Moises Saman—Magnum Photos for TIME
The Arab Spring began in Tunisia, where 28 days of protests ended 24 years of a dictator’s rule. The next day, Jan. 15, 2011, students in Yemen called for demonstrations against the strongman there. A dictator fell in Egypt, then in Libya. A change of season appeared to be bringing democracy to an arid stretch of the planet where it had never quite blossomed.
It proved a false spring. Today Egypt has a different dictator, and Yemen, Libya and Syria have wars. But read on. The passion for change—for dignity—lives on in the generation that led the way into the streets a decade ago.