This is revolution in fast forward. Here’s the timeline…

Tunisia (current death toll: 219):

  • December 17: 26-year-old Mohammed Bouazizi douses himself in paint thinner and sets himself on fire in front of a local municipal office after being denied a licence to sell fruit and vegetables. Protests roll out over the following weeks.
  • January 13: President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali makes a televised address, announcing unprecedented concessions and vowing not to seek re-election in 2014. He pledges to  institute widespread reforms and investigate the killings of protesters during demonstrations.
  • Next…?

Egypt (current death toll: unconfirmed UN reports say 300):

  • Mid January: Partly inspired by the Tunisia uprising, activists in Egypt call for an uprising in their own country, to protest against poverty, unemployment, government corruption and the rule of president Hosni Mubarak.
  • January 25: On a national holiday to commemorate the police forces, Egyptians take to the streets in large numbers, calling it a “day of rage”.
  • January 29: President Hosni Mubarak fires his cabinet, as a sort of good faith reform gesture. Protests continue.
  • January 31: Mubarak appoints a new cabinet. Still no deeper reforms, even though the United States is pressuring him to pass on another term.
  • February 1: Mubarak announces that he never intended to seek another term as president, but vows to stay in power until the elections in September. His speech is greeted by protestors in Cairo’s with the chant “ERHAL ERHAL ERHAL!” (leave, leave, leave!)
  • Next…?



  • February 1: King Abdullah of Jordan dismissed his government, named a new prime minister, and ordered him to “correct the mistakes of the past.”
  • Next…?


  • February 1: President Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen, bracing for a national “day of rage” that the opposition has called for later this week, summoned his rubber-stamp parliament to an emergency session at which he is expected to announce his response to rising protests.
  • Next…?


  • January 31: In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Syria was “immune” from the turmoil affecting Egypt and Tunisia. Syrians are currently organising campaigns on Facebook and Twitter that call for a “day of rage” in Damascus this week.
  • Next…?


  • January 31: A third Algerian died from self-immolation, inspired by the Tunisian uprising, while another tried to set himself alight Sunday. The incident on Sunday, in the capital Algiers, marked the 10th attempted self-immolation since January 12.
  • Next…?

(With thanks to Al Jazeera.)