Is the Arab World Suffering Protest Fatigue or Frenzy by 2012?

Published February 18th, 2012 - 22:31 GMT

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Dr. Bashar al-Assad's death mask.
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Image 1 of 12: As Bashar al Assad follows in father's footsteps (the late Haafez al Assad had blood on his hands from Hama '82), keeping a deathly watch over his people as they are slaughtered, we ask what became of his Hippocratic oath. Assad Junior trained to save lives & sight as an eye doctor: medical care not military devastation was his calling.

Egypt's fog of continuous protests.
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Image 1 of 12: Egypt could be forgiven for feeling a little dry on protest energy. The reality is many splits & shisms- The Republic of Tahrir told only one story. People curse the revolution that ruined their livelihood. What most can agree on is that the Egyptian economy is going to take a while to recover. The AUC has had to relocate its campus from Tahrir.

King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa of Bahrain.
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Image 1 of 12: Bahrain's protest gusto has fizzled out: The Feb 14 anniversary of this mainly Shia-democracy revolution passed with no renewal of the initial faltered campaign. The ruling al Khalifas stamped out the unrest with the help of Saudi troops safeguarding Sunni supremacy interests. This stalled revolution looks unlikely to pick up its 2011 momentum.

Morocco finds its swing in protests, 2012.
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Image 1 of 12: Moroccan discontent not quite burnt out: The self-immolation of 5 activists in Jan put mounting unrest under the spotlight. Could this North African Arab country follow its fallen neighbors? Its protest is picking up a notch in 2012, gaining momentum slowly, steadily: Angry graduates demand jobs promised by the ruling Justice & Development Party.

Jordanian teachers strike in protest.
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Image 1 of 12: Jordan's teachers carry the protest flame still with teacher strikes upstaging 2011's Friday demos. More compelling is the anti-corruption drive that has ensnared a list of high-ranking names in its web. Muhammad Dahabi, former head of Intelligence, held in prison while investigated, joins a former mayor and an MP who has called for a Republic.

Yemen seems to be rid of Ali Abdullah Saleh.
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Image 1 of 12: Yemen's protest has been snuffed out a bit, particularly since the main reason for staying out on the streets since last Jan has taken his leave. Still, Ali Abdullah Saleh's departure is a moot point as all the underlying issues of his corrupt rule remain, amid rumors that he will be back in a supervisory role for any replacement, as VP hopeful.

Hamza Kashgari, KSA's rebel Tweep.
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Image 1 of 12: KSA's steam to 'religiously' protest: KSA's 'apostate' Tweep, a charge carrying death, knows what difference 140 characters makes. His apology for his tweet-chat to the Prophet (PBUH) hasn't washed with Muslim clerics. Kashgari's right to Tweet, even if KSA's own Prince Walid Bin Talal owns a Twitter stake, does not overrule his duty to his faith.

Saudi's Al-Qatif of the oil province protests.
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Image 1 of 12: Saudi Shia-led protests, just warming up, have flared up intermittently. Al-Qatif, the east coast Shia city of the oil rich province, could ignite unrest in solidarity with Bahraini Shia neighbors. Black Shia flags, anti-monarchy graffiti, as well as 2 recent Shia deaths, serve to warn what a combustive flashpoint could grow if not extinguished.

Syria's civil conflict spreads to neighbor Iraq.
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Image 1 of 12: Iraq, suffering protest fatigue or just war & invasion exhaustion, has started to play-out the sectarian conflict of neighbor Syria along its own battle fault lines & tribal border loyalties. Bordering Anbar province keenly feels drawn in: Sunni Fallujah has joined the fray, protesting in solidarity. Baghdad is said to be enabling Assad's regime.

Egyptian controversial cleric Wajdi Ghoneium.
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Image 1 of 12: Tunisia who set off the wave of protests in the Arab world, should have been 1st to experience protest fatigue. Still these pioneers were ready in a flash to demonstrate the visit of controversial Wajdi Ghoneium. This misogynistic Egyptian cleric favors female genital mutilation & proposes a merging of ruling Ennahda party with Salafi strains.

Israel gets nasty with photojournalists covering protests.
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Image 1 of 12: Israel had its own 'Arab Awakening' in 2011, not by its Arab oppressed populations but by its very own discontent Israeli citizens carping for cheaper housing. They invited cameras in to document the tent city of Tel Aviv. Last week, Israeli forces were using violence on any photojournalists covering protests against Israel’s separation barrier.

Kuwaitis storm parliament, then reform their cabinet.
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Image 1 of 12: Kuwait was a slow starter with initial Shia agitations and rumblings fizzling out before they'd got underway. Stopping short of revolution, November's parliamentary storm against corruption eventually paved the way to the formation of a new cabinet that is still beset with internal divisions and conflict that are stalling real progress.

Firmly into 2012, how are the Arab revolutions developing? Perhaps they are bored or tired out of the protest gig of 2011 already. We check in with some of the Arab protest pictures to gauge to what extent they have reached revolution saturation, or on the contrary are just getting started. Are they showing signs of protest fatigue, or instead symtoms of a revolutionary frenzy?

Are they picking up momentum or tapering off to a standstill? Have these Arab awakenings spread as far as they can go into the protest- engulfed Arab states, or have they left any states still unturned? 

The outlook is generally less protests

While predictions for the so-called Arab Spring to sweep the wider world into its tempestuous vortex looked likely by the end of 2011, the reality in 2012 is that some Arab nations may be a little protested-out, spent of all urges and resources to keep up the 'revolution'.

Are they stalling, faltering, dying out, or indeed revving up and really getting underway as in Syria? Syria, with over 5,000 fatalities may be yet to come into full protest swing, after a slow-start that picked up its pace and accelerated from the Summer til February where, reaching full frenzy, it seems to have found its uprising groove.

Countries spent of protesting include Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, maybe Yemen; whereas countries only just warming up into the swing of revolutions are possibly Jordan, Morocco, Saudi and Kuwait. But only time and zeitgeist will tell, as some of the more protest-exhausted long to return to their businesses and ordinary daily lives. Regardless of whether the goals of the revolution have been fully met or not, some have run out of steam and would rather resume their days un-threatened by further protest installments, life-loss and disruption to their livelihoods.

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