Disillusioned, Arab youth dream of new horizons

Audio 03:49

Demonstration of Algerian youth, April 23, 2019 in Algiers.

AFP / Ryad Kramdi

By: Dominique Baillard Follow

8 min

The youth of Arab countries dream of elsewhere.

According to a large survey carried out in 17 countries in North Africa and the Middle East, nearly one in two young people want to leave their country, mainly for economic reasons.


It's already a tidal wave in people's minds: 42% of young people aged 18 to 24 are thinking of trying their luck in a country other than their own, 15% have already gone from dream to reality and have started steps to emigrate.

15% out of a population of young people estimated at 200 million, that makes 30 million applicants at the start.

Considerable pressure, motivated above all by the deterioration of their economic situation.

The survey was carried out first in January, that is to say before the appearance of the coronavirus, with a panel of 4,000 young people made up of as many men as women, then a second series of The interview was conducted in August to take into account the pandemic and its consequences.

So back to the motivations: the first is unemployment, it affects one in three young people in Arab countries, it is twice the world average.

And the coronavirus has made finding a job even more complicated, estimated two-thirds of them.

35% of these young adults say they are in debt, to finance their studies or their car, whereas they were only 20% in this situation in previous surveys.

Economic distress is a key driver of migration.

But there is another powerful factor.

The scourge of corruption, denounced by an overwhelming majority (77%) and cited as the second reason for the exodus.

Which countries do young people want to flee the most


Lebanon holds the palm, 77% of young people want to leave it.

A result undoubtedly reinforced by the second wave of the investigation since it took place a few days after the dramatic explosion which destroyed the port of Beirut.

This disaster has a little more demoralized young people who no longer believe in their leaders, they have been demonstrating for several months already to demand a new government capable of recovering the economy.

In Libya, Yemen, Iraq and the Palestinian territories, roughly around 60% of young people think about leaving.

This aspiration is much stronger in the Levantine countries bordering the Mediterranean than in North Africa.

Discouraged by the lack of economic opportunity, they are also very critical of their leaders, many fear political unrest in the coming year.

The Gulf countries are the only ones to escape this desire elsewhere, in Saudi Arabia only 6% of young people are tempted by emigration.

And even less in the United Arab Emirates, only 3% of a population of 10 million inhabitants made up of 90% of migrants.

The Emirates that love Arab youth

It is the favorite destination, ahead of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany.

Candidates at the outset see it as a safe place and opportunities for well-paid work.

This survey has been conducted by an Emirati institute for 12 years and it has been twelve years since the emirates have been acclaimed.

France no longer appears in the ranking of the 5 most sought-after countries since 2013. In Europe, this migratory pressure from Arab youth has increased since the beginning of the year.

Tunisians and Algerians are by far the best represented nationalities among those attempting to cross the Mediterranean to seek asylum.


In the United States, elected Democrats want to smash the tech giants

Facebook should resell Instagram and Google to give up Youtube advocate the senators in a 400-page report published after 15 months of investigations.

This is another warning shot against the GAFA but which will have little immediate effect since the report has not been validated by the Republicans.

In addition, several antitrust investigations targeting these companies are underway.

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On twitter he indicates that discussions with the congress will resume after the elections.

A catastrophe for American households as well as for the companies whose survival depends on the public assistance programs which are expiring.


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