Arab Spring loses appeal for youth across Middle East


Young people in Arab nations are rapidly losing faith in the revolutions of recent years and are questioning whether democracy can take hold in their countries, a new survey released Tuesday shows.

Just 38 per cent of those surveyed believe the Arab world is better off after the Arab Spring, compared with 72 per cent in 2014. Also, only 41 per cent believe they will be better off in five years, while last year 71 per cent had hopes for a better future, according to the annual Arab Youth survey, which is based on 3,500 face-to-face interviews with men and women aged between 18 and 24.

Meanwhile, only 15 per cent felt that a "lack of democracy" was the biggest obstacle facing the Middle East, with 39 per cent of respondents believing democracy "will never work" in the region. The survey found that young people believe the Islamic State group is the biggest threat in the region, followed by concerns about terrorism, unemployment and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Residents of the oil-rich monarchies in the Gulf were more likely than their counterparts across the region to believe their countries were heading in the right direction. Furthermore, the United Arab Emirates is widely seen as a model for other nations.

Youths also worry that English is replacing Arabic as the key language, with 63 per cent of respondents saying they were concerned about the declining use of their mother tongue and 47 per cent believing the language was losing its value. There are an estimated 200 million Arab young people across the region.  (dpa) has a complete dossier on the Arab Spring.