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Arab World: A Year In Pictures - Our Authors' Selection

Since Mohamed Bouazizi, a young Tunisian fruit vendor set himself on fire in the small city of Sidi Bouzid on December 2010, a wave of unprecedented popular protests is sweeping the Arab world. The region has seen unprecedented events that no one could ever imagine witnessing in a lifetime.

Three Arab dictators have been toppled, some others forced to engage in reforms, while in other places the confrontation is proving to be painful and bloody.

In any case, 2011 is likely to remain engraved in the history of the Arab world as the year when people started raising against their oppressive regimes.

As we bid farewell to 2011 and look ahead to 2012, we asked our authors to share with you pictures that in their eyes have marked the past year in their respective countries. The following selection represents their choices.

Tunisia

Photo by Talel Nacer, used with permission

On January, 14, 2011 thousands of protesters gathered near the Interior Ministry building in Tunis calling for the fall of the regime of dictator Zeine El Abidine Ben Ali. Later on the same day, Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia.

Afef Abroughi

Syria

Author unkown

A powerful message from “the occupied city of Kafar Nabel”, Syria.

Leila Nachawati

Lebanon

Photo by KrikOrion, used with permission

Even though Lebanon has not witnessed a revolution in 2011, the Land of the Cedars was highly affected by the developpements and turmoil in the area. But for Lebanese it's the high cost of living that is haunting them the most. Following each wage increase by the government and even before the plan is approved by parliament, prices soar tremendously.

Thalia Rahme

Palestine

Photo by Jillian C. York, used under a CC license (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

Palestine: “Marching United Towards Freedom”

Jillian C. York

Yemen

Copyright Shohdi Al-Sofi, used with permission

The peaceful massive marches of Yemen which never stopped throughout the year are a testimony of Yemenis' steadfast and resilience and prove ultimately, like the billboard reads, that “victory is to the people”.

Noon Arabia

Bahrain

Picture posted on Twitter by @almakna

The above photograph, shared by @almakna on Twitter, shows the number of areas reportedly tear gassed by the Bahrain authorities in one night. On that particular day, I myself choked on the tear gas, spending the night and the following day sick and closely followed tweets and complaints by Twitter users from across the country.

Amira Al Hussaini

Picture posted on Twitter by @SanabisVoice

This photograph, from the Sanabis Voice, shows empty teargas canisters, collected from a small area, in one day. Such photographs are found in abundance online, shared by netizens on social networking sites, and tell a story that has been recurring for 11 months - a story not much of the world cares about.

Amira Al Hussaini

Egypt

Picture by rouelshimi, used under CC license (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

January 25, the first wave of protesters go to Tahrir square. It's the dawn of the revolution.

Tarek Amr

Morocco

Copyright Amine Hachimoto. Used with permission.

The little girl looking up at this Moroccan Superman pausing in front of the parliament seems to be wondering if he can fly. Maybe he's an ultra-nationalist trying to make a point? Or maybe he's a supporter of the pro-reforms group February 20? It doesn't really matter. Because behind this amazing photo by Amine Hachimoto lies a new reality in Morocco: 2011 is the year when the street has become the theater of nonviolent political expression. Something that is likely to continue in the years to come.

Hisham Almiraat

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