Protests against the government of longtime President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who took office in a 1987 coup, sparked the Arab Spring with the act of one street vendor. Mohamed Bouazizi, 26, sold produce out of a small wheelbarrow, the only way he had to make a living and support his mother, uncle and siblings. Bouazizi was repeatedly harassed and publicly humiliated by officials as he tried to sell his wares, and he lacked the money to bribe police to continue his sales unfettered. Demanding his confiscated wares outside the governor's office on Dec. 17, 2010, which refused to hear his complaints, Bouazizi set himself on fire. He suffered burns over 90 percent of his body and succumbed to his injuries on Jan. 4, 2011. More than 5,000 people joined the funeral procession, and the protests fueled by numerous social and political grievances began.