For Egyptians, Tunisians, and anyone who has ever experienced life under a dictatorship, the sight of people lining up to vote is cause for jubilation and the most reassuring sign that the revolution is working.
From the West these demonstrations have been viewed solely through the lens of secularism versus Islam, free speech versus blasphemy; but in fact, the situation is more complex than that, and more political.
While Tunisia has avoided the instability that has threatened to push Egypt back into full-scale contestation, it is clear that tensions are rising and that those tensions are centering on the subject of Islam.
The first Arab revolution in Tunisia may stand the best chance of success of ushering in the more open, democratic government that protesters demanded. Robert Malley shared his insights into Tunisia's revolution.
There can be no doubt about the core of the revolutions sweeping North Africa and the Middle East. As John F. Kennedy said in another context 50 years ago, the torch is being passed to a new generation.
Two centuries ago, news of revolution -- and revolution itself -- reverberated back and forth across the Atlantic at astonishing speed. The social media of the day? Word-of-mouth information, rumor, and opinion.
For two long centuries, the Arab Middle East has struggled to meet the challenge of modernity, a task exacerbated by the lingering, and increasing, dissonance between the glorious past and the shameful present.
Despite the obvious budgetary constraints and American voters' traditional resistance to "foreign aid," this is a time to prioritize our assistance to the areas that need it most and to continue to incorporate Internet efforts.