* A group of Muslim American groups has called on President Joe Biden to intervene to stop a mass execution of political dissidents in Egypt, set to take place soon. The efforts include calling on Biden to suspend US military aid to Egypt to pressure the government to improve its human rights record and to especially put a halt to the executions. It is worth noted that Egyptian activists in support of former president Morsi were convicted of harsh sentences such as “arming criminal gangs”, “possessing firearms”, “killing policemen”, and “resisting authorities” and the legal proceedings have been described as “sham” trials.
* دعت مجموعة من الجماعات الإسلامية الأمريكية الرئيس جو بايدن إلى التدخل لوقف الإعدام الجماعي للمعارضين السياسيين في مصر، الذي من المقرر أن يتم قريبًا. وتشمل الجهود دعوة بايدن إلى تعليق المساعدات العسكرية الأمريكية لمصر للضغط على الحكومة لتحسين سجلها في مجال حقوق الإنسان ووقف عمليات الإعدام بشكل خاص. الجدير بالذكر أن النشطاء المصريين المؤيدين للرئيس السابق مرسي أدينوا بأحكام قاسية مثل "تسليح عصابات إجرامية" و "حيازة أسلحة نارية" و "قتل رجال شرطة" و "مقاومة السلطات" بينما تم وصف الإجراءات القانونية بمحاكمات "زائفة".
* Alarab published a report on July 4 delineating the importance of small projects for youth. The report highlighted various projects working on enhancing youth skills for entrepreneurship and scaling their skills for the job market, including “Participation and Employment for Youth Program” in Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan and “Lifeboats Initiative” in Egypt, among other initiatives, which aim to provide youth with employment opportunities and/or equip them with the necessary skills to create their own projects in an attempt to improve their conditions on one hand, and to limit the increasing phenomenon of youth emigration, on the other hand.
* نشر موقع العرب تقريرا في 4 تموز / يوليو يوضح أهمية المشاريع الصغيرة للشباب. سلط التقرير الضوء على العديد من المشاريع التي تعمل على تعزيز مهارات الشباب في ريادة الأعمال وتوسيع مهاراتهم في سوق العمل، بما في ذلك "برنامج المشاركة والتوظيف للشباب" في المغرب وتونس ومصر والأردن و "مبادرة قوارب النجاة" في مصر، من بين مبادرات أخرى، التي تهدف إلى تزويد الشباب بفرص العمل و/أو تزويدهم بالمهارات اللازمة لإنشاء مشاريعهم الخاصة في محاولة لتحسين ظروفهم من ناحية، والحد من ظاهرة هجرة الشباب المتزايدة، من ناحية أخرى.
* Azzaman published an article by Qassem Hussein Saleh on June 27 titled “Drugs and Iraqi Youth”. In this article, Saleh indicates that the approximately 10 million Iraqi youth have faced horrendous challenges over the past decade and a half, manifested in sectarian conflicts, armed groups, corruption, and unemployment, among others. These conditions propelled that youth either emigrates or stays in a “dead-end” situation. Since emigration is risky and in these days almost unavailable, Iraqi youth have been searching for ways to get their minds off of their conditions; hence, they are facing a triple crisis of drugs, hallucinogens, or suicide. Hussein adds that suicide numbers among Iraqi youth have been on the rise, and so are drugs and hallucinogens as of late, composing a catastrophe the government is not giving much attention. He adds that Iraq, in the 1970s, was among the countries whose drug use was minimal, but with the Iranian control over Iraq, drugs are making their way into the country. Further, Iraq is no longer a transit country for drugs, but rather, it is becoming a market and even a producer, as farmers in Missan and Diyala governorates are now farming poppy, cannabis, and other narcotic plants. Saleh cites a report published by Al-Rashad Rehabilitation Center which finds that there has been a 70% increase in the number of visitors seeking rehab services lately and that Iraqi cities with religious heritage are topping the charts in drug use, including crystal methamphetamine. Saleh concludes that youth in Iraq are finding an escape in these substances and that the government is not doing anything to address this disastrous phenomenon.
* The Iraqi High Commission for Human Rights (IHCHR) confirmed on Monday June 28 that 50% of Iraqi youth in the border areas are either drug dealers or users while government efforts are only concerned with the security aspect of the issue. The IHCHR urged that there should be an emphasis on researching the economic and social underlying reasons behind this crisis. The report, by Sot Aliraq, adds that there is a major shortage in the number of dedicated beds for addicts in medical centers. A member of the IHCHR stated “Iraq has a law and a supreme committee to combat drugs, but all the regulatory and legislative measures did not take into account the social and economic factors to confront this scourge, which in the short term will pose the first threat to the country.”
* Middle East Forum reported on June 27 that Hamas is holding its annual summer camps to recruit child soldiers. Hamas openly said it was preparing them for "training camps" named after the "sword of al-Quds battle," the name it gave to the war in May against Israel. It said it has been organizing the child-soldier training camps for five years. In its announcement, Hamas used specific terms such as “they have to be ready to make sacrifices” entailing that Hamas is openly informing its recruits that they join in to die. According to the Jerusalem Post, about 50,000 children have already registered to join the camp.
* Al-Monitor reported on July 3 that Hamas’ military wing, “Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades”, launched its military Vanguards of Liberation summer camps on June 26 to prepare a generation of young people capable of fighting against Israel to liberate the occupied Palestinian territories. Registration was announced on June 13 for preparatory, primary and secondary school students, and university students. It allocated a full week of military, physical and scout training for each category of trainees. Many young recruits spoke to Al-Monitor and affirmed that they “do not find just trainings to be inappropriate for people their age; instead, they do want to learn some ‘martial arts’.”
* Middle East Monitor published a report on June 28 discussing the realities of the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) prisons where many Palestinian activist are imprisoned. These prisons are run by Abbas’ security forces who arrest activists and in many instances even kill them in brutal fashion. Abbas’ forces target those who speak against the PA’s corruption and any oppression the PA exercises on the behalf of the Israeli occupation. The report adds that the prisoners in the PA’s prisons face more torture compared to those in Israeli prisons. It also highlights that Abbas is killing anyone who resists the occupation or defends Palestine’s right to liberation and the right of Palestinian youth to a better future a dignified life.
* Middle East Monitor published a report outlining Israel’s displacement of Palestinians over the past 3 months. Israeli occupation forces have demolished 72 buildings in just three months and displaced over 78 Palestinians, including 47 children and 15 women. Additionally, more than 150 other Palestinians have been affected along with 218 Palestinian families comprising of 970 individuals including 424 children have “eviction” cases pending in Israeli courts. In addition to that, Israel announced last week another demolition campaigns comprising of hundreds of demolition orders across the West Bank.
* Al Araby Al Jadeed reported on July 2 that opposition-held areas in Daraa governorate in the south of Syria are witnessing systematic expulsion of youth, as part of a Syrian regime and Russian joint policy since 2018. Many Syrian youth spoke to Al Araby Al Jadeed that the regime has practices various types of pressure on them, including forced conscription, random arrests, and terrorizing them with death threats along with surrounding all entry points to Daraa to force youth to believe that emigrating out of Syria is the only solution for them.
* The Jerusalem Post reported on June 27 that Turkey’s ruling party has ordered the police to break a peaceful LGBTQ pride parade in Istanbul. The report adds that Turkey’s President Erdogan said in February that the “future of Turkey belongs to right-leaning Islamist youth, not LGBT youth.”
* Arab News published a report on June 28 discussing conflicts in the MENA region. The report cites that the 15th Global Peace Index (GPI) report indicates that the MENA region experiences the biggest improvement in peacefulness compared with other regions in the world. The report highlights that while there have been numerous internal conflicts in the region, there is a decrease in the intensity of these conflicts along with a decline in the total number of ongoing wars in the region. The report maintains that the escalations in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict will have an impact on next year’s GPI report.
* نشرت موقع عرب نيوز تقريراً في 28 حزيران / يونيو يناقش النزاعات في منطقة الشرق الأوسط وشمال إفريقيا. يتحدث التقرير أن مؤشر السلام العالمي الخامس عشر يشير كان قد أدلى بأن منطقة الشرق الأوسط وشمال إفريقيا تشهد أكبر تحسن في الهدوء مقارنة بالمناطق الأخرى في العالم. ويسلط التقرير الضوء على أنه بالرغم من وجود العديد من الصراعات الداخلية في المنطقة، إلا أن هناك انخفاضًا في حدة هذه الصراعات إلى جانب انخفاض العدد الإجمالي للحروب المستمرة في المنطقة. ويؤكد التقرير أن التصعيد في الصراع الفلسطيني الإسرائيلي سيكون له تأثير على تقرير مؤشر السلام العالمي للعام المقبل.
* The Arab Youth Centre (AYC), in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)'s Regional Bureau for Arab States, concluded the first cohort of the “Youth Development Delegates in the Arab Region” Programme. This programme has provided 11 youth delegates in 10 Arab countries with a yearlong leadership development experience in pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals in their countries. Throughout the programme, delegates learned how more about development assistance activities and worked closely with local development agencies and organizations. Further, under this programme, youth delegates engaged over 9,000 young people in training sessions, webinars, and awareness activities.
* The Kafr Elma Youth Center in Jordan organized a workshop on the importance of agriculture and environmental care, with the participation of 20 male and female members of the center. The workshop discussed agriculture and its importance for the environment, the benefits of planting trees in improving physical and psychological health, purifying the air, and how to preserve trees in terms of fertilizing, taking care of them and irrigating them constantly.
* نظم مركز شباب كفر الما في الأردن ورشة عمل حول أهمية الزراعة والرعاية البيئية، بمشاركة 20 من أعضاء المركز من الذكور والإناث. وناقشت الورشة الزراعة وأهميتها بالنسبة للبيئة، ومزايا زراعة الأشجار في تحسين الصحة الجسدية والنفسية، وتنقية الهواء، وكيفية الحفاظ على الأشجار من حيث التسميد، والعناية بها، وريها باستمرار.
* The Daily Star reported on July 2 that a number of Iraqi restaurants are breaching COVID-19 restrictions and curfew instructions through paying bribes to security officials to turn a blind eye. The report highlights that many security forces deployed in Karrada district in Baghdad have been soliciting bribes in exchange for allowing establishments to stay open during the nightly curfew hours of 9:00 pm to 5:00 am. One restaurant owner told AFP that he pays around $340 every week, which is close to Iraq’s average monthly wage. These practices have further exacerbated Iraq’s 1.34 million COVID-19 cases and 17,000 COVID-19 deaths – though the numbers could be higher due to low testing. The pandemic has had a disastrous impact on Iraq’s already fragile economy, as the country’s poverty rates doubled to 40% along with near 40% youth unemployment rate.
* ذكر موقع ديلي ستار في 2 تموز / يوليو أن عددًا من المطاعم العراقية باتت تخرق قيود فيروس كورونا وتعليمات حظر التجول من خلال دفع رشاوي لمسؤولي الأمن ليتم غض الطرف عنهم. ويسلط التقرير الضوء على أن العديد من القوات الأمنية المنتشرة في منطقة الكرادة ببغداد تطلب رشاوى مقابل السماح للمنشآت بالبقاء مفتوحة خلال ساعات حظر التجول ليلا من 9:00 مساءا إلى 5:00 صباحا. وقال صاحب مطعم لوكالة فرانس برس إنه يدفع حوالي 340 دولاراً أسبوعياً، وهو ما يقارب متوسط الأجر الشهري في العراق. والجدير بالذكر أن العراق شهد أكثر من 1.34 مليون حالة فايروس كورونا و17000 حالة وفاة، على الرغم من أن الأرقام قد تكون أعلى بسبب قلة جهود الفحوصات العامة. وكان للجائحة تأثير كارثي على اقتصاد العراق الهش، حيث تضاعفت معدلات الفقر في البلاد إلى 40٪ إلى جانب معدل بطالة بين الشباب يقارب 40٪.