Everything’s Broken

by Richard (Rick) Mills
Ahead of the Herd

The Arab Spring refers to a series of anti-government protests, uprisings and armed rebellions that spread across much of the Arab world in the early 2010s. Largely a response to corruption and economic stagnation, the Arab Spring started over a shortage of bread.

When grain prices spiked in 2007, bread prices in Egypt rose 37%. Chronic unemployment meant more people depended on subsidized bread, but the government didn’t make any more available. This led to social unrest that eventually unseated Egyptian President Mubarek.

The Tunisian uprising started in more dramatic fashion, when a young man running a vegetable stand set himself on fire to protest corruption. Many believe his act of self-immolation was the start of the Arab Spring.

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