Top stories from Middle East in 2011 ... what do you think they are?

What are the top 10 stories of 2011 from the Middle East/ Anyone want to take a shot at that? I'll talk about them on Radio Baladi ( tomorrow morning Friday 8 am Eastern (3 pm Jerusalem time) ... listen live online or in Detroit on WNZK AM 690 Radio ...I'll read your suggestions on radio ...

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Ray - thanks for inviting us all to reflect on the year that has been in the Middle East.  All the best with your talk show.  Here is my attempt.  There has been plenty I have left out eg events in Bahrain, Yemen, Iraq, Iran, Algeria etc etc.  


Top 10+1 stories of the Middle East in 2011


Arab Spring related events


1. Tunisia –Death of Moahammad Bouazzi (4 January) a Tunisian street vendor who set himself on fire on 17 December 2010 in protest of a municipal official of Tunisia.  His act is considered a catalyst for the Tunisian revolution and wider Arab Spring.


2. Tunisia – Ben Ali steps down as President of Tunisia amidst public reaction and violence to Bouazzi’s death. (14 January)


3. Egypt - The resignation of Hosni Mubarak (11 February).  This was assign that dictators could be toppled with minimal violence.  The challenge is for the junta to ensure speedy elections and to ensure which ever government comes to power champions the rule of law, ensures freedom of the press and protects minorities.


4. Libya - US, UK and French begin air strikes and use of aircraft in halting Gaddafi’s attack on rebels in Benghazi (20 March).  This military action is based on UN Security Council Resolution 1973 (2011) and will play a key role in Gaddafi’s downfall.


5. Libya - The killing of Muammar Gaddafi (20 October).  This brought to an end Gaddafi’s 41 year’s of rule of Libya.


6. Syrian uprising begins (26 January)


7. Syria – The Arab League votes to place economic sanctions on Syria (28 November)


Palestinian liberation events


8. Palestine - Palestine applies to the United Nations Security Council to become a UN member state (23 September).


9. Palestine - UNESCO agrees to accept Palestine as a full member, making it the first UN agency to make such a move. 107 nations in favour, 14 against and 52 abstentions (31 October).


10. Thousands of Palestinians from Syria marched towards the ceasefire line with Israel in the Golan Heights.  Over 100 protestors made it into the Golan. 4 Palestinians were killed and dozens were injured .  A dozen Israeli soldiers were injured by stones thrown by some protestors.


11. Sarkozy called Israeli prime minister a liar and Obama agrees with the difficulties he has had with him (c. 8 November)



Just had Lenny Traubman in California call the radio show to talk about what he feels is the biggest story of 2011 ... call for the next 30 minutes 248-557-3300

Thanks Lenny and Stewart ... I'm going to mention some of your points on air in seconds during our final minutes

Thanks guys for your reflections on the ending year.

May the new year be a better one, a peaceful happiest one.



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