In my article in February 2011, I described the wave of protests triggered by events in Tunisia that was sweeping across the Arab region as a ‘Tunisami’. Then only Tunisian ruler Zein Ben Ali had bowed to the clamour for new freedoms and new opportunities. Now, almost two months later, Egypt has succumbed, and in other Arab countries rulers are either accepting reform or confronting demonstrators with brutal force – though it is buying time, no more.
It is still young people (between 15 and 24), representing more than a third of the total citizens of the Arab region, who continue to be at the eye of this Tunisami. (Although in Libya the use of arms by anti-government groups to defend their community against military attack by the Libyan army, loyal to Gaddafi, marginalized the masses (no more all age groups, men and women, on the streets) and events are taking a different turn from in Egypt and Tunisia.) People are showing less and less fear, and since the beginning of March demonstrations have spread to almost all Arab countries with results that promise change towards a vibrant society. Indeed, in three months, since January, more has happened in the region than in the last 50 years.