What’s behind the wave of Middle East protests?
You might remember the uprisings in the Middle East in 2011. As dictators were toppled hundreds of thousands of protesters called for change, for freedom and a new start. Their high hopes came to very little and the region lurched back towards war and repression.
But the grievances that drove the 2011 uprisings – the so-called Arab Spring – never went away. 2019 might be the year it started again. Already protests have forced the resignations of two Prime Ministers – in Lebanon and Iraq.
Since October there have been big, mainly peaceful protests in Lebanon and extremely bloody ones in Iraq. And in Iran, hundreds have been shot dead at protests in the last few weeks.