Thirty years of research have identified common facets of social movements (i.e. grievances, resources, ideology, and opportunity) that challenge and change government systems. An example was the 1989 demise of the Soviet socialist bloc in Eastern Europe, which is described in Oberschall’s 2000 article “Social Movements and the Transition to Democracy” and in Opp & Gern’s 1993 study, “Dissident Groups, Personal Networks, and Spontaneous Cooperation: The East German Revolution of 1989.” Once again we are witnessing a region-wide upheaval, this time in the Middle East as the Arab uprisings that began in Tunisia continue to ripple across national boundaries. It is too early to say with certainty how or why this cascade started, much less tell where it is headed. However, some basic facts make the situation worth inspecting carefully, especially since youth have been on the forefront of numerous movements throughout history. This has surely been the case in the contemporary Middle East.