In past sessions of the Al Jazeera Forum, held each year in the network's Qatar hometown, reform in the Arab world was discussed with an air of resignation: "Someday...maybe."

An organized international airlift relieved the high pressure human flood from Libya into Tunisia on Thursday, as word spread to thousands of stranded refugees that planes were taking them home.

Over 10 days in February, the island of Lampedusa saw its biggest arrival of undocumented immigrants from nearby North Africa. Six thousand young Tunisian men and a handful of women, packed into fishing boats with as many as 200 aboard, made the perilous journey across 70 miles of open ocean to the southernmost Italian outpost.

As a democratic revolution led by tech-empowered young people sweeps the Arab world, Wadah Khanfar, the head of Al Jazeera, shares a profoundly optimistic view of what’s happening in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and beyond — at this powerful moment when people realized they could step out of their houses and ask for change.

The young Arab women and men of Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya and Yemen have proved that they are willing to die to build a better future. They yearn for freedom, opportunity and democracy. It is doubtful they will accept anything less.

February 25, 2011

After weeks of diplomatic wavering on the tumult in the Arab world, President Nicolas Sarkozy is scrambling to signal to the world that France is back on track, defending core human values and treading with a sure foot in the changed Middle East.

Even as the European Union has moved toward formulating a unified policy on Egypt and Tunisia, member states are sharply divided over how to deal with the increasingly volatile and violent situation in Libya.