The Arab world was a center of intellectual fervor and scientific discovery when my forefathers in Northern Europe were a rather backward people raiding neighbors and toiling for the King. Over time the tables turned and the last several decades in the Arab world were a period of political control, few basic freedoms and widespread exclusion.
Meanwhile people in other parts of the world enjoyed increasing freedoms and an information and media revolution making information accessible to more and more people. Now, almost overnight, millions of Arab citizens have joined this global table of exchange and openness. Twitters, facebook posts and blogs are buzzing around the Arab world with new-found freedom and excitement.