Arab Uprisings

Tahrir SquareCourtesy of The Egyptian Liberal via Wikimedia Commons


The American Public and the Arab Awakening

This poll conducted by the Anwar Sadat Chair for Peace and Development and the Program on International Policy Attitudes (PIPA) at the University of Maryland, directed by Shibley Telhami and Steven Kull, found that an overwhelming majority of Americans believe that greater democracy in the Middle East would be positive for the US.

The Arab Spring

In this article, Rashid Khalidi comments on the “sea change in perceptions about Arabs, Muslims and Middle Easterners” due to the Arab Spring. An excellent article–a must read for anyone learning or teaching about the Arab Spring.

Arab Spring: A Research and Study Guide 

Cornell University Library’s guide for researching the Arab Spring.

Arab Spring: An Interactive Timeline of Middle East Protests

This interactive time line traces the events of the protests around the Middle East.

Arab Uprising Bibliography

These comprehensive lists offer bibliographic information for books and articles about the recent Arab uprisings.

Arab World Uprisings: A Country by Country Look

This feature presents New York Times articles about the Arab World uprisings organized by country.

Arab Youth Survey

The annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey, launched in 2008, is the largest survey of its kind of the Middle East’s largest demographic: its young people.

The aim of this annual survey, now in its fifth year, is to present evidence based insights into the attitudes of Arab youth, providing public and private sector organisations with data and analysis to inform their decision making and policy formation.

Read a review of the survey here.

psu logo edited Backgrounder on Oman: Arab Spring

Background information on the Arab Spring in Oman.  Written in January, 2012

psu logo edited Backgrounder on Syria: Protests

Background information on Syrian protests.  Written in December, 2011.

Egypt Elections: Key Events Timeline In Egyptian Uprising And Transition (2011-2012)

Here are some key events from 16 months of turmoil and transition in Egypt.

Eight Lessons of the Arab Spring

Observations and future predictions about the Arab Spring.

Guide: Syrian Crisis

A guide to the crisis and flaring tensions currently in Syria.

Inside the Muslim Brotherhood

Egypt’s sleeping giant has awoken. But what path will it follow now? Here are some readings that offer insight and analysis on who the Muslim Brotherhood are — and what they want.

Middle East and North Africa in turmoil

Anti-government protests are spreading rapidly through the Middle East and North Africa. Use this chart to learn about the day by day demonstrations from 2010-2011.

Middle Eastern Music Helps Fuel Change in the Region

How music has affected change in the Arab Spring.

Once Upon a Time in Damascus

A photo essay of Damascus.

One Day in Syria

Bill Law paints a portrait of a single day in Syria, talking via the internet and phone to people across the country.

POMEPS Briefings

The Project on Middle East Political Science Briefings are a collection of articles and essays by scholars on a specific topic related to the Middle East.

Protests Across Syria

Background info on Syria and current tensions there.

Just a click away on Facebook, there’s a quiet revolution going on. The Uprising of Women in the Arab World is a space where supporters of women’s rights share their experiences and campaign for equality. Inspired by the Arab Spring protests, the collection of tweets, posts, and stories is a tiny glimpse into what life is like for women living in the Arab world, and why so many of them are fighting for change.

Revolution through Arab Eyes

A year on from the wave of protests that sparked the ‘Arab Spring’, this series of documentaries by Arab filmmakers offers a fresh insight into the uprisings that shook their countries – exploring different aspects of the revolutions from the perspectives of those who were there.

Spreading Revolution

David D. Kirkpatrick discusses the six turning points that led to revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt.

Syria Files: Learn the History, Places, and Faces Behind the Conflict

These resources created by Syria Deeply

Syria Protests: What You Need to Know (video)

A quick video breaking down the important news in Syria.

Syria Undercover (video)

Reporter Ramita Navai goes undercover for a rare look at the uprising from inside Syria. Plus a profile of the dictator who has managed to hold on longer than any amidst the Arab unrest—President Bashar al-Assad.

The Party’s Over: Post Revolution, Egyptians Struggle to Find their Future

An article discussing the aftermath of Egyptian riots in 2011.

The Women’s Movement in the Middle East

This blog posting includes an article by Juan Cole about women and the Arab Spring as well as commentary.

Tunisian Popular Uprising Puts Arab World on Edge

Info on the nascent stages of the Arab Spring in Tunisia.

Unrest in the Arab World: An Interactive Map

When Mohammed Bouazizi, a Tunisian fruit vendor, set himself on fire in December 2010, he also lit the fuse for an uprising that has spread across much of the Arab world. Click on the countries to see the roots of their unrest and where they stand today.

Why the Arab World is Seething

Egypt is not alone. Fed by the example of Tunisia, whose leader was driven from power by demonstrations last month, anger has begun to boil over, or threatens to do so, across a number of Arab countries living under authoritarian rule or, in the Palestinians’ case, in a state of intermittent conflict. While the fury has varied roots, clues to its depth are offered by snapshots of rights violations reported by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch in the region during the last year.

The Arab World in Revolution(s) (multimedia)

The Arab World in Revolution(s) wants to capture the change in Arab countries as a unique moment in history, and give Arab people a voice. This is the first time that ARTE has been involved in a long-term cross-media project, for which all ARTE program units contribute to a common effort to create an innovative platform with different linear and non-linear media outputs.

Arab Spring 2011 and Green Movement of 2009 (audio)

Interviews with Danny Postel and Nader Hashemi, co-authors of The People Reloaded: The Green Movement and the Struggle for Iran’s Future.

Arab Spring: An Interactive Timeline of Middle East Protests (text)

This interactive timeline highlights key events of the Arab Spring from December 2010-December 2011

Arab Youth: The Hopes of a Generation (audio)

Meghna Chakrabarti, Raj Desai and Khairi Abaza discuss the future the Arab Spring and the emerging opportunities for young people in the Middle East. Presented by America Abroad.

Bahrain: Shouting in the Dark (video)

This documentary from AlJazeera tells the story of the Arab revolution that was abandoned by the Arabs, forsaken by the West and forgotten by the world.

Dalia Mogahed: The attitudes that sparked Arab Spring (video)

In this TED talk, Pollster Dalia Mogahed shares surprising data on Egyptian people’s attitudes and hopes before the Arab Spring — with a special focus on the role of women in sparking change.

The Hip Hop Rhythm of the Arab Revolt (multimedia)

The Arab Spring is widely known as a Twitter rebellion, but underground hip-hop artists also played a very important role. Robin Wright, author of “Rock the Casbah: Rage and Rebellion Across the Islamic World,” talks with Jerry Seib about the phenomenon.

How Twitter and Facebook Brought Change (video)

CNN’s Piers Morgan interviews Tunisia’s Prime Minister on Egypt’s use of Twitter and Facebook in the Revolution.

In Morocco, The Arab Spring’s Mixed Bounty (multimedia)

This news story from NPR discusses Morocco’s influence and participation in the Arab spring.

In Pictures: Pressure on Syria (images)

Photos showing different parts of the revolution.

Interactive Timeline of Syrian Crisis (multimedia)

This interactive timeline of the Syrian Crisis includes articles, videos, cartoons, and images.  Created by Syria Deeply.

Month-by-Month Summary of Developments in Syria (text)

These  monthly summaries on developments in Syria were compiled and published by the International Crisis Group(ICG). Jadaliyya Reports will update this post each month as subsequent monthly summaries are issued

Overlooked and Underpaid–Arab Youth in Today’s Economy (audio)

Nearly a quarter of Arabs under 30 are jobless. Long gone are the days of a guaranteed government gig, and the private sector is far from filling the gap. At best, unemployment and flagging Arab economies lead to a generation of bored and frustrated youth. At worst, economic conditions create a breeding ground for extremism and instability. Podcast from America Abroad

Political Unrest in the Middle East and North Africa (text)

In the wake of the overthrow of the leaders of Tunisia and Egypt, here is a look at challenges facing other countries across the region.  From the New York Times

Q & A: Morocco’s Referendum on Reform (text)

This Q&A provides detailed and unique information on reform in Morocco.

Rap Songs of the Arab Spring (audio)

This NPR story features YouTube videos of musicians who have been responding to—and provoking—the protests in countries like Egypt and Tunisia. Some of these songs have played a direct role in popular uprisings, while others have helped galvanize international support. Songs are rapped in both English and Arabic, and international collaborations have helped to spread the music over the Internet, via Facebook and YouTube.

Rapper’s Imprisonment Tests Moroccan Reforms (audio)

Analyzing outside influences of music and politics.

Religious Minorities in the Middle East (audio)

This podcast explores the rights of religious minorities in the Middle East following the Arab Awakening and rise of Islamist governments, and addresses the following subjects:

Presented by America Abroad

Revolution and the New Middle East: A Talk by Mona Eltahawy (video)

Egyptian-born Mona Eltahawy activist and award-winning columnist – one of Newsweek’s “150 Women Who Shake The World” – discusses new democratic realities of the Middle East for women and young people and the Arab Spring two years on.

Revolution in Cairo: A Special Report from Frontline’s Team on the Ground (multimedia)

Watch this report from Frontline to learn about the history of the January 25 Revolution in Cairo.  Search the site for web exclusives.

The Revolution is Online (audio)

Using the recent democratic uprising in Egypt as a case study, the Arab American National Museum and Michigan Radio present The Revolution is Online: Social Media + Arab World Uprisings. This panel discussion allows the public to hear from individuals who witnessed and took part in recent events in Egypt and continue to visit the region to document events and assist in reforms.

Revolutions of 2011: Why Middle East History Matters (audio)

Professor Juan Cole lectures on historical antecedents to the recent revolutions in the Middle East. Panel discussion with Richard Chambers, Will Hanley, David A. Michelson and Juan Cole.

Roots of the Arab Spring (audio)

From Tunisia to Egypt to Yemen, youth-powered uprisings are challenging the Arab world’s ruling regimes. But even as old regimes fall and new governments stand up, the economic plight for young Arabs will take years to improve.  Podcast from America Abroad

Syria: The War Within (multimedia)

A collection of AlJazeera articles highlighting the conflict in Syria.

Under Siege: A Syrian Diary (blog)

Rafeeq (not his real name) is a resident of Homs, a city in central Syria caught in the middle of vicious fighting between pro- and anti-government forces.

In this blog hosted on AlJazeera, Rafeeq shares his diary, providing rare insights into life under siege and daily shelling. His real identity has been concealed for reasons of his saftey. Al Jazeera cannot independently verify the accounts given by him.

Understanding The Arab Spring: Public Opinion and the Roots of Revolution in the Arab World (audio)

What was distinctive about the five Arab countries – Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, Libya, and now Syria – where regimes have been overthrown or are tottering?  Why do the Gulf states seem free from the winds of change?  What are the common sentiments that have fueled protest and democratic demands across the Arab world since the start of 2011?  What has been the role of social media and satellite TV?

In this podcast, Craig Charney will offer some answers to these questions, based on a review of polls by his firm and others from across the Middle East.

Wadah Khanfar: A historic moment in the Arab world (audio)

As a democratic revolution led by tech-empowered young people sweeps the Arab world, Wadah Khanfar, the head of Al Jazeera, shares a profoundly optimistic view of what’s happening in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and beyond — at this powerful moment when people realized they could step out of their houses and ask for change.

War in Syria, from Your Middle East (text)

Estimates point at around 100,000 dead. Millions have fled their homes. The Syrian tragedy is a fact. Here you’ll find news updates and analysis on the crisis that has captured a whole world, but paralyzed the international community.

Words and Deeds–Freedom of Expression and Arab Youth (audio)

In a politically stagnant region where absolute monarchies and authoritarian regimes restrict political activity and freedom of speech, what are the alternative channels for self‐expression? How do young people participate in the political, civic, and cultural spheres? And, what are the consequences of a large youth population frustrated by life under repressive regimes?  Podcast from America Abroad

Young and Restless: Youth Identity in the Arab World (audio)

The Arab world has the largest youth bulge on the planet. Millions of young people are living in a pressure cooker of social, political, tribal, and religious forces. In this podcast, America Abroad visits Jordan and Egypt and speak with young Arabs in America about their struggles with identity, and how globalization, Islam, and a turbulent region are shaping how they look at themselves, and the world.

psu logo edited  Lessons from the Middle East Studies Center Summer Institute 2013: The Arab Uprisings

Participants in the 2013 Summer Institute developed the following lessons.  They can be taught as a full unit in the order below, or as individual lessons:

Arab Spring Fact Sheet

Fact sheet with background info about countries involved in the Arab Spring.

psu logo edited Comparing Access & Control of Social Media in Syria & Egypt 2011-2013

In this lesson, students deeper understanding of the impact of the Arab Uprisings, specifically in Egypt and Syria  and their  use of digital media and the government’s use of digital media to counteract the uprising.

This lesson was created by Anthony Long, Jeffrey Brown, and Deborah Johnston for the Middle East Studies Center 2013 Summer Institute: The Arab Uprisings

Debating the U.S. Response to Syria

In this lesson by the Choices Program, students will explore, debate, and evaluate multiple perspectives on U.S. policy towards Syria through a role-play activity.

Digital Media as a Social Engagement Tool relies heavily on media to deliver its messages and get citizens involved. This presents an interesting opportunity to explore the role of modern media in political/social justice activism. In this lesson, students will analyze the use of the internet as an organizing tool by and evaluate its impact on the election process in Egypt. In addition, they will evaluate the savvy, resources, skills and support needed to develop effective media outreach. Students will also explore social networking and video as empowerment tools.

psu logo edited The Experience of the Egyptian Revolution

This 4 day unit aims to put a human face on the Egyptian Revolution and provide students with both a historical account of the Revolution as well as personal accounts of it.

psu logo edited  Freedom of Speech and the Arab Uprisings

This lesson was created by Jacqueline Pope and Tammy Hodgson at the Middle East Studies Center Summer Institute 2013: The Arab Uprisings.  This lesson could be used in the US History classroom in the unit about the Bill of Rights or in the World History classroom in a unit about the Arab Uprisings

Graffiti in Egypt’s Revolution

This lesson from the Choices Program asks students to assess the role of graffiti in political protest and uses a short video to analyze the relevance of graffiti during the Egyptian revolution.


psu logo edited Hip Hop and the Arab Uprisings: Resources for Teachers

This resources includes the English lyrics to six hip hop songs produced during the Arab Uprisings, along with information about the artists, discussion questions, and  links to relevant music videos.

For an introduction to the material and information about hip hop and the Arab Uprisings, click here.  

For lyrics to the songs and information about the artists, click below:

How Should the United States Respond to the Demonstrations in the Middle East? Background, Activities and Critical Analysis

In this lesson, students will look at the ongoing situation in the Middle East with several countries experiencing demonstrations demanding more political freedom and economic opportunity. They will develop foreign policy briefing presentations on key Middle East countries providing recommendations on the best course of action for the United States.

I am Syria: Teaching about Syria

Teaching materials and lesson plans for teaching about Syria, the current conflict and anti-violence activism.

Lesson Plan: Revolution in Tunisia

Lesson plan for teaching the about the Tunisian role in the Arab Spring.

psu logo edited Mapping Middle East & Northern Africa Countries

This lesson serves to introduce students to the physical and political background of the Middle East and North Africa.  This lesson can stand alone or be used as a first lesson in a unit about the region

Developed by Karen Brush and Gloria Pagan as a part of the Middle East Studies Center 2013 Summer Institute: The Arab Uprisings


psu logo edited Micro-teach the Arab Uprisings

Students will learn about the history and current state of the region individually from the first chapter of The Arab Uprisings: What Everyone Needs to Know, by James Gelvin.  Students will then research and teach one national cluster (of the four national clusters that Gelvin defines) of the Arab Uprising to the other three members of their group.  Students will learn about the other three national clusters from the other three members of their group.

This lesson was developed by Jeremy Reinholt for the Middle East Studies Center 2013 Summer Institute: The Arab Uprisings

Morocco’s King Proposes Constitutional Reforms

This lesson gives ideas for discussing current political reforms in Morocco.

psu logo edited Music and the Arab Spring

The occupied Palestinian territories have not taken part in the waves of unrest that marked the Arab Spring in other parts of the Middle East. Nonetheless, the music of Palestinian Hip Hop artist DAM, produced several years ago, provides one window into the feelings of frustration that many Arabs—Palestinian and otherwise—have felt even before the Arab spring.  In fact, it is this emotional state that I think many American students find difficult to understand: what does it feel like to live in an oppressive political system that seems like it will never change?  Post-Arab spring songs, by contrast, express some of the ebullience and pride that came with proving that change, indeed, was possible.

psu logo edited Musical Meaning in the Arab Uprisings

This lesson explores the role of music in the Arab Uprisings.

This lesson was developed by Oliver Brown and Allison Rayburn for the Middle East Studies Center Summer Institute 2013: The Arab Uprisings

People, Power, and Pedagogies of Protest

A resource packet with a five lesson-unit and media reference list for educators and high school and college level students on understanding recent events unfolding in the Middle East and North Africa.

psu logo edited Rebels By Accident

This resources has reading assignments, discussion questions, and essay questions about the book Rebel by Accident, by Patricia Dunn.

Revolt! Comparing Historical Revolutions

In this lesson, students work together to define revolution and engage in research to help them create infographics that represent various historical revolutions around the world.

psu logo edited Roots of Revolution

by Kwen Peterson (Arab Spring-6th grade-History). In this lesson, students consider what causes a revolution by looking at revolutions through history and comparing them to 2010-2011 Arab Spring uprisings.

Social Media and Non-Violent Protest 

This lesson reviews the impact of social media on the 2011 revolution in Egypt and Tunisia.

Materials produced by Greg Timmons for PBS News Hour Extra.

Syria Protests Getting Bigger

ESL / EFL Lesson Plan on the Protests in Syria.

Syria’s Role in the Middle East

This lesson will help students understand the role Syria has played in Middle East politics over the past century and how now it might be at a crossroads of fulfilling it’s goals for a pan-Arab state and preserving its very survival. By developing a timeline on Syrian history and examining historical maps, students will gain an understanding of how Syria has had to adjust to outside influence and pressure against its goals.

Tawakkol Karman: An Exploration with Primary Sources

Tawakkol Karman, a Yemeni political activist and journalist, was awarded the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize for her role in the nonviolent uprising against the autocratic rule of Yemen’s long-time president Ali Abdullah Saleh. Karman, known as the “Mother of the Revolution” in Yemen, was the first Arab woman, the first Yemeni, the second Muslim woman, and the youngest Nobel Laureate to date at 32.  In this lesson plan, created by Primary Source, students read and analyze Tawakkol Karman’s Nobel Lecture.

Teaching With the News: After Mubarak

This lesson helps students consider the implications of a leadership change in Egypt on the protests for democracy throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

Teaching With the News: Arab Spring: One Year On

This lesson teaches students about various Arab Spring protest movements.

Teaching With the News: Egypt’s Uprising

This lesson introduces students to the protests in Egypt, helps them consider the role of the media, and asks them to analyze the role of the United States in Egyptian politics.

Teaching With the News: Protests, Revolutions, and Democratic Change

This lesson helps students analyze the potential effects of the protests on democracy and stability in the Middle East and North Africa.

Teaching With the News: The Arab Spring and the Death of Osama bin Laden

In this “Teaching with the News” lesson from The Choices Program, students will consider the impact of Osama bin Laden’s death on different groups of people, juxtapose the ideas of Osama bin Laden and the Arab Spring, and discuss the status and future of U.S. counterterrorism policy.

Teaching with the News: The Conflict in Syria

Students work in groups to research the perspectives of a variety of domestic and international actors on the conflict in Syria, understand the effects of the conflict and the possible risks of escalation, and consider the challenges facing the international community as it weighs its response to the conflict.

The Basics: Understanding the Upheaval in the Middle East

In this lesson, students find out basic information about the upheaval that has spread across the Arab world so that they can understand the background and the events and continue to follow the events as informed news consumers.

The Egyptian Revolution: An Interactive Timeline

The revolution that began in Egypt on January 25, 2011 continues to this day. Over the past three years, governments have come and gone. In public meeting spaces and universities, and on graffiti-marked walls, Egyptians continue to voice protest to a political system that has yet to achieve democracy. Using an interactive timeline with videos, images, and text, students explore the Egyptian Revolution from 2011 to today.

In this lesson from the Choices Program, students will:

  • Review a timeline of events in Egypt over the past three years.
  • Identify core themes of Egyptian protest movements.
  • Work collaboratively with classmates.

Using “Tunisian Popular Uprising Puts Arab World on Edge” in the Classroom

How to use the Tunisian Popular Uprising Puts Arab World on Edge article as a teaching resource.

Ways to Teach about the Unrest in Egypt

This resource provides different methods and techniques for teaching about the unrest in Egypt.

psu logo edited Who cares if you vote? And who cares if you don’t vote?

In this lesson, students understand that the way electoral systems are implemented in a country affect the citizens of that country by comparing/contrasting with the U.S. electoral system

This lesson was created by Martha Kemple and Julie Johnson for the Middle East Studies Center 2013 Summer Institute: The Arab Uprisings