"The Arab Awakening, for that is what it is, which began in Tunisia and is now gripping Egypt, has taken western powers, and indeed the world, by surprise. Yet it is the Arab people themselves, myself included, men and women of all ages, who have been most surprised by what is happening – perhaps even more than the region's dictators and regimes. Until now, it has been accepted and tacitly taught in Arab society that Arabs are weak, incapable of change, of holding their destiny in their own hands.
It is said that since the great Arab conquests of the first millennium and Saladin's victories, Arabs have known only defeats, decline and degeneration, a fate doomed to persist. What is happening today has great political significance: in one form or another, there will be political change in Egypt, which will affect the whole region. But this revolution is also cultural: bringing an incredible shift in Arabs' perception of themselves and what they're capable of achieving."