The article argues that of the three structural problems of the Arab world, as enumerated in the UNDP Arab Human Development report, freedom, knowledge, and women’s power deficit, the Arab Awakening has only tackled the first one, and with mixed results. The speed of social change has not matched that of political change. Firstly, the authoritarian model of government is still replicated in the society, especially in state sector institutions. Secondly, the notion of citizenship has not been sufficiently developed and the role of intellectuals in the Awakening has been less than expected. Thirdly, the social and political changes may both be slowed down or even reversed if the economic grievances of the Arab world persist. Lastly the article shows how ambiguous and multi-faceted the US’s and the EU’s reaction has been to the Arab Awakening.