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Sunday, 20 February 2011

Rage,Rap and Revolution: Inside the Arab Youth Quake

It has probably been the biggest shock of the century: to see a whole swathe, neigh a whole generation, of Arab youths running wild against their aggressors, the governments to which they have had to endure years of autocratic rule.

If you had been asked the question a few weeks ago whether a major, seismic shift could emanate from the Middle east and from it's penurious downtrodden populace, from Arab youths more accustomed to joblessness than riots and anarchy, you would have answered in the way that any sane person would - with a resounding "no". But that is what has happened and if it were a YouTube hit video or a popular song we would agree that it had gone "viral" as it has spread like an Aussie bush fire.

I just read the amazingly accurate article in Time magazine where it says that many social commentators simply got it wrong when they just expected the young Arab generation, who are mostly under thirty, to just accept these dictators and their autocratic pronouncements in a docile, almost obliging way.

Even those who have watched this generation come of age in the Middle East struggle to explain its sudden empowerment. "These young people have done more in a few weeks than their parents did in 30 years," says Hassan Nafaa, a political-science professor at Cairo University. "They are the Internet Generation ... or the Facebook Generation ... or just call them the Miracle Generation.

One wonders now not how these despots will repair the damage, but about other questions. For example, after Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Sudan, Bahrain and many others, what will be the next country to experience this unparalleled fissure in geo-politcal dynamics? Will Libya be the next to fall? Will the king of Bahrain be forced to step down as has been demanded of the demonstrators and end 200 years of monarchic tradition? The latest eruptions have come from Morocco where only a few thousand demonstrators have voiced their disapproval at their government. Is this the start of a New World Order in the Middle East?

1 comment:

Ajarn Mike said...

I think it's amazing what the Arab youth have accomplished so far and I'm sure it will continue until the other dictators fall as well. Nevertheless, I think the big daddy to watch for is China. That revolution would indeed have global repercussions...definitely within our lifetimes that regime will fall, it's just a matter of when. Cheers!