Is now the time for a new Arab democracy?
This topic was discussed on World Have Your Say on 27 January 2011. Listen to the programme.
Protests in Egypt are entering their third day, angry demonstrators torched a police post and up to a thousand people have been detained. There is a pledge for more people to take the streets again tomorrow. Similarly protests have broken out in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa calling for the President to step down.
Like those in Egypt, they say they have been inspired by events in Tunisia earlier this month. In the past week there have also been rallys in Jordan calling for the government to resign over rising prices and unemployment.
While many of the protestors are drawing strength from one another, each country in the region has different challenges and pressures and political set ups. It's far from a foregone conclusion that what happened in Tunisia will create a domino effect.
Certainly the demonstrators in Tunisia and Egypt that we have spoken to on WHYS in the last week or so have talked about their desire for change and the fear disappearing as they realise they can bring about that change. Mohammed on last night's programme spoke about paying the personal price to achieve those aims. Is the Middle East ready for a democratic revolution? Are Tunisia and Egypt the future of Arab Democracy?
This article suggests that if Arabic countries are to change, the west and particularly the USA must also change in the way it treats them.
So are streets protests that bring down a government the future model for democracy in the Arab countries? Is this the way to bring about change? Is there a danger that with democracy comes instability?