Where did “Arab Spring” come from?

I wanted to find the answer to this question, just because usually, for every media label for some important period in time, there is a stinging critique of its inaccuracy and shallowness by somebody who really knows things. I guess though that “Arab Spring” is pretty harmless as a theme goes, though I guess it skirts the fact that there’s plenty of non-Arabness about the spring. I also hate that everyone jumped on the label “Arab Spring” so that now every article is about whether things can continue into the summer. Will we have an Arab summer? An Arab year, an Arab decade?

Anyway, then I tried to find out who coined the term and didn’t really find anything (does anyone know?) but then I found these two sites (well one was just a google search result page), but look.

First, there’s this guardian page, which is GREAT. Wow, really nice to be able to look over. I didn’t even really know that things in Egypt were already well under way in February (yea, I’m out of touch, I know).

But I tried to square that with this handy graphic that suggests that the day where the most people searched the term “Arab Spring” on March 22. Why so long, and where was the interest until that time? Also, the interest trailed off pretty quickly after March 22.

Just kind of an interesting demonstration of the mismatch between media focus on big events, and the actual timeline of big events. There are probably big things brewing right now, and they will only be reported on in two weeks, and will only be understood enough to spur people to search for it in another two weeks.

So, is it true that news is more rapidly these days? You see, news is about digesting and UNDERSTANDING what is happening, not just about the fact that the pixels representing the happening of some event are ON SCREENS somewhere. People are quick on the uptake, but not always, because news is about making connections, predictions ,and judgments, not just taking in raw information (is there such a thing).


2 Responses to “Where did “Arab Spring” come from?”

  1. 1 Annie Y.
    June 22, 2011 at 4:42 am

    I think it cam from the Chinese cultural revolution in 1978 “Beijing spring” revolution.

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