The Year: Revolutions

Part 4 of Katie Couric's special looking back at 2011.
7:53 | 12/15/11

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Transcript for The Year: Revolutions
They went from silence to the streets this year social revolutions gave -- voice to sell many. Who would never had one before. It was impossible to miss the seismic shifts in the world fueled by anger disillusionment. And the power of social media. -- Eleven the three surrounding. About one literally sparked it all and I was one man. 26 year old Mohammed was easy was a Tunisian street vendor who was selling vegetables to support his family. When he became a murder. The decades slid into Louisiana with Egypt within Libya Syria and you -- -- to the Arab world. The people have lived under the boot of dictatorship even though that countries with some of the richest in the world. People. Had no jobs last December remembering the notoriously run police force harassed him at his stand. When he tried to complain to authorities he was turned away and and hopeless and frustrated he let himself on fire and act that reflected the anger and desperation. The entire. Set off an unprecedented protests. Forcing teenagers presidents -- -- he ruler for over. Typically. Davis had brought down the life igniting a revolution that would become known as the Arab Spring. Protests spread across the Arab world where two thirds of the population. Is under the age of 25. This is huge. He's people who are educated know there's another side to the world. It was a new kind of revolution organized in cyberspace. And the weapons were in the form of YouTube videos. And FaceBook messages. This video protesters in Egypt's tahrir square. Singing about the voice of freedom went -- road. And it -- and -- the -- ammunition and was the sheer determination. Of the people willing to risk their lives. To have reports. Hosni Mubarak. Egypt's president for thirty years old BC news that he had heard the will of the people and he would step down. After eighteen tumultuous days he -- I think it was that this team losing. I'm no different Sunday -- -- country look like before. Two weeks ago egyptians went to the polls in the first parliamentary elections in decades. Mubarak is on trial for corruption -- complicity. In the death of over 900 protesters. But unlike Mubarak. In Libya one delusional dictator did not go so generally -- that -- Woman that he refused to delete these people. Could say across well -- About that -- me all day today -- died doing what that we might might be good. A -- supported insert. -- -- Month later. Ladies and beaten Qaddafi was paraded on his own people -- in -- for his life. Libyans celebrated. -- -- cheered the demise of the man. Finally al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. The man. After a daring raid by Navy SEALs on bin Laden's compound in Pakistan and investigators uncovered details of future -- tax. As well as a shocking treasure trove of pornography and they also found these videos showing Osama bin Laden is reduced to this frail sickly watching himself on television. And Americans brace for retaliation. But the -- his -- -- this year were not those of extremists. But of moderate Muslims. -- freedom he want to be a doctor. -- it wasn't a huge. Uprising when he was -- there was barely a demonstration. And I think that says -- But in Syria the road to freedom. Brutal and bloody. With the reported death while climbing to a staggering 5000 -- Including 300 children. Syria's president Bashar Al Assad desperately clinging to power sat down with ABC's Barbara Walters. Do you think and think she won't forces. Cracked down too hot there was no comment to people to people -- -- the US nor the United Nations. Believes him. You're home a different brand of protests gained steam. In January -- Tea Party -- Washington. And business as usual and today we Begin to carry out bear construction. But only a few months later a new party started. This time on Wall Street's front door. Protesters descended on New York City -- part in what organizers called Occupy Wall Street. It started peacefully. But -- -- And then spread across the country. This cell phone video release of doing protesters with pepper spray -- California campus stunned the country. And became a rallying cry. Columbia professor Jeffrey Sachs says occupied -- Changing the conversation. Of the country taken over by crony capitalism. The Wall Street firms were bailed out by the taxpayers and then the same Wall Street firms sent there. Representatives to the White House to congress is there. No accountability. No responsibility but others say the movement is the height of your responsibility. Go. Getting job right after you take a -- What do you think of this movement attracting sort of had he did the -- -- looking for -- -- -- -- -- -- -- but they've come to the very -- And the same people who stood first in line denied any help. Four people that are hurting right now in the rest. With falling temperatures and no well defined goals to keep the protesters swarmed the future of the movement is unclear. What is is that from the air. And they're not --

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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