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How is the Arab Spring representative of not conforming to society?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I think that one can reflect as to how the "Arab Spring" actually started.  When the Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi resisted against the three officers who tried to intimidate him for bribes, it was an example of non- conformist behavior.  If he conformed, he would have simply given them the money and been silent.  Additionally, his actions reflected non- conformity in not being silent when he was spit upon by one of the officers.  His pleading with the governor was also an act of non- conformity.  Had he been a conformist, he would have not spoken out to the governor.  When he was met with indifference, Mohamed Bouazizi represented the essence of non- conformity by dousing himself with kerosene and setting fire to himself.  

The Arab Spring begins from this and through it, one sees the example of non- conformity.  The crowds that swelled in support of Mohamed Bouazizi were examples of non- conformity, as they had been told to disperse.  When he dies, the increase in crowds and demands of change are examples of non- conformity because they sought to change what is into what can or should be.  This same trend in the Arab Spring happened throughout the Arab world, where people rose up against leaders when they were told to remain silent.  They did not conform.  They did not silence themselves.  They spoke out and in doing so, they activated their own sense of non- conformity.

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