On December 17, 2010, Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire in protest of his treatment at the hands of municipal officials. His act of desperation would become the catalyst for a full-scale revolution that would sweep across North Africa and into the Middle East in what would become known as the Arab Spring. This week has brought more violent clashes between protesters and police in Egypt, but the idea of such actions transpiring just a year ago would have been unfathomable. The year 2011 has seen democratic movements swell in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Syria.
Few have had as intense an experience as Jon Leyne, Middle East correspondent for the BBC. A hard-scrabble veteran journalist, Leyne has been reporting from the epicenter of the Arab Spring movements throughout the last year.