On December 17, 2010, a 26-year-old Tunisian man set himself on fire after abusive police confiscated his unlicensed vegetable cart, his only source of income. This desperate act of protest inspired a movement that swept the country and ignited calls for reform throughout the region. Thousands of Tunisians took to the streets to denounce their tyrannical government and, within weeks, successfully ousted President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali from power. On January 25, 2011, Egyptians came together by the thousands to launch a massive pro-democratic movement that would, in 18 days, end President Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year reign. Emboldened antigovernment protests quickly erupted in Jordan, Yemen, Algeria, Bahrain,
Iran, Iraq, Syria, Oman and Libya as well.