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People are making an alternative history while revolution is sweeping across the Arab world. Since the fall of Hosni Mubarak on 11 February 2011, the unfolding pre-democracy protests and uprisings shook the Middle East and North Africa. The shock waves of Arab uprisings are rocking authoritarian regimes from Bahrain to Libya. Although Colonel Muammar Gaddafi is fierce, he is not the last champion of dictatorships that have been ruling Muslim countries for the last four decades. A street-level Arab revolt is taking place, which is unique in the history of the region. However, it is difficult to predict how these uprisings will evolve in the short, medium and long term. Each protest movement is distinct in origin in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen and Libya yet they all share some common characteristics: the youth, unemployment of many participants, their internet savvy, and, more importantly, corrupt, rich authoritarian rulers who have been kept in power by the West. Furthermore, they have three unprecedented consequences and implications on how we see the Arab world and people: the importance of people power; the role of social media; and the evidence of the growth of assertive secularism in the Arab world.

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