From Tunisia to Egypt then to Syiria and now effecting Yemen. Al-Assad also told the Wall Street Journal that a domino effect with unrest spreading from Egypt and Tunisia to Syria was unlikely because his country is different.
A few fact from Al-Jazera
- In an announcement on Wednesday, Saleh said he plans for elections in April had been scrapped along with constitutional amendments that would have seen him become president for life.
- “No extension, no inheritance, no resetting the clock,” Saleh said during an emergency session of parliament and the consultative council ahead of a “day of rage” organised by civil society groups and opposition leaders for Thursday in all provinces.
- Poverty is widespread in Yemen, with 45 per cent of its 21.1 million people living on less than $2 a day, according the UN Development Programme.
- Organisers say protests will be staged in front of the parliament in the capital, Damascus, on Friday and Saturday, and at Syrian embassies across the world.
- Several pages have been set up on Facebook, with the most popular one, named “The Syrian Revolution”, “liked” by about 13,000 people by Thursday.
- However, many of those writing comments on Facebook appeared to be Syrians living abroad calling on their “brothers” at home to protest.
- Facebook is officially blocked in Syria since November 2007. However, many young Syrians bypass the hurdle by using proxy servers and, in August last year, there were about 30,000 Facebook users registered in the country.
- As in Egypt, government critics in Syria complain of corruption and limitations to political freedom and human rights.
- The official unemployment rate is around 10 per cent, but some analysts say as many as every fourth Syrian is actually without a job.
- Calls for protests in a numer of Middle East countries are circulating on Twitter, including Yemen, February 3, Algeria, February 12, Bahrain, February 14 and Libya, February 30.