The Arab Spring, 18 Months Later

More than a year fter their moment of glory, young protesters in Egypt and Tunisia are chain-smoking in cafes, wondering what went wrong.

arab.jpgYoung Moroccans protest the sweeping wins of an Islamist party in a November 2011 election. (Reuters)

Notes from the Aspen Ideas Festival -- See full coverage

Last February, they were braving bullets and sending tweets around the world. Today, says CNN's Hala Gorani, "those secular, hipster youngsters" have been totally shut out of the political process. On her most recent visit to Egypt, she says, "they were so  depressed, chain smoking in cafes. They don't know what to do anymore."

Gorani's observation launches a spirited debate in this video session from the Aspen Ideas Festival. Former diplomat Nicholas Burns responds that there are revolutionaries with a hand in the political process, and Congresswoman Jane Harman insists that Americans should help them learn how to govern.

Meanwhile, Foreign Policy's David Rothkopf is skeptical about whether Americans truly want to help those disenfranchised revolutionaries. For years, he points out, the U.S. government has done everything in its power to stabilize the Middle East, even when that's meant aligning with dictators. If there's going to be continued progress and upheaval in Egypt and Tunisia, he argues, "the people who've got to make this happen are the people of the region."

Presented by

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. Who cares about youth? James Hamblin turns to his colleague Jeffrey Goldberg for advice.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. James Hamblin turns to a colleague for advice.

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Video

Pittsburgh: 'Better Than You Thought'

How Steel City became a bikeable, walkable paradise

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

More in Global

Just In