The Arab Awakening

The Arab Awakening

Ratings: 6.11/10 from 19 users.

The Arab AwakeningAs revolution shakes the Arab world, a series of films explore the roots of the uprisings and ask what next?

The Arab Spring began in 2010 ushering in an era of revolution and protest. Revolution has shaken the Arab world for a year, as protesters, many armed only with smartphones, stared down heavily armed riot police and rattled the Middle East and North Africa.

During the early days of Egypt’s revolution, the once-powerful and much-feared interior minister, Habib al-Adly, reportedly dismissed Cairo’s protesters as a bunch of incognizant, ineffective young people. It was, perhaps, the most erroneous assessment of the entire Arab Spring.

The seeds of Libya’s uprising were planted 15 years ago when stories of cold-blooded murder began to seep from the nation’s most notorious prison. Through the eyes of a Libyan-born filmmaker, we investigate the dark stories emerging from a country fast unravelling into civil war.

Rageh Omaar examines how the death of a penniless fruit seller in Tunisia first ignited mass revolt in the country, led to the overthrow of its president and effects far beyond its borders.

Hamza al-Khateeb, a chubby 13-year-old, disappeared April 29. After being held for a month, allegedly by the anti-terrorism branch of Syria’s Air Force, his badly mutilated corpse was returned to his family.

About 50 people have died during clashes between protesters and security forces as the government refuses to budge on demands for democratic reforms. At the start, there was reason to believe Bahrain would be the next to sweep aside its powerful leaders.

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38 Comments / User Reviews

  1. callguy123

    I think the main focus and point of those who created this documentary is people, civilians have more power to overthrow their government rather than the government taking control of its citizens. And this isn't new news, it happens everywhere around the world. And it goes beyond history, such countries as France and parts of Europe. I think Greece would soon upstage one anytime soon...

  2. Sherman Monro

    This documentary was a poorly scripted, filmed, and directed and showed the western involvement in Arab uprising. It’s always the case, tyrant out, tyrant in --- but in different form and outfit! Look at Iran, Shah was kicked out and Mullah was brought in. Even Assad is (was) backed by Russia. So, the problem is, these dictators are all created and backed up by developed countries for economic reasons, which means the whole world’s economic is screwed up because it’s based on plundering other fellow man; rather than coexistence, collaboration and sharing the resources and finding the sustainable solutions on this planet, and in peace. Despots are either bought or extorted or a combination of both and kept in power. When they become less popular and don’t serve the Mastermind’s interest any more, they are replaced by another puppet … and the show goes on … and on … and on.

    Man needs psychotherapy and a complete overhaul to overcome GREED.

    Libyan people wanted to get rid of a dictator and the western stakeholder(s) facilitated the process but to what price?! Do we hear any news about rebuilding infrastructure projects in Iraq or Afghanistan? No, because Almaleki and Karzai are puppets in place for safe keeping of our interests in these countries. Meanwhile, the puppets become richer and more powerful every day until the next plan by the Mastermind! e.g. Gaddafi and Libya, Karzai in Afghanistan.

    It’s so frustrating if Libyans have to suffer from another dictator after years of oppression by Gaddafi, and after so many victims of this so called “uprising.”

    Last word, I think Arab Spring was a phenomenon, which was not totally spontaneous but partially induced.

    1. Guest

      Well said...

  3. taxfatcats

    It's obscene to call people protesting the torture they have endured for years, an "awakening" - more a dirge - we all share in the kleptocrat's global coup.

  4. Another21stCenturySlave

    who is this guy narrating this documentary, is he supposed to be arabian? he sounds like hes english putting on some phoney accent...something to be considered..or is it american ..maybe rupert murdoch bought over the al jezeera network

  5. WTC7

    Watching CNN, BBC or Al Jazeera nowadays is increasingly becoming like watching one and the same TV news channel... I have recently turned to RT altogether - an agenda there too, but at least a different one and offers an alternative in terms of perspective from which global events are looked at

  6. fonbindelhofas

    been reading alot about "Arab Spring" lately, first this doc inspired me, but now i dont even know what to think about this anymore... and aljazeera become so pro western propoganda chanel... can it be that all those people sacrificed in vain? from one tyrony to another. realy makes me sad

    1. Ben Archie

      Al Jazeera is not a pro western propaganda channel as you put it... they are a sunni channel therefore anti shiite... the arab srping predominantly shiite

    2. fonbindelhofas

      makes sence

    3. musbcrazy

      theyre pro-west alright, thinkin otherwise exposes your naive world view. how do you think the saud family, emir of qatar and the bahrain monarchy maintain power? through western import of arms and totalitarian governence.

      you really should do your homework, i suggest you start with ww1 and the sykes-pecot agreement to see how the middle east was diveed up between my nation britain and the french. the goal was to dismantle the otterman empire and gain control of the regions. syria and lebanon went to france and saudi arabia and other countries went to britain. this is where establishing the state of israel really became, they provided a protection of the suez canal, the gem linkin india to the west. a letter from a uk citizen to none other than lord rothchild approving of migration of european jews to palestine was later sited in the balfour declaration as some kind of official uk law, in reality it was nothin more than a private letter.

      the same strategy was applied in ww2, where the chaos was carefully created and controlled as to ensure the order the west desired. a second rewriting of the ME map. this time many other players were present, the italians, the us, greece all of who recieved their spoils for their part played.

      sadly the same plan is at play today, the arab uprising although i totally agree that the people should take power from dictators the external forces at play within the arab spring are not waiting by the side lines to ensure the people get what they fought for. to the contrary, whether it be destabilisation or preventing progess recently seen in libya once the west achieves its set goals it leaves the people affected to fester in the aftermath. i seriously recommend you look into libya, both the lies of the west and NATOS true involvement and the state of affairs in libya today....its not pretty.

      or as we see today in Syria, a genuine peoples call for democratic change, which by the way was being addressed with reform was hijacked with the goal of not allowing protests to end but instead to escalate the situation to a violent sectarian divide. some say the goal of the west and the gulf arab states is to enable regime change, sadly my belief is that the plan is way more sinister and is a long term operation to achieve a more complex geo-political aim of the weakening of the arab nations remaining opposed to the west and zionist agendas and to consequently then weaken the influence of the persian iranian state and enemies of israel hamas and hezbollah and ofcourse palestinian resistance.

      all of which serve the interests of the west and israel fundamentally so to call al jazeera not pro-west seems a particularly redundant statement.

    4. 31jetjet

      How will the Arab world become peaceful if Shiite and Sunni cannot get along?

  7. Dante Robertson

    i guess democracy is an better way to get our sticky western hands on mid east oil than going to war for it p.s. israel is never going to rule over the middle east the u.s. gov't must know this

  8. anuragawasthi

    Foolish Arabs do not understand the great US plan..............USA will tweak their valance sheet with help of these US puppets(also called as democracy) and will enslave them for generations

  9. dmxi

    i have difficulties of perceiving this revolution for what it is.....incited,as chavez has endured (there is a well documented film on this site,which i truly recommend!!!),due to external interference or a true desire for self management & citizien (genderless!) equality with a secular focus ?

    1. dmxi

      but nonetheless,they will end there, where we are trying to get out of!?
      it begins with democracy & turns into co-operatism...the ba.tard son of globalism(which was actually the sperm of.......)

    2. Irishkev

      That is the question.

    3. dmxi

      regarding actual news footage,it's nearly always handy filmed & badly panned to give the impression of massive upheavel.i know that media is surpressed there which explains the bad visible pictures but western media never used to use bad material to make news headlines (or propaganda!?)!these news coverage tactics have been used before for political interference's by ''you know who'' which should make everyone skeptic !

    4. Jack1952

      Better to have no footage than poor quality footage. Better yet, lets not cover it at all. It's only propaganda if it is covered, anyway. Let them kill each other. They're only Libyans. Why should the rest of us care?

    5. Jack1952

      @ dmxi

      I was being facetious. It would seem that if news coverage in Libya is suppressed and any coverage is poor quality then the uprising is suspect and grist for the American propaganda machine. If the uprising does grow into a full fledged rebellion it is due to American machinations and the influence of the American propaganda machine. It always goes back to the same source. The people of Libya can never be given credit for their heroic attempt to rid themselves of a despotic ruler. Those who were unfortunately killed in the struggle, died so Western corporations could, as another poster so succinctly wrote, sell them hamburgers and chocolate bars. The Libyan rebels do not have the capacity or the will to fight on their own behalf. Some one has to show them how or why and goad them into it. I would like to believe that the Libyans can and do fight for their own reasons and don't need outsiders telling them how to feel or react to an autocratic ruler.

  10. Connie Buckley Smith

    Correction: We're damned if WE do and damned if WE don't!

  11. Geoffrey de Geoffrey

    Good to watch but my stomic turned around sometimes, While watching this around dinnertime

  12. davy11

    i enjoyed this, well worth a watch. syria will be next me think. hopefully

  13. Connie Buckley Smith

    Really! Facebook, Twitter and the Internet had nothing to do with the so called success of the revolution. Some people, and we all know who they are, hate to give the US or their citizens credit for anything. But when they are in desperate need of help, as is the case in Syria, who do they plead to. We're damned if you do and damned if we don't.

    1. fonbindelhofas

      realy? so its all facebook job? how about phones they used? nokia... so nokia did the revoliution? and the shoes they used for marching? must be its nike did the revoliution? and the cars and the oil... so u just MUST be in a midle of everything and take credit for other people victories and sacrificeses? no my dear friend its not the facebook, its THE PEOPLE!

    2. Irishkev

      Yeah, where would those Iraqis be now if not for the US, and the Afghanis? And I'll bet those Libyans can't wait for Uncle Sam to arrive, bearing Mc Vomits, Hershey bars and freedom for all. Providing they are still alive to enjoy it.

    3. Jack1952

      Those people are dying for a Mc Vomit. It is the dream of freedom for the oppressed everywhere.

  14. Epicurus

    that was excellent. good watch.

    1. Guest

      That's what i needed to watch it...thanks

  15. globalunitea

    20 minutes is all I can tolerate. I have followed the protests closely, one of my closest friends is an Egyptian, living in Egypt. There are so many stories to be told of politics, money, fear, frustration, courage, murder, love, compassion, torture, generosity, oppression, victory and instead we're looking at all of this through the lens of a detached, wealthy Libyan 1%er who tried to make a cinematic masterpiece amid all the turmoil. And they've diluted the magnificent and tragic details of the uprising to a point that it's just a story of this boring, out of touch rich guy filming a moving among a massive revolution. Al Jazeera has apparently made some "management changes" in recent months. This reeks of corporate media emissions...

  16. fonbindelhofas

    everyone deserves freedom, & not fake one what we have in west, & shame on Goran Milosavljevi?, Bjurne, can u go any lower?

    must say sry to Goran Milosavljevi?, Bjurne, i was wrong, u were right, it is just a propoganda:(

  17. nebra

    i dont get this world.......

  18. Bjurne

    Corporate propaganda. So sad to see this.

    1. Jack1952

      The "P" word has already been invoked.

  19. Deejay Es

    nice insight , i only seen the news images and it was not about this

  20. Goran Milosavljevi?

    Propaganda, very bad and untrue propaganda .

    1. Jack1952

      The "P" word has been invoked! Nothing to see here, folks. Move along to the next doc.

      The most powerful aspect of the "P" word is that no reason or evidence need be given. The "P" word is all that is required.

  21. kate langille

    Another interesting one from aljazeera.