Youth

Are Iraqi youths losing their religion?

“It’s about my identity,” Yara Ali said with confidence. Ali is an Arab-Iraqi lawyer and prominent activist living in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq; for security reasons, she uses a pseudonym. “I was forced to wear it. It was to protect me, but it wasn’t me.” Yara, 29, told Al-Monitor. A couple of years ago, the modern, educated woman who had become…

Lebanon: divided politics, shared discontent

The explosion at the port of Beirut killed at least 150 people, and the subsequent massive protests led to the resignation of the government. However, the protests are not about replacing the figureheads, but about addressing the ‘bankruptcy’ of the political pact that was intended to keep the religious groups in balance. The fear is great that giving up on…

Youth in MENA: Findings from the Fifth Wave of the Arab Barometer

Key Findings: Youth economic frustration across MENA is increasing. Youth have little trust in governments, which are widely viewed as being corrupt, leading to a potential crisis of legitimacy in the region. However, views of youth differ relatively little from older generations in this regard. Youth are more likely to want to emigrate and to participate in informal politics. Arab…

The Mideast Pudding Loses Its Theme

“Take away this pudding! It has no theme,” Winston Churchill is said to have exclaimed when confronted with an undistinguished dessert. The Middle East today resembles one of those puddings, but Uncle Sam may not send it back. A themeless pudding is better than a poisoned one. It is hard to overstate how much the Middle East has changed in…

Protests in North Africa: The Arab Spring Was Just the Beginning

2011 was not the end, but the beginning, and maybe it wasn’t even that. Perhaps the deep crisis of the traditional social contract that underpinned most of the MENA region’s ruling regimes since independence had begun even before. The first cracks could be already be heard by sensitive ears in the 2000s, when the liberal reforms introduced by several Arab…

Managing Migration Pressure through improved Youth Employability

Promoting productive employment opportunities dominates policy agendas around the world, particularly in the YEM Partner Countries. This is not surprising considering the demographic trends in these countries where a big – and expanding – share of the national populations is under the age of 25. As a substantial majority of the population approaches working age, there is a critical need…

Young Arabs are Changing their Beliefs and Perceptions: New Survey

Less religious and less likely to be following religious leaders: these are the findings of a survey conducted among youth in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) by the Arab Barometer, a pollster surveying the main social and economic trends in the region. The main findings were published by The Economist on 5 December 2019, showing that ‘across the…

Writing the Next Chapters of Morocco and Algeria

Morocco is no stranger to protests, but its situation differs from that of Algeria. A recent article on the BBC using data from the Arab Barometer survey asked the question, “Could Morocco see the next uprising after Sudan and Algeria?” While it was selective in its choice of data points, for example, attitudes toward religion, the point of the article, which…