Middle East Notes and Comment: The Arab Decade?
January 24, 2012
One year ago, the protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square proved that Tunisia was not a fluke. Until January 2011, Tunisia didn’t resonate much in the Arab world. It was too small, too Francophile, and too socially liberal. If anything, Tunisia had demonstrated for years the profound truth that Arab regimes could repress their way out of their problems, and Tunisia’s government was able to do so, until it wasn’t. Egypt was always a different kind of country. It obviously mattered. Tunisia’s change in government was a distant rumble in the Arab world, but Egypt’s was an earthquake.
Yet, many drew the wrong lessons from Egypt’s uprising.