So why is the west failing to make democracy and women's rights central to aid and trade policies in the region? Why does the EU's aid package to the region - which is supposed to link funding to democratic reform - make no mention of women's rights among the benchmarks governments must meet to keep the money flowing?
Much has been said in recent years about the decline of the media profession as social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook circulate news before journalists even get a chance to put the nib of their pen to paper so to speak. So if the risks of conflict reporting are steadily getting higher yet the return or the presumed relevance of such reporting is rapidly declining in the face of around the clock tweeting and uploading - will we see a dearth of conflict reporters risking their lives to get the story?
Why do individual riot officers who may sympathise with the causes of protesters continue to use force to suppress them? How can officers shoot at a protest that they could have been a part of, had they not chosen to become members of the police? They too experience injustices, have families that must be fed and educated and hold opinions on social and political issues.
Walking round Cairo just before the current unrest began, I was shown some stylish graffiti. Staring down at me regally from a wall, was Nefertiti. She didn't look terribly impressed. The Pharonic Queen was wearing a gas mask over her mouth and nose, seemingly preparing for combat, while her eyes seemed to say "Over three thousand years since my reign and I have to put up with this nonsense".
It is a fact that, across the Middle East and North Africa, the so-called "Arab Spring" has highlighted the relevance of the public sphere, an area in social life where individuals can come together to freely discuss and identify societal problems and through that discussion influence political action.