A "xenophobic" ad campaign in Egypt caught my eye during this past week of presidential election drama. Last night, however, I was transfixed as I read a British journalist named Natasha Smith's account of being sexually assaulted in Tahrir.
I've heard this sentiment echoed since the first day I arrived in Cairo last May, where I lived for eight months. I was picked up at the airport by an Egyptian student, Refaat, who said upon hearing that I was Iranian-American: "I love Ahmadinejad."
Egypt's fractious politics reached the tiny Gulf state of Qatar on Friday night, as a group of protesters was removed from Gharafa Stadium in the capital Doha during the Egyptian national soccer team's match against the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Human Rights Watch said that firm and consistent international support for peaceful protesters and government critics is the best way to pressure the autocrats in the Middle East and North Africa to end abuses and enhance basic freedoms.
The Middle East is certainly not the only region to have witnessed such demographic changes; other emerging market economies have successfully harnessed their youth bulges for development. Why should then the demographic transition in the Arab world be feared?
By all accounts we are witnessing a political eruption of major proportions in the Arab Middle East. So many superlatives were already used to describe this situation, and the word "historic" is clearly one of the most used. But is it?
The downfall of pro-U.S. Arab regimes in the Middle East, an emboldened Arab public angry at Israel and hostile to U.S. foreign policy, and growing assertiveness of Shiites could benefit Iran's standing in the region.