January 2, 2012
Emerson Brown, NPR




A year ago this week, demonstrations broke out in central Tunisia at the funeral for a young fruit vendor named Mohammed Bouazizi who had set himself on fire after a confrontation with local authorities. The protests quickly spread throughout Tunisia, and then to Egypt, Yemen, Libya, Syria and elsewhere, as hundreds of thousands of took to the streets to protest against their governments and lack of economic opportunities. As a result, the Egyptian, Tunisian and Yemeni leaders were forced to step aside; Libya's Moammar al-Gadhafi was slain by rebels after a six month civil war; and Syria's President Bashar al-Assad risks a similar fate as violence mounts.

As the world observes ongoing developments in the Middle East, NPR News explores the Arab Spring's possible repercussions in a six-part series beginning today on Morning Edition. In the series, the NPR foreign correspondents who covered the historic events as they unfolded look ahead to the impact of the uprisings within the region and on an international scale. The series airs daily on Morning Edition through January 9, and will also be available at NPR.org, along with an interactive timeline and photos.

The series, reported by NPR's Foreign Desk, takes audiences back to countries at the center of the Arab Spring, to explore how life has changed and why the end of a revolution could spark a whole new struggle. The series starts in Egypt, with Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson reporting on post-revolutionary politics in Egypt and Tunisia and the effectiveness of elections. From Libya, correspondent Lourdes Garcia-Navarro looks at how long-persecuted Islamist groups in the country are reestablishing themselves after Gadhafi's overthrow and murder. The next two stories look at the Arab Spring's unresolved conflicts, with Deborah Amos revealing how the protests in Syria may re-open a Pandora's Box of sectarian conflict, and Kelly McEvers defying a journalist crackdown to report on Bahrain's unsuccessful uprising. Peter Kenyon examines if Turkey can serve as an effective model for a changing Arab world. Next Monday, Amos wraps up the series by talking with U.S. policy experts about whether the Arab Spring is good or bad for America.

The series is part of NPR's robust international coverage that is consistently recognized for broadcast excellence, including 19 Overseas Press Club Awards, Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards for coverage of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and three Peabody Awards for foreign reporting in the last three years. With 17 foreign bureaus and offices, NPR supports more international bureaus than any other major U.S. broadcast network. In the Middle East region, NPR maintains permanent bureaus in Beirut, Istanbul, Cairo, Kabul, New Delhi, Islamabad and Jerusalem. Visit npr.org to explore all coverage of the Middle East: www.npr.org/sections/middle-east/