The Post Arab Spring period seems to be one of disillusionment. One observer suggests that citizenship skills are yet-to-be-learned:
The fall of dictatorships does not guarantee the creation of free societies. There is often a period in which we witness the legacy of tyranny. The Arab uprisings have overthrown tyrants in Egypt and Libya, but the populations and lawmakers have yet to grasp that democracy is not only about free elections but creating free societies.
When sexual harassment of women increases on the streets of Egypt, when centuries-old shrines of Muslim saints are destroyed with explosives in Libya, when screenings of films such as “Persepolis” trigger riots in Tunisia and Christian minorities across the Middle East feel under siege, then we must stop pretending that all is well with the Arab Spring. But all is not lost either.
Arab societies are on a journey. They can easily take the wrong turn. The attacks on the American embassies in Libya, Egypt and Yemen are examples of the ongoing presence of intolerant, tyrannical actors in Arab societies.
Longtime Middle East observer and professor at Johns Hopkins Fouad Adjami asks why these protests erupt here but not as easily in other locations:
The ambivalence toward modernity that torments Muslims is unlikely to abate. The temptations of the West have alienated a younger generation from its elders. Men and women insist that they revere the faith as they seek to break out of its restrictions. Freedom of speech, granting license and protection to the irreverent, is cherished, protected and canonical in the Western tradition. Now Muslims who quarrel with offensive art are using their newfound freedoms to lash out against it.
These cultural contradictions do not lend themselves to the touch of outsiders.