I recall standing next to Hillary Clinton, in Doha at the beginning of 2011, watching on a hotel television the latest pictures of unrest on the streets of Tunisia. We mused that something about what we were seeing looked unusual. Those contemporary events chimed well with a prescient speech she was about to give, warning Arab states of ‘sinking into the sands’ and urging the tackling of issues of governance and economic pressure which were more than looming. The rest we know.
It is a memory I have that reminds me of a US Secretary of State’s concern for the region and its peoples, and the ability of unpredictable events there to move fast and have a profound impact on the world and on policy.