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Protests Spreading To Syria, Jordan And Beyond

Staff Reporters |
February 2, 2011 | 4:47 p.m. PST

Egypt's protests are spreading
Egypt's protests are spreading

As Egypt's protests continue to rage, the unrest is spreading to its neighbors, with demonstrations planned in Yemen, Jordan, Syria and Saudi Arabia in the next 48 hours.

"The protests are a rare outpouring of pent-up frustration and anger at discrimination and failed economic and social policies as well as corruption in a region that is governed by authoritarian governments intolerant of public criticism," the World Politics Review writes.

  • Syrians are using Facebook to organize a "Day of Rage" in Damascus on February 4 and 5. The goal will be to “end the state of emergency in Syria and end corruption,” as the country has also seen also seen high prices for food and oil, All Voices reports.

David Knowles of AOL News writes, "In anticipation of what might be a repeat of the unrest seen in Egypt and Tunisia, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad signaled that he understood the need for change."


  • In the island kingdom in Bahrain, the government may be in for a Valentine's Day surprise: Shiite opposition groups have called "for protests on February 14 to demand greater political freedom, an end to human rights abuses, improved economic opportunities."


  • In Yemen, protests against President Ali Abdullah Saleh "are threatening to undermine a U.S.-supported crackdown against al-Qaeda in Saudi Arabia’s impoverished neighbor," Businessweek reports.

"Saleh yesterday followed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in caving into street protests and vowing not to seek re- election. With a demonstration set for today, Saleh’s loosening grip on power may make it harder to fight the terrorist group that tried to bomb a Detroit-bound plane on Christmas Day 2009."


  • In Jordan, a powerful Islamist party "said it plans to organize new mass protests on Friday to mark its opposition to the appointment of a new prime minister."

The Jordan Times reports: "The Islamic Action Front (IAF) and the leftist Popular Unity Party said yesterday they were proceeding with a plan to organise peaceful rallies in several parts of the Kingdom calling for sweeping reforms in Jordan. Meanwhile, the coalition voted in favour of 'postponing popular action” following the appointment of Marouf Bakhit as prime minister.'"

Jordan has installed a new leader, but the move won't help the situation much: "This has created a shock which will backfire more than help the current situation," the BBC reports.

Arab rulers have not all been receptive to change - The Week has an interesting rundown of how the other state heads are reacting.

Fire Dog Lake says the protests, which have also spanned other far-reaching Arab lands like Sudan, Lebanon and Algeria, is more of a "Pan-Arab uprising":

"From the United States’ perspective, it forces policymakers to think about how to properly deal with an entire region seeking to pull off the shackles of monarchies and authoritarian dictatorships, not one rogue protest movement in one country or another."



Craig Gillespie directed this true story about "the most daring rescue mission in the history of the U.S. Coast Guard.”

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