There are plenty of grounds for a paradoxical 'pessoptimism' about developments in the Middle East and North Africa, writes Harry Hagopian. The huge Arab struggles for dignity and freedom are vital but will take a long time. History in Europe and the USA should surely teach us that revolutions are never made in one swoop, but take time and cause pain.
A hurricane of change is blowing through the Arab world. Even now, many Arab regimes are still in denial, says Nadim Shehadi. But this volatile situation also challenges the West to grasp a new political reality.
Despite the pernicious narratives of past decades, and despite dismissive Western attitudes towards the Middle East and North Africa, Arabs are showing that they can practise democracy after all, says Harry Hagopian. This moment in history is not just a revolt, it is a struggle for the Arab soul.
Elizabeth Suzanne Kassab's new book, published recently by Columbia University Press (CUP), is a timely assessment of the challenges facing Arab thought today, and contains some material which is unique in terms of research.
At a church service in Jerusalem on Sunday, Christian leaders called for an end to 40 years of Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and emphasized the church's commitment to non-violence in the service of peace.