10 years on from the Arab Spring, we must look back on what happened and why. The Arab Spring was a pro-democracy uprising that spread throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). By mid-2012 most of the actions against governments had faded, many achieved little and were met by severe violence and curbs on free speech – social media platforms like FaceBook were shut down by governments in an attempt to prevent the spread of revolutionary rhetoric.
The Islamic holiday of Ashura takes place on the tenth day of Muharram, mourning the death of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of the prophet Muhammad and third Shia Imam who died at the Battle of Karbala in 680. The events leading up to and including Husayn’s death solidified the split between Sunni and Shia Islam, with Shias believing the legitimate Islamic Caliphs should be descended from Imam Ali, who ruled as the fourth and last of the Rashidun Caliphs and was the cousin of Muhammad.
Colonialism is often defended as a moral mission, a mission to educate and civilise the non-western world, and often used Christian Missionaries to convey their message. However, this perspective stands to much debate, as through the years the Empires have often been questioned on what the true intentions behind colonialism were. Were they purely moral? Or were they based on profit, and excavating the best resources from foreign land?