"This experience at least raises the possibility that broad public opinion in the U.S. could play a greater role going forward in constraining the U.S. government from supporting repression in the Arab world. The benefits for humanity of such a shift would be so great that even a small increase in its probability deserves serious attention.
With these concerns in mind, I recently read Rami Zurayk's book, Food, Farming, and Freedom: Sowing the Arab Spring. Zurayk is an agronomy professor at the American University of Beirut, a civic activist in Lebanon, especially around issues of support for agriculture and development in southern Lebanon, and author of the blog Land and People, about issues of rural development.
Food, Farming, and Freedom addresses issues of food sovereignty, farming, environment, and rural economic development in the Arab world, providing "backstory" for the Arab Spring: what were the conditions that helped produce this uprising?"