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After a weekend of violent clashes, protesters have occupied Tahrir Square, in central Cairo, and vowed to stay put until the military authorities are removed. Many said they were ready to die for the revolution, which began in late January as an anti-Mubarak movement, but is now targeting the army generals of the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (Scaf) who replaced him.

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Concerns that the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak earlier this year was really a coup that the military rode into power on the coattails of the popular uprising now appear to be proven correct.

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The Arab League’s move against Syria on the weekend to suspend it, may signal its transformation from a sleepy bastion for potentates and strongmen to a more dynamic regional alliance. Once a wellspring of Arab pride and nationalism, Syria is confronting the changing dynamics of the region as old alliances fade and new brokers emerge.

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Al Jazeera is loved by some and hated by others – like George W Bush who wanted to bomb their headquarters in Qatar until convinced it wasn’t such a good idea by Tony Blair. From small beginnings, the Qatar-based channel has now become the world’s best-known – and most influential – source of news from the Middle East.

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This year’s Arab Spring has meant tough times for the tourism industry across North Africa and the Middle East. With popular uprisings leading to regime change in Egypt and Tunisia, popular beach resorts such as Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh were left deserted in the early part of the year, as holiday companies evacuated European tourists.

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More democracy is bringing more political Islam in the countries of the Arab Spring, but Islamist statements about sharia or religion in politics are only rough indicators of what the real effect might be.

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No one knows exactly who is fomenting the discontent between Christian Copts and Muslims in Egypt, but many are certain it is being stoked by supporters of dictatorships in the Arab world. According to Egyptians, there are people who are now looking to cause tensions between the rich and poor, the middle class and the wealthy, the peasants and the city, Christians and Muslims – trying to show the new system is not working.

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Obama’s abject surrender to Israel on the Palestine question has shocked much of the world and gravely damaged the United States’ standing among Arabs and Muslims. If he’s now driven to use the US veto at the UN Security Council to block the application of a Palestinian state for UN membership, he will have been defeated by the very forces of Islamophobia he once hoped to tame.

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The anxiety caused by the Arab Spring among the Israeli public became a reality this weekend, when protesters broke into the Israeli Embassy in Cairo, and expelled the Israeli diplomats from their country. A few days earlier the Israeli ambassador was expelled from Ankara the only difference is that in Turkey, the government initiated the downgrading of ties, while in Egypt the people did so against the will of their rulers.

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Mubarak with his sons in cages, and in this case the picture is worth a million words. The entire Arab world is watching with awe as a despot deemed invincible just some months ago is facing his destiny.

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