The Fight for Democracy in the Middle East

With inspiring bravery and determination, the people of the Middle East are demanding to have their voices heard. We record the key events in their hopefully successful journey to democracy in this interactive multimedia timeline.

You can navigate the timeline by dragging the viewfinder at the bottom of the timeline. You can also click anywhere in the time scale at the bottom to jump quickly to that point in time. ;xNLx;;xNLx;We have categorised events by country. Each country has its own colour: sky blue for Tunisia, red for Egypt, pink for Libya and orange for Bahrain. For further information (including videos and images) about a particular event, click the 'more' button.;xNLx;;xNLx;The information for this timeline has been obtained from numerous sources, including Al Jazeera, Wikipedia, Flickr and YouTube. Copyright over the images and videos on this timeline belongs with their respective owners.

Protests reach the Tunisian Capital Tunis

Large scale demonstrations kick off in the Tunisian capital Tunis for the first time, as crowds of more than 1,000 take part in a rally in support of protests elsewhere in the country. The rally was broken up by security forces.

Further protests in Tunisia

A demonstration in Gafsa organised by the Tunisian Federation of Labour Unions is broken up by police on 29 December but that does not stop the protests. The next day some 300 lawyers hold a rally close to the Government's Palace in the Tunisian capital and over following days numerous other protests take place across the country.

Lawyers 'savagely beaten'

Mokhtar Trifi, president of the Tunisian Human Rights League, complains that lawyers had been 'savagely beaten' by security forces following a series of demonstrations organised by the Tunisian National Lawyers Order.

Thala protests turn violent

Violence breaks out in Thala - a 15,000 strong town in Tunisia - after a group of 250 mainly students are confronted by police. The security forces fired tear gas at the protesters, who responded by attacking the local office of the Tunisian governing party.

Tunisian lawyers go on strike

Tunisia's 8,000 lawyers call a strike in protest at the brutal crack down by the security forces. The Tunisian Human Rights League had earlier complained that lawyers taking part in protests in the capital had been 'savagely beaten' by the police.

Ben Ali flees to Saudia Arabia

Against all the odds, protesters in Tunisia force long-time president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to step down. His resignation follows weeks of protests in the north African country. Ben Ali had been in power for 23 years. He subsequently flees to Saudia Arabia.

Tunisia police kill Protesters

A crackdown on demonstrators in the Tunisian district of Bouziane results in two fatalities. Police claimed they acted in self defence in shooting the protesters. But any hope the government had that the crackdown would cow the protesters into submission were to be dashed, as even larger demonstrations were soon to sweep the country.

Rapper El Général arrested

A Tunisian rapper whose songs had been adopted by protesters is arrested. Hamada Ben Amor - who goes by the stage name El Général - had recently released rap protest song 'Tunisia our country'. He was released a few days later following a huge reaction from the Tunisian populace and his songs are now widely considered to be the "anthems of the revolution".

Gaddafi slates Tunisia revolt

Libyan leader speaks out against the uprising in Tunisia, blaming wikileaks for sparking the unrest. Meanwhile, reports come in of unrest in his oil-rich north African country.

Mohamed Bouazizi

Street vendor Mohamed Ben Bouazizi (March 29 1984 - Jan 4 2011) sets himself on fire in protest at his treatment by the Tunisian authorities. His action sparks wide-spread protests across Tunisia against president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his governing party.

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