x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 January 2018

Figures show changing face of young Arabs

Survey results: While jobs, wages and corruption still weigh on Arab youths today, there appears to be a renewed optimism for the region's future, the Arab Youth Survey reveals.

The Arab world has changed a lot in the past 12 months and so, it appears, have the opinions of the region's 18 to 24-year olds.

A year ago they worried about finding a job, securing a decent wage and corruption in their governments. While those concerns still exist in 2013, there is a stronger theme emerging - a renewed optimism for the region's future.

This comes from the latest edition of the Arab Youth Survey, compiled by Asda'a Burson-Marsteller. Now in its fifth year, it interviewed 3,000 young Arab men and women across 15 countries.

It found that almost three-quarters of Arab youth agree "our best days are ahead of us", a feeling that was shared by Arabian Gulf and non-Arabian Gulf states, and not affected by this year's inclusion into the survey of Algeria, Morocco and Yemen.

Even young Iraqis, who last year saw the withdrawal of US troops from its soil, had high hopes for the future, proving themselves to be the most positive about their own nation's future with 71 per cent expressing optimism.

But there is still concern over the types of issues that affect the young globally, namely "being paid a fair wage", something that concerns 82 per cent of young Arabs.

The rising cost of living also worries 62 per cent of Arab youth, along with unemployment, with 43 per cent having lost their jobs or knowing a friend or relative who lost theirs.

- Alice Haine