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I am the Arab Spring

Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, January 24, 2012

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  <span class="field-credit">
    Yasser Alaa, Alexandria, Egypt - age 18  </span>
    "The Arab Spring is the first step for real freedom and democracy in the Arab region. This tear gas canister was used during protests in my hometown Alexandria." Photo: Yasser Alaa, Alexandria, Egypt - age 18

On January 25, 2011, the people of Egypt took to the streets for a 'Day of Rage.' Thousands of young people took part in this protest and the huge movement of people calling for change across the Middle East and North Africa now known as the Arab Spring.

One year later, we asked youth from around the world to share what the Arab Spring means to them. Young people involved with Global Citizen Corps—the Mercy Corps program empowering youth and engaging them in local and international actions across various nations—and our partners at PBS sent in their images and thoughts on the theme: 'I am Arab Spring.'

Here, a glimpse of what the Arab Spring means to young people around the world. See more on PBS NewsHour.

            

Yasser Alaa, Alexandria, Egypt - age 18

"The Arab Spring is the first step for real freedom and democracy in the Arab region. These are tear gas canisters used during protests in my hometown Alexandria."

Kareem, Beirut, Lebanon - age 22

"The day Egypt's old regime collapsed was a day that will forever live in the minds of my people. Never had I imagined that day would come where the voices of Egyptian youths will be able to shape the destiny of an entire country. That day I understood that politics was not merely what historians write or politicians decide.

"So if you are not happy with the way some people run your country, if you think that what needs to be achived is impossible, I tell you with great confidence: Think like an Egyptian, talk like an Egyptian, but most importantly....walk tall like an Egyptian."

Aisha - age 18

" They say that one loud voice is better than a crowd but in the Arab Spring we have a loud crowd.

"Nobody used to speak up before in Arab lands, but now everything has changed for the best. I am not talking about me but I'm talking on behalf of every Arab person, no matter what age, no matter what gender, we all learned to use our own voice and we all learned to speak up for ourselves."

Muataz, Palestinian Territory - age 21

"The hand of children which raise the sign of victory, the woman who is shouting against the regime, and the guy who faces the policemen, this is the 'Arab Spring.'

"The next phase is more important and has the greatest challenges because it needs sincere people and cooperation between all categories of society. Otherwise, the Autumn will destroy what the Spring has made."

Anas, Palestinian Territory - age 22

"You asked me what the Arab spring means to me?

Just another three words, brother and sister: Humanity. Peace. Justice."