What are some of the main causes of recent internal conflicts in the Middle East, commonly termed "The Arab Spring?"

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belarafon eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Arab Spring events beginning at the end of 2010 and continuing into 2012 are a source of major controversy between news sources and government officials. Briefly, after the overthrow of Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the push to oust long-term rulers became commonplace, and it was followed by the fall of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Lybian leader Muammar Ghadaffi.

Most studies and reports agree that the main focus of all the protests and demonstrations were directed at abusive regimes which took advantage of the common people while ignoring their complaints.

However, there is also a religious aspect to the movements; in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood group played a major role in organizing the protests, and is now taking steps to enter into the formal government. Elsewhere in the Middle East, the Muslim Brotherhood has been associated with many of protests, and it can be assumed that many of their actions are part of a concerted effort to change both the regimes of the region and the overarching political and religious arenas.

This is not to say that all the Arab Spring events are explicitly connected, but it is likely that many of them have been coordinated to create a specific outcome, which is still waiting for resolution.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In each of these countries, there were some factors unique to the country that caused the conflict.  However, the overarching factor that caused the conflict was the desire for more power for the common people.  In all of these societies, the people came to feel that they were being ruled by corrupt and autocratic elites that paid more attention to their own desire for power and wealth than to the needs of the people they ruled.  Because of this, the people rose up and demanded that they have more of a say in their government.  In essence, they demanded more democracy because they did not believe that the undemocratic governments they had were running the countries in a way that would benefit all the people.