In February 2011, following the spark of uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, Libyans across the country began a series of massive street protests against Muammar Gaddafi’s 42 years autocracy. The demonstrations started on February 15th and towards the end of the month, it was reported that Gaddafi had lost control of most of his country with exception of a few strongholds in the western region. On February 22, 2011, Gaddafi gave a televised speech amidst violent social unrest against his government. In the speech (said in Arabic), Gaddafi vowed to hunt down protesters "inch by inch, house by house, home by home, alleyway by alleyway [Arabic: زنقة زنقة prounouced in Libyan dialect as Zenga Zenga], person by person." The shebab used this slogan to fight the dictator, inch by inch.