Increasing discontent across the Arab world boiled over in early 2011, resulting in a series of uprisings and conflicts across the region against the existing structures of government. The Arab Spring started in Sidi Bouzid, Tunisia, after a street vendor named Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire on 17 December, in protest against abuses of power by local police. The outcry that followed Bouazizi’s death quickly escalated and resulted in the overthrow of long-standing president Ben Ali. Inspired by the events in Tunisia, protests soon erupted in other countries across the Arab world in January and February 2011. Efforts to stop the protests demonstrated varying degrees of severity, with harsh crackdowns against protestors in Syria deteriorating into a brutal civil war. The beginnings of a regime change led to eventual civil war in Libya, whilst other countries such as Egypt experienced violence and subsequent political upheaval, events that became characterized as the Arab Winter.
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