What Have Young People Gained from the Arab Spring?
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What Have Young People Gained from the Arab Spring?

Date: Thursday, April 10, 2014
Time: 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. ET (14:30 – 16:00 GMT or convert time)
Location: Online

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Youth represent a huge proportion of the population of the Middle East and North Africa. This demographic gift should be the engine of growth and innovation in the region. Yet, three years after the Arab Spring, many young people are excluded from life in the socio-economic mainstream. Youth unemployment of 28% remains among the highest in the world, with 40% of people between the ages of 15 and 29 neither in education, employment, nor training. What can be done to improve this situation and tap the potential of young people? Join us for a lively debate with panelists from Tunisia, Yemen and Morocco.

Take the poll: How are young people doing now three years after the Arab Spring?

View the live blog below.

Follow the event on Twitter with #ArabYouth



Minister of Finance, Indonesia
Vice President of Middle East and North Africa region, World Bank Group
Minister of Youth and Sports, Kingdom of Morocco
Youth Envoy of the UN Secretary General, Jordan
Moderator, Al Jazeera Bureau Chief, Washington, D.C.
I-WATCH Executive Director, Tunisia
Academic/Journalist/Activist, Yemen
Read what others are asking
South Sudan
Hello my question is to ppl who repsent thire contry what did u guys did for youth in Yemen Sudan nothing has been done for the youth ?
Alain Zaragoza Álvarez
Hi, I'm representing an NGO called Diálogos in Mexico. Here, in our country we are crossing into internet censorship regulations by the state on the internet. How was the experience in the Arab Spring and nowadays in that issue? Thank you! www.facebook.com/mexicodialogos @DiaMexJuv www.dialogos.org.mx
Khetam Malkawi
How the World Bank can help in ensuring equal opportunities for youth in the Job market? Unfortunately Wasta (connections) is the main requirement for employment in most of MENA countries, even in some intl. Organizations working here! No matter how qualified or experienced you are you need to find Wasta! This is disappointing and pushing the young generation to look for immigration opportunity
Golli Badreddine
what they Gained,, nearly nothing,,, but ask what they are up to be able to gain and to maintain in the future? as they are more active and concerned about their countrie's politics and social changes, at the other hand jobless rates are higher,investors don t trust new governments,as they are all transational,,so no new employment creation,,,Youth are taken away from polotical decision seats, and youngest decision makers in these countries are at least 50 years old, they gained freedom of speech,, ohh yess, but it doesn t provide new job opprtunities for them,neither less violence against young women and girls, where extremism is at its top and best,,Sorry but i have a lot to discuss with all of you, wish i was there,, but I need to be where i am now, helping youth to see reality globally, and openwise,,,,, in Burundi,,,
James Kerkulah
There is nothing, to say the least that young people have gained from the Arab Spring, except that they have been used to perpetrate the agendas of political elites. In fact, young people have suffered setbacks in their education, personal development or even lost their lives due to the upheavals in countries like Egypt, Syria, Tunisia, Libya, etc. All of these revolutions have been supported by Western Powers to bring about regimes change...they forget to realise that those very revolutionists are themselves dictators and will soon begin suppressing their own people and attacking the West...like we've seen in Libya with the killing of the American Ambassador. Young people are victims of conflicts, they are not benefactors. In my country Liberia, for example, because of the wars, many young people, including myself were denied the opportunity to education, personal developments and lost of lives all because somebody called Charles Taylor and his associates wanted to change regime through violent means. What I think this Panel should be discussing is how can we (I mean the entire world) avoid violent change of regimes and follow democratic principles of elections and rule of law.
The Arab Springs revealed the “dormant” scarring effect youth have been experiencing for a number of years. Failure to find a job, failure to have their voice heard, failure and challenges they face to start their own family, have all erupted into greater demands to end their frustration and exclusion. Nevertheless, in the current period of transition, youth see a brighter future mixed with hope, promises and challenges. In this context, and with an increasingly educated and more-than-ever committed youth to make a change in their countries, what can governments and the international community do IN THE SHORT TO MEDIUM TERM to capitalize on this opportunity for “demographic dividend” (and see youth as assets) rather than risking experiencing another “demographic bomb” (and see youth as liabilities) or emigration of youth against their will?