Young Arabs Agree: Economic Freedom Necessary for Prosperity

Michelle Kaffenberger /

A study released Thursday shows that young people in the Arab world overwhelmingly want greater economic freedom and opportunity, and that conditions prior to the current uprisings left them “crying out for change.” Gallup conducted the large poll before the current unrest began, providing a unique, retrospective look at conditions prior to the uprisings.

The poll asked over 16,000 nationals, aged 15 to 29, from 20 Middle Eastern and North African countries questions about job creation, access to job-related tools, and obstacles to their success.  Young people reported feeling “unable to fully integrate economically into their societies despite their strong entrepreneurial aspirations.”  Young people also have a hard time finding jobs; the poll shows the region having one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the world.  The overarching attitude is that their countries are not allowing them to achieve their full potential. (more…)