For the first time in a generation, it is not religion, nor the adventures of a single leader, nor wars with Israel that have energized the region. Across Egypt and the Middle East, a somewhat nostalgic notion of a common Arab identity, intersecting with a visceral sense of what amounts to a decent life, is driving protests that have bound the region in a sense of a shared destiny.
“The experience of Tunisia will remain the guiding light for Egypt and may be so for people in Yemen, Sudan and the rest of the Arab world looking for change, with a readiness to accept risk, especially given that even the worst possibilities are better than the status quo,” Talal Salman, the editor of Al Safir, wrote on Friday.
A chant in Egypt put it more bluntly, playing on the longstanding chants of Islamists that “Islam is the solution.” “Tunisia,” they shouted, “is the solution.”
Real women are tall. Real women are short. They’re wide. Gaunt. Their bones can stick out of their collarbones, or be disguised by curves or fat. There are real women with breasts and real women with flat chests. There are real women who have had to have their breasts or ovaries removed, and…
“It was then that Richard began to laugh; he couldn’t help himself. There was hysteria in there, certainly, but there was also the exhaustion of someone who had managed, somehow, to believe several dozen impossible things in the last twenty-four hours, without ever getting a proper breakfast.”—Neil Gaiman, Neverwhere
Tunisia launched a coup against its "democratic" president using Facebook
making it the first successful internet revolution. Unfortunately, this means that there is probably not a united opposition faction that can now step in to fill the power vacuum, but if elections go off smoothly in six months, this will have been another example of the seriously cool things the internet can do.
“I planned how I would kill myself in the time of Churchill (stand under bombs), Victoria (throw myself under a horse), and Henry the Eighth (marry Henry the Eighth). I worked out how to kill myself under Labour and Conservative governments, and why it was not important to have a plan for suicide under the Liberal Democrats. I began to understand how your country worked.”—Chris Cleave, Little Bee
“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you’re wonderful, and don’t forget to make some art—write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself.”—Neil Gaiman