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The Arab Spring: defining moments (PHOTOS)
Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

In December 2010, a Tunisian fruit vendor, Mohamed Bouazizi, set himself on fire in protest of what he considered unfair treatment from his government. And so began the Arab Spring, a movement that has swept the Middle East and captured the world's attention.

Almost two years later, the struggle continues, with Syrian rebels bringing the fight to the streets of Damascus. From Tripoli to Tahrir Sqaure to Homs, GlobalPost takes you back to some of the memorable moments of the Arab world's fight for freedom.

Tunisia protest self immolation highlight

Tunisian President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali looking at Mohamed Al Bouazizi, during his visit at the hospital in Ben Arous near Tunis on Dec. 28, 2010. Mohamed Al Bouazizi, 26, was a college graduate who became a street fruit vendor when he couldn't find other work. He doused himself in gas and set himself on fire on Dec. 17, 2010, and died of his burns on Jan. 4 of the following year. Al Bouazizi's self-immolation provoked the demonstrations that would go on to sweep the Middle East.

(STR - AFP/Getty Images)
Mohamed bouazizi statue

A person caped in the Tunisian flag walks past a statue representing the cart of Mohamed Al Bouazizi, the fruit vendor whose self-immolation sparked the revolution that ousted a dictator and ignited the Arab Spring, on Dec. 17, 2011 in Sidi Bouzid. Thousands of Tunisians rallied in celebration of the first anniversary of the popular uprising that toppled their long-standing dictator and unleashed the Arab Spring revolutions.

(Fethi Belaid - AFP/Getty Images)
Benghazi knife flag highlight

A Libyan rebel fighter holds a knife as he waves the revolution flag in a street of Benghazi on March 19, 2011.

(Patrick Baz - AFP/Getty Images)
Kadhafi dead body libya highlight

Libyans take pictures with their mobile phones of the body of Muammar Gaddafi in Misrata on Oct. 20, 2011. The veteran strongman was killed as rebel forces crushed the last pocket of resistance in his hometown Sirte.

(Mahmud Turkia - AFP/Getty Images)
Shoe assad face protest highlight

Protesters hit posters of Syria's President Bashar al-Assad (R) and slain Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi with shoes during a demonstration outside the Syrian Embassy in London on May 7, 2011. The demonstration was called to show support for the uprising in Libya, Syria, Bahrain and Yemen.

(Leon Neal - AFP/Getty Images)
Syria protest boy london highlight

A boy, whose face is painted in the colors of the Syrian flag, shouts during a demonstration against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's rule, outside the Syrian Embassy in central London, on March 19, 2011.

(Ben Stansall - AFP/Getty Images)
Man injured homs highlight

A seriously injured Syrian man lies on the ground following a rocket attack in the western city of Homs, 162 kms north of Damascus on Jan. 11, 2012.

(Joseph Eid - AFP/Getty Images)
Yemen soldier highlight

A Yemeni soldier who joined sides with anti-regime protesters hold a rifle bearing the slogan 'leave' on it during a demonstration calling for the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Sanaa on May 27, 2011.

(Ahmad Gharabli - AFP/Getty Images)
Liberation of tripoli highlight

Libyan rebel soldiers from Benghazi celebrate as they arrive on an ex-Libyan Army frigate in Tripoli, Libya after rebel forces seized control of the capital on Aug. 30, 2011. The arrival of the ex-Libyan army frigate is the first army vessel to enter Tripoli harbor since the NATO sea blockade. Libyan rebel reinforcements arrived that day from Benghazi to bolster their surge against the remaining pro-Gaddafi loyalist forces.

(Daniel Berehulak - Getty Images)
Tahrir square demonstration highlight

Egyptian anti-government demonstrators crowd Cairo's Tahrir Square on Feb. 10, 2011 on the 17th day of consecutive protests calling for the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.

(Mohammed Abed - AFP/Getty Images)
Mubarak noose protest highlight

An Egyptian protester carries a giant picture of ousted Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak with a noose superimposed around his neck during a demonstration after the weekly Friday prayer in Cairo's landmark Tahrir Square on Feb. 10, 2012.

(Gianluigi Guercia - AFP/Getty Images)
Tahrir november protest military highlight

Egyptian demonstrators rebuild their protest tents which were dismantled by security forces in Cairo's Tahrir Square on Dec. 17, 2011. Violence raged in the heart of Cairo with troops and police deploying in force after clashes with protesters against military rule killed at least nine people.

(Mohammed Abed - AFP/Getty Images)
Morsi election tahrir celebration highlight

Egyptians celebrate the election of their new President Mohamed Morsi in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt on June 24, 2012. Morsi received over 13 million or 51.7 percent of the votes, while his main rival, former Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq, received 48.27 percent.

(Daniel Berehulak - Getty Images)
Morsi sworn in highlight

Flanked by bodyguards, Egypt's Islamist President-elect Mohamed Morsi salutes tens of thousands of Egyptians he addressed in Cairo's iconic Tahrir Square on June 29, 2012. Morsi paid tribute to Egypt's Muslims and Christians alike and symbolically swore himself in as the country's first elected civilian president.

(Mohammed Hossam - AFP/Getty Images)
Treimsa massacre un observers highlight

Residents of the Syrian village of Treimsa gather around the vehicles of UN observers upon their arrival to investigate an attack on the village, where more than 150 people had been killed, in the central province of Hama, on July 13, 2012. A variety of weapons were used in the attack on Treimsa, with the homes of rebels and activists bearing the brunt.

(Leal Olivas - AFP/Getty Images)
Treimsa massacre highlight

Residents of the Syrian village of Treimsa, where more than 150 people were killed, wait for the arrival of UN observers to investigate the attack on the village in the central province of Hama on July 13, 2012. A variety of weapons were used in the attack on Treimsa, with the homes of rebels and activists bearing the brunt, UN observers said.

(Leal Olivas - AFP/Getty Images)
Damascus bombing highlight

Syrian police guard the road near the scene of the bomb attack that targeted the National Security headquarters in Rawda, a high security district in the heart of the capital, Damascus, on July 18, 2012. Syrian Defense Minister General Daoud Rajha and brother-in-law of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, General Assef Shawkat died in the attack, while Interior Minister Mohammed al-Shaar was among the wounded.

(STR - AFP/Getty Images)
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