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arab youth civic engagement and economic participation

Publié le 29-01-2018. Ajoutée le 29 janvier 2018

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Arab Youth and Evolving Regional Context
The Arab region has been experiencing a massive youth bulge, with more than half
of most countries’ populations under the age of 25. Young men and women in the
Arab region today are the most educated; thus they hold the potential to make a
considerable contribution to the development of the region.
“Taking the youth seriously” is not an option but an urgent priority for many
countries in the region, which has witnessed the readiness and ability of the young
men and women to mobilize the society and become an integral part of the social
transformations in tandem with the Arab spring in 2011.
Who are the youth? They are young men and women, aged between 15 and 24 years,
living both in rural and urban settings. Some are more challenged than others with
physical disabilities and sickness. Some are considered as minorities, thus are
socially challenged in their environment as indigenous, migrants, stateless,
internally displaced and refugees. Some are affected by humanitarian situations or
armed conflicts.
While young men and women have more access to the political arena in the postSpring
Arab world than before, prolonged uncertain awaithood with difficult schoolto-
work transition continues to represent one of the major forms of marginalization
of young men and women.
Civic engagement aims at fostering interaction between civil society and other
institutions in order to increase the voice of citizens in public life (CIVICUS website).
It can take many forms, from individual volunteerism to organizational involvement
and electoral participation (CIRCLE). Broader than political engagement, civic
engagement can include service to the community through involvement in health
and education and in charitable organizations. (Menard, 2010). Another way of
describing this concept is the sense of personal responsibility which individuals
should feel to uphold their obligations as part of any community (Moataz al Alfi
award). It therefore combines youth development, civic activism and problemsolving
and provides new ways for young people and adults to work together for a
better community (CCFY). Hence, the set of youth behaviors and activities benefit
both youth and community organizations or institutions that serve civil

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