This book has so far focused on migration issues in the context of recent and on-going economic crises. But history shows that political and economic events are often so closely interwoven that a full understanding of the realities surrounding migration is possible only when the two are looked at in combination and not in isolation. The political uprising that started in December 2010 in Tunisia, with a 26- year-old street vendor, Mohamed Bouazizi, setting himself on fire to protest against economic distress, and later swept a good part of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), is a clear evidence of this reality. It was a powerful mixture of the frustration of the youth over unemployment and economic distress, sharpened by the Great Recession, and their long suppressed yearnings for good governance and political freedom that sparked the powerful and unprecedented revolts in the region, now widely known as “Arab Spring.” Its underlying spirit has now spread even beyond the Arab world, and may have even inspired the protest movements in countries as different as Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the USA, although their demands varied and the political contexts differed from those in the Arab world. The unfolding of the Arab uprising will have both near and longer term implications for migration in MENA countries and beyond.
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