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The Longest Spring



After the first anniversaries of major uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen have come and gone and a violent, deadly summer threatens to engulf Syria in all out civil war, the Arab Spring seems to have lost none of its intensity and looks set to spread to other parts of the Middle East after initial outbreaks of unrest in Bahrain and intensifying tensions in Iran and Israel-Palestine.



Alfredo Caliz visited dozens of locations in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, trying to gauge how the tumultuous events of 2011 and early 2012 have transformed a region that once was a solid block of repressive, kleptocratic and unrepresentative regimes and how these unsettling times are affecting the millions of people struggling to return to normality. From the quiet backstreets of the city of Sidi Bouzid, the home of Mohamed Buazizi, the man credited with starting the revolt in Tunisia with his self-imolation, to the dirty storm drain in Sirte in Libya which was the last hiding place for the fallen Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi; from the battle-scarred streets of Misurata which saw some of the fiercest fighting in the Libyan conflict to Cairo's now famous and instanly recognisable Tahrir Square, which became the focal point of opposition to Hosni Mubarak's 30 year rule.



The names of many places and the course of many cataclysmic events have become embedded in our contemporary political vocabulary yet the region stands very much at the beginning of its multifaceted revolution and remains in a state of often volatile flux.
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