The mood certainly isn't what it used to be. Some Internet activists may still believe in the advent of a new era. And some eternal optimists may still claim that whatever happens, it can't be worse than it was before. A rather silent majority, however, is longing for peace and quiet, and for affordable staple foods.
Depending on who one talks to, the dream of a better future seems more a less reachable and chaos more or less threatening. Certainly it also depends on the country: Tunisia is not Egypt is not Yemen is not Syria. And it certainly isn't Libya, let alone Bahrain.
While videos are still being feverishly uploaded and plans are being schemed, it is becoming quite obvious that the phase of rapid successes is over. Now seems to be the time of dogged power struggles, of Realpolitik, of international meddling and dubious alliances.
"When I talk to outsiders, I can tell them what I really think: that the current situation in my country and elsewhere in the Arab World is disastrous. That I think the protesters ought to go home. But when I sit with Arabs, I keep my mouth shut. If you publicly say that you don't believe in the revolutions, you'll immediately be accused of supporting the government," a Syrian in Beirut tells me.
By Stephanie Doetzer
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