Arab Youth as Global Leaders

Posted: March 18, 2010 by Scott Kistler in Politics

At Foreign Policy, Ashraf Zeitoon writes that Arab youth (18-24) are actually much more optimistic and globally minded, according to a recent survey, than Western experts tend to expect.  They tend to be optimistic about their countries, especially those living in Gulf Cooperation Council Countries (Egyptian and Lebanese youth did not share these sentiments about their own countries).

They also tended to think of themselves as global citizens and supported democracy, and also affirmed that religion was important in their lives.

As far as role models,

Another expected finding of the survey was that Arab youth generally admire political, religious and business leaders. When asked who they looked up to, 31 percent of those interviewed named religious leaders and 30 percent cited government leaders. This was in direct contrast to the answers by their peers in Western countries who cited 9 percent for religious leaders and just 5 percent for government leaders.

I’m not sure what this means for the region or the rest of the world, but I thought I would note it for my own teaching about the Middle East and pass it along via the blog.

  1. Interesting how different the esteem for leaders are. Religious leaders here are esteemed even less that pols. Actually I heard that religious leaders in America are among teh most despised group.

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