There is no future without the past. An empirical, mechanistic and a pragmatic approach to the revolution sweeping across the region from the Atlantic Ocean to the Arabian Sea would end up in a flawed analysis and a disastrous fate for the mass upheaval.

On Tuesday, April 5, in Riyadh the (female) literacy campaign teachers staged a protest in front of the Ministry of Civil Services, demanding full time employment.

Things have been changing very rapidly in Syria, including some violent shifts in the mood of different layers of society. Last Friday, named the Friday of Martyrs, did not meet expectations in terms of the number of protesters, however we saw new towns join the protests as well as the Kurds coming out for the first time. Also some members of the Christian community joined the movement.

On Tuesday, Vice President Farouq al-Sharaa (clearly alive in spite of rumours to the contrary) announced the President was going to be making a speech which would "make the people happy". Tuesday night came and went, and nothing came from Assad. His media advisor, Buthaina Shaaban, came out and repeated that the emergency law would be repealed, without saying when.

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