The Arab Spring started in late 2010, with a self-immolation, an act of killing oneself as a sacrifice, in a town called Sidi Bouzid, which created a mass anti-government protest. A Tunisian boy, Mohamed Bouazizi, self-immolated himself because the government withdraws his license, for selling fruits. The president at that time, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, was not able to control this situation, so he was forced to flee this position in January 2011, after being on power for 23 years.
His downfall inspired similar uprisings across the country. The causes of the Arab Awakening were long-term causes. For many decades, the Arab population was facing signs of human right abuses, corruption, and economic mismanagement. These uprising powers have affected Egypt’s economic life, mostly tourism. In the early 2010 tourism was at its peak, but after the revolution, the number decreased by almost 28%, and since then it is still decreasing at a slow range. According to the “UN Development Program”, the population in Arab countries more than doubled between 1975 and 2005 to 314 million.
In Egypt, two-thirds of the population is under 30. This further suggests, that in 2010 there were 57.000.000 people under the age 30. This means, that most of the rivals who started the anti-government protest, were around this age.
The first protest was announced on a social media platform, who was able to get tens of thousands of people in a few days. As Simon Constable stated, “The social media proved a powerful mobilization tool that helped the activists to outwit the police.” Furthermore, this shows how Facebook is not able to keep track of what is going on, on their online communicational page. On the other hand, since then the security of this page, has been constantly improving, which could be the result of the action in 2010. All the affects, both short and long-term, on Egypt have been negative. The main focus though is on economics, mostly tourism.
“The constant protests and political uprisings gave way to a reduction in tourism, an industry long considered a significant economic lifeline to Egypt.” (Ashley Fantz, CNN) As stated, tourism is one of the leading sources of income, crucial to Egypts economics. Tourism was at its peak during 2010, with a number of 14.7 million people per year, making an income for the government of 12.
5 billion dollars. As the Arab Spring ended, statistics has shown that tourism is decreasing at a high range. Furthermore, due to this, the unemployment rate has increased by almost 4.5%, from 9.4 to 13.6.
Egypt has faced a big money inflation, which is because there was a rapid expansion of money supply over the past few years, because of the uprising powers . As already mentioned, tourism used to be one of the biggest incomes. A big amount of money was coming in from the suez canal, which is a artificial sea-level waterway which connects the Mediterranean and the Red Sea through the Isthmus of Suez. According to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi Egypt has spent, 8 billion dollars on the expansion of the canal, in the hope that it would double the daily traffic and increase the yearly income, to around 13 billion dollars by 2023.