A Brief History of People Power

Jasmine Revolution, Tunisia 2010-11
Christophe Ena / AP

The Jasmine Revolution, Tunisia, 2011
On Dec. 17, 2010, an unemployed college graduate set himself on fire in a central Tunisian town as an act of protest against his lack of opportunities in the country. He later succumbed to his injuries, but his death would not be in vain, sparking weeks of protests that eventually forced Tunisia's longtime ruler, President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, to resign his post and flee the country on Jan. 14, 2011. The demonstrations began largely in response to economic concerns but channeled widespread anger in the country at the Ben Ali regime's alleged corruption. Though it remains unclear how much change this dramatic act of people power will bring about, some commentators have hailed the events in Tunisia as a forerunner to greater democratic reform in the Arab world.

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