Arab Winter

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Arab Winter
Char Etat islamique Raqqa.jpg
ISIL fighters in the Syrian civil war
Date2012/2014–present
Caused by
Goals
Methods
Resulted in

The Arab Winter[1][2][3][4][5] is a term for the resurgence of authoritarianism and Islamic extremism[6] evolving in the aftermath of the Arab Spring protests in Arab countries.[7] The term "Arab Winter" refers to the events across Arab League countries in the Middle East and North Africa, including the Syrian civil war,[8][9] the Iraqi insurgency and the subsequent War in Iraq,[10] the Egyptian Crisis,[11] the First Libyan Civil War and the subsequent Second Libyan Civil War, and the Yemeni Civil War.[12] Events referred to as the Arab Winter include those in Egypt that led to the removal of Mohamed Morsi and the seizure of power by General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in the 2013 Egyptian coup d'état.[13]

The term was first coined by Chinese political scientist Zhang Weiwei during a debate with American political scientist Francis Fukuyama in June 2011. Fukuyama believed the Arab Spring movement would inevitably spread to China, while Zhang predicted it will soon turn into an Arab Winter.[14][15]

According to scholars of the University of Warsaw, the Arab Spring fully devolved into the Arab Winter four years after its onset, in 2014.[16] The Arab Winter is characterized by the emergence of multiple regional wars, mounting regional instability,[17] economic and demographic decline of Arab countries,[18] and ethno-religious sectarian strife.[19] According to a study by the American University of Beirut, by the summer of 2014, the Arab Winter had resulted in nearly a quarter of a million deaths and millions of refugees.[20] Perhaps the most significant event in the Arab Winter was the rise of the extremist group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which controlled swathes of land in the region from 2014 to 2019.[21]

In 2021, multiple armed conflicts are still continuing that might be seen as a result of the Arab Spring. The Syrian civil war has caused massive political instability and economic hardship in Syria, with the Syrian currency plunging to new lows.[22]

In Yemen, a civil war and subsequent intervention by Saudi Arabia continues to affect the country.[23] In Lebanon, a major banking crisis is threatening the economy of neighboring Syria.

Definition[edit]

Geography[edit]

The term "Arab Winter" refers to the events across Arab League countries in the Middle East and North Africa, including the Syrian civil war,[8][9] the Iraqi insurgency and the subsequent War in Iraq,[10] the Egyptian Crisis,[11] the First Libyan Civil War and the subsequent Second Libyan Civil War, and the Yemeni Civil War.[12] Events referred to as the Arab Winter include those in Egypt that led to the removal of Mohamed Morsi and the seizure of power by General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in the 2013 Egyptian coup d'état.[13] Political developments, particularly the restoration of authoritarianism and suppression of civil liberties in Egypt since July 3, 2013, have been described as constituting a "military winter" that functioned in opposition to the goals of the Arab Spring.[24][25] Various militias and tribes have started fighting in Libya after a breakdown in negotiations.[26] The arenas of Lebanon and Bahrain were also identified as areas of the Arab Winter.[18] Libya was named as a scene of the Arab Winter, together with Syria, by Professor Sean Yom.[26] The Northern Mali conflict was often described as part of the "Islamist Winter".[27] Political changes which occurred in Tunisia, involving a change in government, as well as an ISIL insurgency, were also indicated by some as a possible "heading towards Arab Winter".[13][clarification needed]

Beginning date[edit]

The Arab Winter term began circulating in the media in late 2012 and getting popular since then, referring to the deterioration of many Arab Spring conflicts into prolonging and escalating events of sectarian strife and armed violence. In its December 2012 publication, The Telegraph referred to the year 2012 as the year of Arab Winter.[1]

According to scholars of the University of Warsaw, the Arab Spring fully devolved into the Arab Winter four years after its onset.[16] This view was also supported by Prof. James Y. Simms Jr. in his 2017 opinion article for the Richmond Times.[28] In early 2016, The Economist marked the situation across Arab world countries as "worse than ever", marking it as the ongoing Arab Winter.[29]

Impact[edit]

Economic impact[edit]

According to the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies, as of January 2014, the cost of Arab Winter upheaval across the Arab World was some $800 billion USD.[18] Some 16 million people in Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan and Lebanon were expected to require humanitarian assistance in 2014.[18]

According to The Economist, Malta has "benefited" from the Arab Winter, as tourists who might otherwise be in Egypt or Tunisia opt for a safer alternative.[30]

Casualties[edit]

According to a study by the American University of Beirut, as of the summer of 2014, the Arab Winter had resulted in nearly a quarter of a million deaths and millions of refugees.[20]

Political columnist and commentator George Will reported that as of early 2017, over 30,000 lives had been lost in Libya, 220,000–320,000 had been killed in Syria and 4 million refugees had been produced by the Syrian Civil War alone.[28]

The Arab Winter is still ongoing as of 2021. Casualties per crisis include:

Migrant crisis[edit]

Syrian refugee camp on the Turkish border for displaced people of the Syrian Civil War (2012)

The political turmoil and violence in the Middle East and North Africa resulted in massive population displacement in the region.[31] As a result, "boat people", which was once commonly referred to Vietnamese boat people, became frequently used, including internally displaced persons and asylum-seekers and refugees who had previously been residing in Libya, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon, have headed towards the European Union.[32] The attempts by some Libyans, Syrians and Tunisians to seek safety from the violence by crossing the Mediterranean sea have triggered fears among European politicians and populations of arrivals that might "flood" their shores. This has spurred a flurry of legislative activity and patrolling of the waters to manage arrivals.[32]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Spencer, Richard (December 31, 2012). "Middle East review of 2012: the Arab Winter". The Telegraph. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
  2. ^ "Analysis: Arab Winter is coming to Baghdad". The Telegraph. The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
  3. ^ "Expert Warns of America's Coming 'Arab Winter'". CBN. September 8, 2014. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
  4. ^ "The Arab Winter". The New Yorker. December 28, 2011. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
  5. ^ "Arab Spring or Arab Winter?". The New Yorker. Retrieved October 8, 2014.
  6. ^ Yun Ru Phua. "After Every Winter Comes Spring: Tunisia's Democratic Flowering – Berkeley Political Review". Bpr.berkeley.edu. Retrieved February 11, 2017.
  7. ^ Ahmed H Adam and Ashley D Robinson. Will the Arab Winter spring again in Sudan?. Al-Jazeera. 11 June 2016. [1] "The Arab Spring that swept across the Middle East and succeeded in overthrowing three dictatorships in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya in 2011 was a pivotal point in the history of nations. Despite the subsequent descent into the "Arab Winter", the peaceful protests of young people were heroic..."
  8. ^ a b Karber, Phil (June 18, 2012). Fear and Faith in Paradise. ISBN 978-1-4422-1479-8. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  9. ^ a b "Arab Winter". America Staging. December 28, 2012. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  10. ^ a b "Analysis: Arab Winter is coming to Baghdad". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  11. ^ a b "Egypt and Tunisia's new 'Arab winter'". Euro news. February 8, 2013. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  12. ^ a b "Yemen's Arab winter". Middle East Eye. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  13. ^ a b c "Egypt & Tunisia's new Arab winter", Euro news, February 8, 2013
  14. ^ Zhang, Weiwei (2012). The China Wave: Rise of a Civilizational State. World Century Publishing Corporation. p. 158. ISBN 9781938134012. My observation of the Middle East has led me to conclude that, while many in the West cheer the Arab Spring, one shouldn’t be too optimistic. I hope the region will do well, but it will be difficult, and the Arab Spring today may well turn into an Arab Winter in a not-too-distant future with the American interest undermined.
  15. ^ Fukuyama, Francis; Weiwei, Zhang (2011). "The China Model: A Dialogue between Francis Fukuyama and Zhang Weiwei". New Perspectives Quarterly. 28 (4): 40–67. doi:10.1111/j.1540-5842.2011.01287.x. ISSN 1540-5842.
  16. ^ a b Radoslaw Fiedler, Przemyslaw Osiewicz. Transformation processes in Egypt after 2011. 2015. p182.
  17. ^ "From Egypt to Syria, this could be the start of the Arab Winter". The Conversation. April 17, 2014. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  18. ^ a b c d Rivlin, P (January 2014), Iqtisadi (PDF), Dayan Research Center, archived from the original (PDF) on October 23, 2014, retrieved October 18, 2014
  19. ^ Malmvig, Lassen (2013), Arab uprisings: regional implication (PDF), IEMED
  20. ^ a b "Displacement in the Middle East and North Africa – between the Arab Winter and the Arab Spring" (PDF), International Affairs, LB, August 28, 2013, archived from the original (PDF) on October 18, 2014, retrieved October 18, 2014
  21. ^ "Analysis: Arab Winter is coming to Baghdad - Middle East - Jerusalem Post".
  22. ^ https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jun/12/us-caesar-act-sanctions-and-could-devastate-syrias-flatlining-economy US ‘Caesar Act' sanctions could devastate Syria’s flatlining economy. Critics say legislation is being used for US strategy and could cause further problems for country and wider region. Martin Chulov, The Guardian, June 12, 2020.
  23. ^ Yemen’s Government demands UN action regards Houthi violation of deal ,Yemen’s government has demanded UN action against Iran-backed Houthi militants for violating the Hodeidah deal, state news agency Saba New reported.Yemen’s Economic Council – a state advisory body composed of cabinet members – said the militants looted the central bank in Hodeidah city and were delaying the fuel and food that arrive at the Hodeidah port.The looted funds were supposed to be used to pay salaries of public workers, who have not received payments for months, according to the report.This money will now “feed the militia’s pointless war,” the council said.On Wednesday, Yemen’s Information Minister Muammar Al-Eryani said Houthis are looting and extorting the private healthcare sector.
  24. ^ Hayden, Tom (July 5, 2013). "The Coup in Egypt: An Arab Winter?". The Nation. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
  25. ^ Jones, Sophia (January 21, 2014). "In Egypt, Arab Spring Gives Way To Military Winter". The World Post. The Huffington Post. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
  26. ^ a b "Lecture Explores Past and Future Arab Spring". The Daily Gazette. October 10, 2014. Retrieved October 19, 2014.
  27. ^ "In Mali AQ achieved to infiltrate and take over Tuareg insurgency. If AQ succeeds to keep the Arab Spring countries destabilized, this will lead to a viral reproduction of Azawad scenario. AQ is the "Islamic Winter"." [2]
  28. ^ a b James Y. Simms, Jr. "Arab Spring to Arab Winter: a predictable debacle in the Middle East". richmond.com. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  29. ^ "The Arab winter". The Economist. January 9, 2016. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  30. ^ "High wall, narrow sea". The Economist. November 14, 2015. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  31. ^ “Displacement in the Middle East and North Africa: Between an Arab Winter and the Arab Spring”. "In the midst of ongoing uprisings, violence, and political turmoil, widespread population displacement took place as a result of the conflict in Libya, the violence in Syria and upheaval in Yemen. In each of these contexts, the new waves of displacement took place in or to areas already struggling with previous waves, leading to multi-layered and complex crises."[3] Archived October 9, 2017, at the Wayback Machine
  32. ^ a b Khallaf, Shaden (August 2013). "Displacement in the Middle East and North Africa: Between an Arab Winter and the Arab Spring" (PDF). Working Paper Series (17). Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, American University of Beirut. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 9, 2017. Retrieved November 26, 2015. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)

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