On February 18, the Valdai Discussion Club held the third session of its Ninth Middle East Conference, titled "Is the Arab Street Making a Comeback?".
A new wave of protest sentiment has swept the countries of the Middle East. Lebanon, Iraq, Algeria, Sudan, Iran have faced large-scale manifestations of popular discontent. Unresolved socio-economic problems, corruption, poor governance, fear of long overdue reforms, the irremovability of the elites, the lack of prospects and social elevators for young people brought people to the streets again. In many cases, the demonstrations were hardly peaceful.
Can protests be considered a direct continuation of the “Arab spring” or do they signal a new stage in the march for justice? What has become the main agenda? Is the current “spring” exclusively Arab? Will the young angry generation become a source of constant internal tension in the Middle East?