Embassy Attacks in Cairo and Libya Prove the Arab Spring Effectiveness is Up for Debate

Since December 2010, the Arab world has been protesting and demonstrating in the interest of dethroning regimes, altering the political situation, and improving social deficiencies. Revolts, uprisings, riots, and killings took place during a period which will be profoundly engraved on the global social history. The main issue now is what-the final outcome for these countries will be, and how quickly they will be able to regain a stable political framework. The domino effect which was generated after the initiation of the so-called Arab Awakening formed a new geopolitical agenda, with Ben Ali getting ousted from the Tunisian presidency, and with Hosni Mubarak of Egypt and Muammar Gaddafi of Libya following in his paces.

While the general revolution was crowned with success due to the shifts in the political situation, democratization does not seem to be the solution to the Middle East's problems. Unemployment is still high – in some regions it skyrockets, access to knowledge is problematic and minimized to specific categories of the population, and mostly the financial state of the 'awakened' countries did not improve but rather deteriorated. Additionally, the re-evaluation of the position of religion in public life, policy and society, appears to have introduced new ethics within the “post-spring” agenda.

For Syria the course to its political awakening gets more complicated. Assad, who was accused of antidemocratic policies and for protecting and strengthening his personal allies and friends, was the main reason for the initiation of a civil war. Since March 2012, military operations within the country generated thousands of victims and refugees and they have crippled Syria financially, politically, and socially. A debate about the extent of the international community’s interference is still on, with the global society and the U.N. at odds as to how this situation should be resolved.

The Arab Spring has agitated the Mediterranean political agenda and formed a new geopolitical framework. The chain reaction of this social wave was to form new geostrategic actors and benefactors. Israel aims to receive an even firmer position in the region. Turkey, for its part, is having an identity crisis: As a potential part of the EU and a member of NATO it needs to be compliant with the expectations of the Western world. On the other hand, as an Asian country which intends to become a leader in the Muslim world, it needs to follow a more Arab-friendly policy. Finally the countries of Mediterranean Europe – all member states of the EU – are struggling with their debt problems and expecting for their own “spring” to occur; this time an economic one.

The Arab Spring was not a coincidental event. There was social turmoil and the democratization of certain communities was an imperative change. However there are many who observe this revolution with skepticism, since the outcome is not the one they expected. The massacre ongoing in Syria does not allow for any decisions about the future of the country to be taken; especially when the civil war yields such internal social collision. 

The Arab world needs to blossom in the interest of the development of the Mediterranean Sea region, and as a pillar of cultural growth and economic progress. That’s the spring that this volatile geostrategic area needs to experience.