By Emad Mekay
".....I understand that some Western institutions that feign Middle East expertise were brutally debunked when they miserably failed to predict the wave of changes in the region from early December of last year. Western intelligence, think-tanks, diplomats, TV pundits and certainly some journalists were at a loss for words.
To compensate for that, some Western connection had to be conjured up. The inaccurate role of different Western establishments in the Arab Spring, this time social media, was conjured up.
The smart marketing gimmick was so powerful that some 10 months later, Western circles now give little or no credit to the indigenous Arab social change mechanisms that have so far kept Arab revolutions raging for a year now.
The tools Arabs used were not mainly Google, Facebook or Twitter. They were simply their own I-Revolt apps.
One of the most potent native tools in organising mass protests in Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, Yemen and, occasionally, in other Arab countries was not Facebook or Twitter but "Friday-book dot come rally now".
If that doesn't ring a bell, just Google "Friday of Rage," "Friday of Liberation" or the "Friday of Departure" among many other Fridays.....
Western capitals had originally slumbered through the Tunisian revolution until ousted president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali was almost at the door. And when Western powers finally noticed, in a way thanks to social media, their initial knee-jerk reaction was to try to keep Stooge 0.1 Ben Ali and Stooge 0.2 Mubarak from crashing.
So for now, to get accurate analysis and, subsequently helpful policy recommendations towards the Arab Spring, Western institutions need to take a deep breath, read about courage in admitting failures, stop trying to take credit for something they didn't do, and look hard and deep into what really happened in the Arab region.
Maybe for a change they will be able to see things in the Middle East for what they really were. In that case, it was for sure their Friday-book, not Facebook. "