...The convulsion is now being described in terms of a "scenario" to be avoided elsewhere in the Arab world, with commentators looking around the region, notably to Tunisia's eastern neighbour Algeria, where riots over food prices have only just subsided, and towards Egypt, where recent attacks on the Christian Copts raised the spectre of deepening sectarian violence.
What is afoot in North Africa, and will it really infect the internal dynamics of other Arab states?...strains on living standards affecting the whole region. In 2008, a sudden, 30 per cent rise in the price of imported wheat provoked widespread bread riots in Egypt, and Jordan has recently seen protests over living costs too.
Major gunbattles erupted outside the palace of Tunisia's deposed president, in the center of the capital, in front of the main opposition party headquarters and elsewhere on Sunday as authorities struggled to restore order and the world waited to see if the North African nation would continue its first steps away from autocratic rule...Syrian authorities sharply raised a key subsidy on Sunday in a reversal of policy after Tunisia's president was driven from power by unrest over soaring prices, unemployment and state repression. The government had hitherto been slashing subsidies as it lifts bans on private enterprise to try and repair decades of economic stagnation and draw back capital.
In neighboring Jordan, the state announced a $225 million package of cuts in the prices of several fuels and staple products including sugar and rice. Meanwhile, Islamists in Jordan, emboldened by protests in Tunisia called on Sunday for an end to what they called authoritarian rule in their country.
And even Libya slips in:
Gaddafi's Libya has had its own protests over the past few days. Nothing on the scale of Tunisia, but enough that his speech to Tunisians could be summarised thus: I am scared witless by what happened in your country.
I live in Israel, at a revenant community village and am Jewish.
But this isn't my fault.
The Arabs' responsibility is all their own.
And they've "earned" it.