This month marks six years since the beginning of the Arab spring, a series of events that were meant to be a major turning point in the modern Middle East.
It was the self-immolation of a Tunisian street vendor and his death on 4 January that initiated a revolutionary year. The subsequent protests energised ordinary Arabs, who recovered, it seemed, a popular self-confidence diminished by six decades of autocracy.
Four Arab leaders fell. Yet six short years on those dreams are now in tatters.
The sole democratic success was Tunisia, which did see a peaceful transition from authoritarian rule to elective government.
The underlying reasons for revolt have not gone away. In many ways the conditions today are even more explosive than in 2011. The Arab state is in crisis almost everywhere.