changes. According to the World Bank, since the mid-1980s there has been little progress in poverty reduction in the Middle East and North Africa, although human development indicators have continued to improve ( 

The latest Corruption Perception Index study done by Transparency International shows that, except for a few gulf countries, corruption is on the higher end in the Middle East and North Africa ( But with the internet and instant communications which allows people to see what life is like elsewhere, Arabs are beginning to see freedom from corruption as a basic human right. 

World In Need works in Middle East helping with veterinary projects, gender development and education. The people we work with are mostly poor nomads and refugees. 


  1. This is only the beginning. Once people have had a taste of what it's like to be in control of their own lives, it's very difficult to make them go back to the old ways. There are a lot of nervous governments out there right now.

  2. And they should be nervous, after 20, 30 years in power, constantly changing constitution so they can be 'democratically' elected again, this has got to end somewhere.