It all began with a disgruntled fruit vendor in a small Tunisian town. Mohamed Bouazizi, furious over some snatched apples, set himself on fire in protest, and, unleashed such deep and wide currents of disaffection across North Africa and the Middle East that now, some six months later, despots have been swept from power and the region is changed forever.
But where does the so-called Arab Spring stand? Full-on revolutions are remaking such regional heavyweights as Egypt and smaller states like Tunisia. But even as it grows harder and harder with every passing week to keep track of the proliferating unrest and revolt, it's clear that we are still only witnessing the earliest stages of what will undoubtedly mark a watershed episode in the history of the Arab world. And as such political moments go, much of the scene today is vicious, bloody, and uncertain.
Andrew Bast is a Senior Articles Editor for the international edition of Newsweek. He has reported from four continents for several newspapers, including The New York Times, and now writes about global security. Follow him on Twitter: @andrewbast