ASDA'A Burson-Marsteller is "Media & Marketing Company of the Year" at Arabian Business Achievement Awards 2016
When asked whether they agree or disagree with the statement “Democracy will never work in the region,” 39 per cent of Arab youth agree it will never work, 36 per cent think it could work while the remaining 25 per cent are unsure. Conflicting views on democracy are further highlighted when youth are asked to name the biggest obstacles facing the region with just 15 per cent citing “lack of democracy,” down from 38 per cent in 2014, 43 per cent in 2013 and 41 per cent in 2012. In 2011, “living in a democracy” was the most important desire for 92 per cent of Arab youth polled.
Similarly, confidence among youth that the Arab Spring would bring positive change across the region is declining. In 2015, just 38 per cent agree that the Arab world is better off following the Arab Spring, compared to 54 per cent in 2014, 70 per cent in 2013, and 72 per cent in 2012.
International polling firm Penn Schoen Berland (PSB) conducted 3,500 face-to-face interviews with exclusively Arab national men and women aged 18-24 in the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain; Iraq, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Palestine, Tunisia, Morocco, Algeria and Yemen. The interviews were conducted from January 20th to February 12th, 2015.
“The Arab Youth Survey is an annual initiative of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller, the Middle East’s leading Public Relations consultancy. The seventh edition of the Survey was developed to provide reliable data and insights into the attitudes and aspirations of the region’s 200 million-strong youth population with the aim of informing policy and decision-making of both government and the private sector. The MENA market is known for its young demographic with 60 per cent of its population below the age of 25,” said Jeremy Galbraith, CEO of Burson-Marsteller Europe, Middle East and Africa.
Commenting on the survey, Jay Leveton, CEO of PSB, said: “We understand the value of evidence-based insights, in a region where research is often limited. The findings of our Survey provide public and private sector organisations with data and analysis to help them make more informed decision-making and public policy formation.”
Our approach to understand the Arab world’s unique dynamics through the eyes of its youth has also made the Survey’s results relevant - and often the only authoritative referral source in the region.
“We hope that the findings of the Survey, which we share in the public domain as part of our social responsibility, will further add to the constructive dialogue about the hopes and aspirations of Arab youth,” John concluded.
Below are some of the key findings:
The rise of ISIS is seen as the biggest obstacle facing the region and fewer than half of Arab youth are confident their national government can deal with it. The rise of ISIS - also known as Daesh, the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and Levant - is a major concern for Arab youth with nearly three in four (73 per cent) concerned with the extremist group’s growing influence and almost two in five (37 per cent) citing it as the biggest obstacle facing the region. At the same time, fewer than half (47 per cent) are confident their national government can deal with this new threat.