On Friday night AC360° will air a special report “Arab Spring: Revolution Interrupted.” In December 2010, a young Tunisian street vendor named Mohamed Mouazizi refused to pay a bribe to a local inspector who slapped him. This indignity led Bouazizi to set himself on fire in protest and Tunisians, already fed up with the unemployment, corruption and repressive conditions in the country took to the streets, quickly causing the resignation of Tunisia's president. These events sparked a wave of revolutions across the region in countries like Bahrain, Yemen, Egypt, Libya and Syria.
It's been written that a decade's worth of events have occurred in the Arab world in just over a year. Long time dictators like Hosni Mubarak and Moammar Gadhafi have fallen, while the regime of Bashar al-Assad still clings to power in Syria, despite 15 months of ongoing conflict.
But is the Arab world better off after the Arab Spring? And what kind of repercussions do these revolutions have on the rest of the world? Presidential elections in Egypt are underway, but protesters still clash with police in Tahrir Square. Gadhafi's iron rule is over, but the sudden vacuum of power left the country without a sense of national unity, as regional militias have arisen all across the country. Syria continues to see bloodshed and conflict daily, and the violence is already starting to spill over the borders into Lebanon. All of these revolutions also come with concerns over the rise of Islamic fundamentalism.
We wanted an in-depth look at what is happening in these countries, post-revolution, with insight from our remarkable international correspondents Nic Robertson, Arwa Damon and Ivan Watson who witnessed these events first-hand and spent most of last year covering these conflicts across the region. We also talk with former CIA officer Bob Baer, who says he's never seen change in the Middle East this fast, this significant and this dangerous.
Don't miss the program at 8 and 10 p.m. ET tonight.
Anderson Cooper goes beyond the headlines to tell stories from many points of view, so you can make up your own mind about the news. Tune in weeknights at 8 and 10 ET on CNN.
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