(CNN)Here's a look at what you need to know about the Arab Spring, anti-government protests that began in Tunisia in December 2010 and spread quickly throughout the Middle East and Africa in 2011.
January-February 2011 - Sporadic demonstrations and self-immolations in opposition to the government occur.
February 12, 2011 - Riot police outnumber anti-government protesters in Algiers and quickly disperse the demonstration.
February 22, 2011 - The Algerian government announces an end to the state of emergency imposed in 1992. However, protest marches in Algiers are still banned.
February 2011 - Anti-government demonstrations break out, quickly becoming violent as security forces and protesters clash.
February 15, 2011 - Thousands of demonstrators gain control of the Pearl Square roundabout in Manama.
February 17, 2011 - In the early morning hours, riot police move into the Pearl Square area and violently disperse the crowd. Several people are killed.
February 19, 2011 - On the order of the government, security forces withdraw from the Pearl Square. Protestors retake the area.
February 22, 2011 - Protests continue as Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa appeals for a national dialogue.
February 26, 2011 - Opposition leader Hassan Mushaimaa returns from exile.
March 14, 2011 - Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates send several hundred troops to Bahrain under the banner of the Gulf Cooperation Council. The troops are in the country at the request of King Hamad.
March 15, 2011 - A three-month state of emergency goes into effect.
March 16, 2011 - Security forces crackdown on protesters in Manama, killing at least six people.
March 18, 2011 - The Pearl Roundabout in Manama is demolished.
March 20, 2011 - King Hamad states that his government has foiled a 20-30 year plot by an unnamed country to destabilize Bahrain.
March 25, 2011 - Protests take place in residential areas outside Manama.
April 25, 2011 - The government of Bahrain sends a confidential report to the United Nations, claiming that Hezbollah is plotting to overthrow the country's monarchy.
June 1, 2011 - Bahrain lifts the emergency laws imposed on March 15.
June 6, 2011 - The trial of 47 doctors and nurses, accused of trying to overthrow the government, begins in Manama.
August 8, 2011 - Bahrain releases 140 political detainees, including two former members of Parliament.
September 1, 2011 - Thousands of demonstrators take to the streets to protest the death of 14-year-old, allegedly killed by riot police, the day before.
September 17, 2011 - Tens of thousands of people protest against the government, following the funeral of a man who died in questionable circumstances. He allegedly died following a tear gas attack on his father's home. The government maintains he died of sickle cell anemia.
September 29, 2011 - 20 doctors are convicted of trying to overthrow the government and are sentenced to prison terms ranging from five to 15 years.
November 23, 2011 - An independent commission set up by King Hamad al-Khalifa concludes that Bahrain's police used excessive force and torture against civilians in the crackdown against protesters.
January 28, 2011 - "Day of Rage" protests bring out hundreds of thousands of demonstrators.
January 29, 2011 - President Hosni Mubarak promises government reform and fires his entire Cabinet.
February 1, 2011 - "March of the Millions" takes place throughout Egypt. President Mubarak announces he will not seek re-election in September. Anti-government protests continue, calling for Mubarak's immediate resignation.
February 4, 2011 - "Friday of Departure" protests takes place.
February 11, 2011 - Vice President Suleiman announces that Hosni Mubarak has decided to step down and has assigned the Armed Forces Supreme Council to run the affairs of the country.
For developments in Egypt after February 2011 -- see Egypt Fast Facts
January 28, 2011 - Peaceful demonstrations begin.
February 18, 2011 - Pro and anti-government protesters clash, resulting in injuries.
February 25, 2011 - Several thousand people stage a protest in Amman.
March 4, 2011 - Another large demonstration takes place in Amman but ends peacefully.
March 25, 2011 - Violent demonstrations break out in Amman as pro- and anti-government protesters clash.
March 28, 2011 - Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit announces that security forces will arrest anyone who tries to prevent another from expressing his/her views in a non-violent, legal way.
June 12, 2011 - King Abdullah II announces sweeping reforms in a televised speech. He announces that Jordan will establish a parliamentary majority government.
February 18-19, 2011 - Hundreds of protesters gather to demand greater rights for longtime residents and to seek the release of previously arrested protesters. They clash with security forces.
Late February 2011 - The Emir announces that every Kuwaiti citizen will receive 1,000 dinars and a 14-month supply of food staples.
November 16, 2011 - Opposition protesters force their way into the legislature to demand the prime minister step down.
February 18-20, 2011 - Thousands more take to the streets in Benghazi; dozens of people now have reportedly been killed by security forces.
- Protests begin in Tripoli. Moammar Gadhafi's son, Saif, appears on television and warns that protests may lead to civil war.
February 22, 2011 - In a televised speech, President Moammar Gadhafi vows to die a martyr rather than step down.
February 26, 2011 - The United Nations passes a resolution freezing Gadhafi's assets, imposing an arms embargo, banning travel, and refers a war crimes case to the International Criminal Court.
March 2, 2011 - A Libyan aircraft bombs a section of eastern Libya as leader Moammar Gadhafi tries to take back control of an area seized by the opposition. In a 2 1/2-hour speech on state television, Gadhafi says the U.S. and "the Atlantic pact" can never enter Libya. He vowed "a bath of blood" and a worse outcome "than what happened to them in Iraq or Afghanistan" if such an attempt was made.
March 7, 2011 - NATO announces it has launched around-the-clock surveillance flights of Libya as it considers various options for dealing with escalating violence.
March 17, 2011 - The U.N. Security Council votes to impose a no-fly zone over Libya and take "all necessary measures" to protect civilians.
March 19, 2011 - French fighter jets begin enforcing the no-fly zone over Libya, and the U.S. launches more than 100 Tomahawk missiles at targets in Libya in Operation Odyssey Dawn.
June 1, 2011 - NATO extends its mission in Libya for another 90 days.
August 15, 2011 - Moammar Gadhafi urges Libyans to fight opposition forces and "cleanse this sweet and honorable land." In a speech broadcast on state television, Gadhafi says: "The strikes will be over and NATO will be defeated. Move always forward to the challenge; pick up your weapons; go to the fight in order to liberate Libya inch by inch from the traitors and from NATO. Be prepared to fight if they hit the ground."
August 20, 2011 - Libyan rebels have taken their fight inside Tripoli, the home of the embattled Libyan leader, a rebel spokesman says. Government spokesman Musa Ibrahim insists that all is safe and well. He says the Libyan capital remains under government control. Libyan officials reject rebel claims that Gadhafi is seeking refuge for his family, saying that neither the leader nor his wife and children plan to leave the country.
August 22, 2011 - A rebel spokesman says Libya is now under the control of the opposition; Gadhafi's whereabouts are unknown. The opposition believes that Gadhafi is either hiding in Tripoli, has fled to southern Libya or fled to neighboring Chad or Algeria. "Those are the only two neighboring country that have been showing support for him," El-Gamaty said.
August 23, 2011 - A spokesman for the National Transitional Council claims that rebels control 85% of Tripoli. Rebel sources say Libya's National Transitional Council has established a small office on the outskirts of Tripoli.
October 20, 2011 - Gadhafi dies of a gunshot wound to the head after being captured by rebel forces in his hometown of Sirte, Libya.
October 23, 2011 - Libya's interim leaders declare the nation's freedom in Benghazi, where uprisings against Gadhafi's regime began in February.
October 27, 2011 - The United Nations Security Council votes unanimously to end military operations in Libya. The adopted resolution effectively cancels the NATO mission in Libya as of October 31, 2011.
February 4, 2011 - A planned "Day of Rage", organized on Facebook, fails to attract protesters against President Bashar al Assad.
March 18, 2011 - Security forces crack down on protesters in Daraa, who are demonstrating for the release of children and teens detained for writing political graffiti.
March 23, 2011 - Protests continue in Daraa for the sixth day. Security forces fire into a crowd in front of a mosque, killing approximately 15 people.
March 24, 2011 - Thousands of people in Daraa attend funerals for nine people killed in the recent uprising.
March 25, 2011 - Approximately 24 people are killed near Daraa in clashes with security forces.
March 29, 2011 - The cabinet of President Bashar al Assad resigns.
March 30, 2011 - President al Assad addresses the nation in a 45-minute televised speech. He acknowledges that the government has not met the people's needs but he does not offer any concrete changes. The state of emergency remains in effect also.
April 1, 2011 - Approximately 11 people are killed in the Damascus suburb of Douma during protests.
April 3, 2011 - President al Assad appoints a new prime minister, Adel Safar.
April 8, 2011 - Demonstrations take place in Daraa, Latakia, Banias, Qamishli, Homs, Douma, Moathamia, Daraya, Tal, and Hama. More than three dozen protesters are reported killed.
April 10, 2011 - The Syrian government announces that 19 security officers have been killed in Bania. At least 22 civilians are reported killed.
April 21, 2011 - Syrian President al Assad lifts the country's 48-year-old state of emergency. He also abolishes the Higher State Security Court and issues a decree "regulating the right to peaceful protest, as one of the basic human rights guaranteed by the Syrian Constitution."
April 25, 2011 - The Syrian government sends thousands of troops into Daraa to carry out what witnesses describe as a brutal, wider-scale crackdown. Between 4,000 and 5,000 members of the Syrian Army and security forces raid Daraa just after 4 a.m. equipped with seven tanks, and begin shooting indiscriminately, in some cases shooting into homes as people slept, according to an activist with the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
April 27, 2011 - The group Syrian Human Rights Information Link reports that more than 400 people have been killed in violence in Syria since March 18th.
May 6, 2011 - Insan, a Syrian human rights group, reports that 607 people have been killed in violence in Syria since March 15th. Nationwide protests are planned, as a "Day of Defiance," coinciding with the Martyrs' Day state holiday.
May 11, 2011 - The National Organization for Human Rights in Syria releases a statement claiming that 776 people have been killed in Syria since fighting began in March.
May 27, 2011 - The story of the death of 13-year-old Hamza Ali al-Khateeb emerges. The boy was separated from his father during protests in Daraa on April 29 and taken into police custody. Some time later, his body is returned to his family, allegedly showing signs of torture, mutilation and gunshot wounds.
May 31, 2011 - Al Assad issues a decree granting amnesty for political crimes.
June 1, 2011 - Human Rights Watch releases a 57-page report detailing government abuses against citizen that could possibly qualify as crimes against humanity. The report claims that as many as 887 people have been killed since protests began in March.
June 3, 2011 - More than 1,000 people have died in Syria since March, according to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
June 6, 2011 - Syrian state TV reports that more 120 security forces have been killed, including 82 in Jisr Al-Shugar. The government blames the deaths on "armed gangs" in the city.
June 7, 2011 - A delegation of human rights organizations and their lawyers meet with prosecutors at the International Criminal Court in the Netherlands. The group alleges that Syrian government forces have killed more than 1,168 people and injured 3,000 more since March. The International Criminal Court notes that Syria is not a party to the treaty that established the ICC. Therefore, the court has no jurisdiction over crimes committed in Syria by Syrian forces.
June 8, 2011 - The government of Turkey releases a statement , calling on Syria to stop the violence against civilians.
June 8, 2011 - France, Germany, Great Britain and Portugal submit a draft resolution to the U.N. Security Council, condemning Syria for the violence against its people.
June 12, 2011 - Syrian forces take control of the town of Jisr al Shughur. Thousands of Syrians flee to neighboring Turkey.
June 17, 2011 - Approximately, 9,600 Syrian refugees are living in four refugee camps near the Turkish border, according to the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.
June 18, 2011 - Syrian forces storm the town Badama, which had been providing food to Syrians fleeing violence in other towns.
June 20, 2011 - In a speech, President Bashar al Assad says that he will not negotiate with people fighting against Syrian forces. He also offers promises of reform, without any specifics.
June 24, 2011 - According to Turkish government officials, there are at least 11,739 Syrian refugees in Turkey.
August 8, 2011 - King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia rebukes Syrian President Bashar al Assad in a speech broadcast on state television. He says, "There is no justification for the bloodshed in Syria, and what is happening has nothing to do with religion or ethics. The Syrian leadership could activate comprehensive reforms quickly."
August 8, 2011 - Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain recall their ambassadors from Syria.
August 18, 2011 - The U.S. imposes new economic sanctions on Syria, freezing Syrian government assets in the U.S., barring Americans from making new investments in the country and prohibiting any U.S. transactions relating to Syrian petroleum products, among other things.
August 22, 2011 - The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Navi Pillay says that more than 2,200 people have been killed in Syria since February.
September 2, 2011 - The European Union bans the import of Syrian oil.
September 23, 2011 - The European Union imposed additional sanctions against Syria, due to "the continuing brutal campaign" by the government against its own people.
November 8, 2011 - The office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights releases a statement saying that more than 3500 people have died in the Syrian unrest.
November 12, 2011 - The Arab League suspends Syria's membership, effective November 16, 2011.
December 26, 2011 - Members of an Arab League delegation arrive to look into events on the ground and whether Syria is upholding a commitment to end a brutal crackdown. The trip comes amid reports of raging violence, opposition groups say, particularly in the flashpoint city of Homs.
December 17, 2010 - Mohamed Bouazizi, a 26-year-old vegetable cart vendor, sets himself on fire in protest after police confiscate his cart. He dies on January 4, 2011.
Late December 2010-Early January 2011 - Bouazizi's act of self-immolation sparks widespread protests.
January 14, 2011 - President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali and his family flee to Saudi Arabia.
January 15, 2011 - Parliamentary speaker Fouad Mebazaa is sworn in as interim president until new elections are held.
January 17, 2011 - Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi announces the new transitional coalition government.
February 26, 2011 - According to the Interior Ministry, three people are killed in clashes between demonstrators and security forces in Tunis. At least nine people are injured and more than 100 arrested, according to the state-run news agency, TAP.
February 27, 2011 - Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi resigns. Tunisia's interim president selects Al-Baji Qa'ed Al-Sebsi as the country's new prime minister.
March 7, 2011 - Tunisia's Interior Ministry announces that it is dissolving its "political police" and the entire State Security Division, according to the country's news agency, Tunis Afrique Presse.
March 9, 2011 - A Tunisian court issues a ruling dissolving the Rally for Constitutional Democracy, the party of ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
June 20, 2011 - After a one-day trial, former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali is convicted of corruption in absentia.
October 23, 2011 - Tunisia holds the first free elections in the country's modern history to seat the new 217-member National Constituent Assembly.
For developments in Tunisia after 2011, see Tunisia Fast Facts.
January 28, 2011 - Protests break out in Yemen.
February 2, 2011 - Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh promises concessions, including not to seek re-election in 2013.
February 21, 2011 - Amid continued protests, Saleh refuses to step down, comparing the protests to a virus spreading through the region.
February 23, 2011 - State-run news service Saba reports that Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh is calling for an end to the protests and says he supports the creation of a national unity government to oversee upcoming parliamentary elections.
February 25, 2011 - Amnesty International says at least 11 people died in the day's protests, bringing the overall death toll since protests began to 27.
February 26, 2011 - Medical officials say four people died and 26 were wounded following clashes that erupted at night between anti-government protesters and security forces in southern Yemen.
February 28, 2011 - Yemen's main opposition bloc rejects President Ali Abdullah Saleh's call to form a unity government to rule until elections to replace him.
March 4, 2011 - Security forces open fire on anti-government protesters in northern Yemen, killing two people and injuring nine others, witnesses say.
March 6, 2011 - Suspected al Qaeda militants kill four Yemeni soldiers. Also, in separate incidents, two officers in the Yemeni Political Security Organization, the country's intelligence agency, are assassinated. The Yemeni government says suspected al Qaeda forces are also behind the killing of the intelligence officers.
March 8, 2011 - Dozens of anti-government demonstrators are wounded when security forces fire into the air and shoot tear gas into a crowd of tens of thousands of protesters in front of Sanaa University, witnesses say. Eight protestors are in critical condition and one Yemeni man died from his injuries.
March 11. 2011 - Thousands of people demonstrate in Sanaa's Tahrir Square, demanding the departure of President Salih.
March 18, 2011 - 52 people are killed in a crackdown on protesters.
March 19-21, 2011 - Numerous Yemeni officials resign. They include the UN ambassador Abdullah al-Saidi and five other ambassadors.
March 20, 2011 - President Saleh dismisses his cabinet.
March 21, 2011 - Three of Yemen's top generals declare their support for the protesters, including Major General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar. Also declaring their support are Yemen's ambassadors to Great Britain and the European Union and dozens of other ambassadors and officials.
March 23, 2011 - Presiden Saleh offers to step down as president by the end of year. Opposition groups reject his proposal.
March 25, 2011 - Rival demonstrations in Sanaa reportedly bring out large crowds. President Saleh tells a crowd of supporters that he's ready to talk to the opposition.
March 28, 2011 - An explosion at an ammunition factory in Jaar kills 150 people. They were allegedly looting the factory at the time of the blast.
April 1, 2011 - Tens of thousands of people turn out in Sanaa to demonstrate both for and against the government.
April 8, 2011 - Tens of thousands of demonstrators gather in Sanaa and Taiz. At least two people are killed in Taiz when security forces use tear gas and live ammunition on the crowd.
April 10, 2011 - The Gulf Cooperation Council releases a statement urging President Saleh to transfer power to his vice-president.
April 11, 2011 - Thousands of people protest against President Saleh.
April 23, 2011 - Yemeni President Saleh accepts a deal, arranged by the Gulf Cooperation Council, to leave office. The agreement states if Saleh resigns the presidency within 30 days, he and members of his regime will be given total immunity. Saleh has accepted the deal in principle, but has not yet signed it.
May 1, 2011 - The Gulf Cooperation Council agreement is not signed in Saudi Arabia, as planned, when Saleh refuses to sign it in his capacity as president. He wants to sign it in his capacity as leader of the governing party.
May 8, 2011 - At least 6 people are killed in a demonstration in Taiz. The demonstrators were teachers protesting salary cuts.
May 11, 2011 - 13 protesters are killed in demonstrations Sanaa and Taiz.
May 22, 2011 - Saleh again refuses to sign the deal to step down. The Gulf Cooperation Council suspends its efforts to mediate a deal between Saleh and opposition forces.
May 23, 2011 - Fighting breaks out in Sanaa between government forces and the supporters of Sheikh Sadiq al-Ahmar, the head of the Hashid tribal federation, after Saleh refuses to step down.
May 25, 2011 - Hashid tribal forces take control of the Interior Ministry, SABA state news agency and other government buildings.
May 25, 2011 - The U.S. orders families of government employees and others to leave Yemen, citing "terrorist activities and civil unrest."
May 26, 2011 - Street battles between government forces and Hashid tribal forces continue throughout Sanaa.
May 29, 2011 - In Taiz, security forces fire on tens of thousands of demonstrators, killing dozens.
May 30, 2011 - Security forces use bulldozers and water cannons to try to disperse demonstrators in Freedom Square in Taiz. The protesters' tent encampment is also burned down.
May 31, 2011 - Hashid tribal forces take command of more government buildings.
May 31, 2011 - Street battles between government forces and Hashid tribal forces continue throughout Sanaa.
May 31, 2011 - Missiles strike a compound where opposition generals are meeting. No one is injured.
June 2, 2011 - A group of about 1,000 armed tribesmen, supporters of Sheikh Sadeq Al-Ahmar, are seen entering Sanaa by residents.
June 2, 2011 - All inbound and outbound flights to and from the Sanaa International Airport are suspended due to security concerns.
June 3, 2011 - Opposition forces launch missiles at the presidential palace, slightly injuring President Saleh and killing several others.
June 4, 2011 - Vice President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi is left in charge while President Saleh travels to Saudi Arabia to undergo medical treatment.
June 5, 2011 - Tribal leader Sadeq Al-Ahmar agrees to a cease-fire with Interim President Hadi.
June 6, 2011 - It is revealed that President Saleh is being treated for burns over 40% of his body and a collapsed lung.
June 7, 2011 - Tribal fighters take control of the city of Taiz.
June 15, 2011 - Interim president Abdu Rabu Mansoor Hadi meets with members of Yemen's youth revolutionary movement.
June 29, 2011 - Interim president Abdu Rabu Mansoor Hadi tells CNN in an interview that the government has lost control over five provinces.
August 18, 2011 - The Yemeni government officially accuses Hamid al-Ahmar, the opposition's wealthiest businessman, and Ali Mohsen, the most powerful military leader in the country of planning the assassination plot on President Ali Abdullah Saleh two months ago.
September 2, 2011 - Approximately two million people demonstrate across Yemen, demanding that the military remove President Ali Abdullah Saleh from power.
September 23, 2011 - President Saleh returns to Yemen, after more than three months of medical treatment in Saudi Arabia.
For developments in Yemen after 2011 -- see Yemen Fast Facts