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Will 2011 be the Arab world’s 1989?

Here’s a question we’ve been asking ourselves this week: Is 2011 going to become the Arab world’s 1989?

1989 was the year the Berlin Wall fell and change swept across the Soviet bloc. It’s not an exact analogy. There’s no Soviet Union collapsing to spur things along this time around. In fact, to understand what’s happening now — or what might happen next — you need to know something about each of the Arab countries where an autocratic ruler has been deposed, is fighting for his political life, or perhaps is only wondering if he’s next.

We’ll start where it all started, in Tunisia: