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Young Iraqis and Lebanese aren't just demanding better societies. They're creating them at protest sites

Beirut, Lebanon (CNN)An elderly woman in an SUV snakes through a crowd of young people on Beirut's main highway, known as "the Ring." "You shouldn't have let her pass!" protester Amir Baroudy, 26, yells at a group of youths, apparently distracted from the task at hand: forcing a road closure. The demonstrators are scattered around the entrance to the Ring. Some form a circle, sitting cross-legged on the asphalt. One protester rolls a cigarette, another scrolls through his phone. A month ago, the city's residents would have considered the scene surreal. But since nationwide protests against political elites and corruption took off on October 17, casual gatherings of young men and women disrupting Lebanon's main arteries have become the norm ...