The young insider-outsiders of the Middle East, blogging openly about their frustrations with the Arab world, about its persistent prejudices and limitations, as a way of liberalizing their societies, are doing what the front line of any social movement does — they say the unspeakable, they form the bonds that were previously unthinkable, they stand in the places that they are not supposed to stand. The Arab world will reform only when mindsets begin to change and a culture of dissent burgeons where it has never been allowed to exist openly before. If there is a way to kick-start this process, it is surely in the post of a twentysomething blogger wondering out loud why things can’t be more open, more transparent — more different.

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Gal Beckerman is a former staff writer at CJR.