The last month has seen massive unrest and protests in Tunisia, Egypt and now Jordan. Here is a timeline to track the major events of both revolutions.
Created by StevePro on Jan 31, 2011
Last updated: 03/03/11 at 02:44 PM
Washington (CNN) -- With a rapidly deteriorating situation on the streets of Cairo, the U.S. State Department is urging Americans who want help getting out of Egypt to "take advantage of U.S. government charter flights while they are available."
"As you know, we cannot demand that an American leave, however, we certainly push for them to leave," said a senior State Department official, who spoke on background because he was not authorized to use his name.
According to the official, the State Department is cutting back on the number of flights Thursday because some of those charters have been leaving with empty seats.
More than 20,000 anti-government protesters gathered in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, for a "day of rage" against President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
The demonstrators called for a change in government and rejected Mr Saleh's offer to step down in 2013 after more than 30 years in power.
Meanwhile, a similar number of his supporters rallied in a central square.
"There is a concerted campaign to intimidate international journalists in Cairo and interfere with their reporting," U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Thursday on Twitter. "We condemn such actions."
The stock exchange in Cairo, closed because of the political unrest in Egypt, will reopen on Monday, the Egyptian Exchange said.
The walking wounded rose with the sun on Thursday in Cairo's Tahrir Square.
Street battles erupted at the center of Cairo's protests Wednesday between supporters and foes of President Hosni Mubarak. Gunfire has recently been heard.
More than 400 people have been wounded in clashes between pro- and anti-government demonstrators in Cairo, Egyptian Health Minister Ahmed Sameh Fareed told state television Wednesday. Most injuries were head wounds from thrown rocks, he said.
President Barack Obama warned Tuesday of "difficult days ahead" for Egypt and said the transition following President Hosni Mubarak's earlier announcement that he won't run for re-election in September must begin immediately.
In a brief statement to reporters at the White House, Obama pledged continuing U.S. support for both a longtime ally and the aspirations of protesting Egyptians, whose eight days of growing demonstrations led to Mubarak's dramatic announcement on state television.
The king of Jordan dismissed his government Tuesday and appointed a new prime minister with orders to implement political reform.
The dismissal follows several protests calling for change in Jordan -- protests that echo demonstrations that have swept across North Africa and the Middle East in the last few weeks.
Announcing an end to a near 30-year reign in power, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak told the nation late Tuesday he will not run for office in September.
Egypt's military says it recognizes the "legitimate demands" of the Egyptian people, and has pledged not to fire on protesters who are expected to fill central Cairo Tuesday for a "million-man march" on President Hosni Mubarak's palace.
As President Barack Obama and senior U.S. officials monitor the situation in Egypt, the president's spokesman has underscored what Mr. Obama says needs to happen there. The president on Monday called in top Mideast experts to advise him on next steps.
Protesting and looting continues more people gather into the streets against the military and other security forces. Mobile services are unblocked. The internet is still not available for use. Mohamed El Baradei calls for Mubarak’s resignation and a democratic state. Protestors camp outside and ignore curfew while Mubarak turns to the military for assistance by sending fighter jets across Cairo. Pakistan sends its aircraft to retrieve Pakistani citizens and many other countries follow suit. Local businesses and communities are affected.
US President Obama warns President Hosni Mubarak of growing violence between the protestors and security forces. The protests spread to other parts of Egypt and Egyptians of diverse backgrounds join in while ignoring the curfews. Many start looting local shops and locals create their own mini-militia to protect their communities from looters and violent protestors. President Mubarak names Omar Suleiman as vice president.
Mohamed El Baradei, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, has been one of most outspoken public figures since the protests began and wants the government to step down. Mubarak orders military action against protestors and sets a curfew followed by blocking all forms of communication which included the internet and mobile services.
Video posting of the violence against protestors continues to plague the internet while the Egyptian government tries to gain control. Israel voices its concerns and watches carefully as events change. President Mubarak has not made any statements. Analysts say that no political party or organisations can lead these protests because the protests are being led by the youth which does not accept anyone related to the old regime.
While US President Obama gives his State of the Union address on secure and growing relationship with the Middle East and Central Asia, Egyptian security forces had trouble containing the protestors allowing for them to expand into an uncontrollable large group. Security forces used tear gas and concussions grenades to control the crowd but failed. The government banned all public gathering and many arrests are made. However protestors continued to regroup. President Mubarak’s National Democratic Party accuses the Muslim Brotherhood, again.
A small protest in front of the Supreme Court building turns into an uncontrollable group with bouts of violence. Protestors in the hundreds take to the streets calling for President Mubarak to step down. By evening hundreds had gathered at the Tahrir (Liberation) Square. Egypt’s Interior Ministry blames the opposition group, Muslim Brotherhood, as “instigators” to the protests. Twitter reported that its site has been blocked in Egypt.
Caretaker government began freeing political prisoners in a bid to calm protests. Hundreds took to the streets of Tunis, calling for old guard to leave new government. U.N. said more than 100 had died since the uprising began. Prosecutors began looking into overseas assets of ousted first family.
Tunisians and opposition parties protested makeup of new government. Several ministers resigned or threatened to resign in disapproval. Mohamed Ghannouchi and Fouad Mebazaa resigned from Ben Ali’s Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD) party.
Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi announced a new unity government, promising reforms and increased freedoms. Several Ben Ali cronies to head Finance, Foreign, Defense and Interior ministries.
Newly freed from jail, cyber-activist Slim Amamou was named Secretary of State for Sport and Youth.
Tunisian military grappled with restoring law and order. Members of the former President Ben Ali/Trabelsi family were arrested. Mrs. Ben Ali’s nephew Imed Trabelsi was stabbed to death in a Tunis military hospital. Interior Minister Rafik Belhaj was arrested for his role in the violence against protesters.
Saudi Arabia announced Ben Ali and family were in Jeddah and would remain there for an undetermined period of time. Looting took place in Tunisian cities. Former speaker of the lower house of parliament, Fouad Mebazaa, sworn in as president.
In an attempt to soothe protesters, President Ben Ali declared a state of emergency and presidential elections in six months. Later, he and his family fled the country. Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi took control of the country.
President Ben Ali appeared on state television, announcing reforms and concessions and promising to step down at the end of his term in 2014.
Lawyers spoke out against police violence. Video of their protest was posted on the blog Nawaat.
Global Voices Online reported that lawyers have launched a strike; Tunisian police arrested prominent web activist Slim Amamou, among other bloggers. Rapper Le General was also arrested.
Mohamed Bouazizi, the youth who set himself on fire, died of his burns. Tunisian Bar Association called for a general strike for Jan. 6 to protest police beatings of lawyers.
Tunisian cell of activist hacker group "Anonymous" attacked and shut down government websites, calling it “Operation Payback.” Meanwhile, blogger activist Lina Ben Mhenni and others complained their Facebook and e-mail sites had been hacked.
Rapper Hamada Ben-Amor, better known as Le General, posted song Mr. President, Your People are Dying on his Facebook page. Sung in French, he told President Ben Ali, “I’m addressing you today in my name and in the name of the people who are suffering… they want to work for a living, but their voice is not heard.” If Bouazizi sparked the revolution, Le Generalset it to music.
Lawyers across the country assembled in peaceful protest against events in Sidi Bouzid and the arrests of lawyers. Authorities used force against lawyers. Blogger Lina Ben Mhenni published photo of a bruised woman lawyer, Leila Ben Debba.
President Ben Ali appeared on state TV, calling protesters “extremists" and warning they would be punished. Demonstrations continued. Lawyers held rally in Tunis and several other cities in show of support of protesters. Al Arabiya network reported three Tunisian ministers are fired.
Protests continued to spread across country. Government began Internet monitoring and censorship.
Police shot and killed 18-year-old protester Mohamed Ammari during demonstrations in Menzel Bouzaiene.
Tunisian Development Minister Mohamed Al Nouri Al Juwayni attempted to defuse situation, announcing $10 million employment program.
22-year-old Houcine Falhi committed suicide by electrocuting himself in Sidi Bouzid, after shouting out "No to misery, no to unemployment!"
Rioting continued in Sidi Bouzid. Police brought in reinforcements. Pictures and photos posted onto Facebook and other social networking sites showed youths attempting to storm regional government headquarters. Rioting spread to other towns across the country.
Frustrated youths rioted in the streets of Sidi Bouzid. Police arrested scores of demonstrators, but the night’s unrest was ignored by Tunisian state media.
Sidi Bouzid police confiscated the unlicensed market stall of 26-year-old Mohamed Bouazizi. He set himself on fire in response. It was not the first self-immolation in Tunisia over joblessness, but it would become the most celebrated.
Tunisia blocked WikiLeaks and TuniLeaks websites.
Pro-Hezbollah Lebanese newspaper Al Akhbar published more than 180 U.S. diplomatic cables not yet released by WikiLeaks - among them, cables from former U.S. Ambassador to Tunisia, who painted a portrait of a corrupt and decadent Tunisian first family.
WikiLeaks published first of a series of U.S. diplomatic cables. One hour later, blog site Nawaat created its own version, TuniLeaks.
President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali won a fifth term in a vote which Human Rights Watch called “tainted.” Country witnessed growing jobless rate, especially among university graduates, restrictions on press and other personal freedoms.
Economist’s 2008 Democracy Index categorized Tunisia as “authoritarian,” ranking it 141 out of 167 countries studied.
Voters passed constitutional amendment eliminating term limits and raising maximum age for presidents to 75. This amendment was the latest in a series designed to enable Ben Ali to remain in office.
Voters passed constitutional amendments increasing presidential term limits.
Prime Minister Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali impeached Bourguiba, declared himself president of Tunisia, citing Bourguiba's advancing age and ill health.
National Assembly named Habib Bourguiba “president-for-life.”
Habib Bourguiba officially became president of the new republic after abolishing the monarchy and deposing old king.