* Russia Today reported on July 30 that youth members in Ennahda political party issued a statement urging their party leadership to dissolve the executive office for their failure to meet the demands of Tunisians. The statement asserted that this current difficult situation is integral for the future of Tunisia, and that “it is well-known that our party has been a major player in it, which propels us to take difficult decisions, whether from the point of view of taking responsibility, to avoid making the same mistakes, and to respond to the public pressures.” The statement made five key points: (1) maintaining the values of the Tunisian Revolution, utilizing dialogue as the only option to overcome the crisis by returning to the elected constitutional institutions and resuming their work as soon as possible; (2) urging the Ennahda leadership to take responsibility in failing to meet the demands of the Tunisian people and to understand the public anger; (3) calling on the National Consultative Council to assume its responsibility and to immediately dissolve the party’s executive office and assign a crisis committee capable of dealing with the acute situation in Tunisia to ensure a speedy return to the activity of constitutional institutions; (4) calling on the Speaker of the Parliament to give priority to the national interest and take the necessary measures to ensure that the Parliament returns to its normal functions; and (5) demanding that the party interacts positively with any political initiative that will bring the country out of its stifling crisis, under the umbrella of the law and constitutional institutions.
* A youth group in Hadramout Valley, Yemen, announced that they intend to escalate popularly, in refusal to hold the sessions of the outgoing Yemeni parliament in Seiyun. The youth group also protested the current livelihood and economic conditions along with the lack of public services.
* The Governor of Al-Dahlaqiyah, Egypt, announced that the governorate will distribute the 152nd installment from the interest-free loan account of the Youth Graduate Employment System, for the June 2021 installment, for a total of 791 thousand Egyptian Pounds distributed over 14 local units in the governorate’s centers and cities. The Governor added that 44 young men and women benefited from the installment to implement their projects.
* The Middle East Monitor indicated that the Israeli forces injured a young Palestinian and arrested two others in the occupied West Bank, as reported by Anadolu Agency. The report highlights that the Israeli forces set a trap for the three Palestinians and opened fire on them. The report concludes that about 4,850 Palestinians are held in Israeli prisons, including 41 women, 225 children, and 540 administrative detainees.
* On July 30, Alquds News reported that the Israeli forces have been arresting Palestinian youth and harassing them in order to discourage them from participating in any movement or private political activity in the 48 territories, while deliberately preventing them from meeting their lawyers after arrest, without any compliance with international and humanitarian norms. A defense lawyer spoke that there is “no documentation to what happens to the detainee during the investigation. They are denied their basic rights; they cannot meet with their lawyers; and they can be denied food, water, light, and even sleep for weeks.”
* Middle East Eye indicated on July 30 that Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian youth in Beit Ummar town in the West bank, less than 24 hours after soldiers killed a 12-year-old boy in the same town. The young man was killed by Israeli forces who attacked during the funeral procession of the boy who was killed the day before. The 12-year-old boy was in fact shot dead when Israeli soldiers shot at his family’s car, as they were returning home from grocery shopping.
* The Middle East Monitor reported on July 31 that at least 270 Palestinians were wounded in a violent Israeli crackdown on protests in the occupied West Bank. The report adds that 7 Palestinians were injured with live bullets and 50 others with rubber-coated metal bullets while the rest were suffocated by tear gas or fell while being chased by Israeli soldiers and suffering broken limbs.
* Human Rights Watch reported on July 27 that a Saudi court sentenced a Sudanese journalist to four years in prison last month for “insulting the state’s institutions and symbols” and “negatively speaking about the kingdom’s policies” among other vague charges. This could be related to the journalist’s tweets and media interviews in which he supported the 2018-2019 Sudanese revolution and criticized Saudi’s actions in Sudan and in Yemen. The Middle East director at Human Rights Watch indicated that jailing the journalist on such charges reflect more negatively on Saudi Arabia than “anything the journalist ever posted.” The report added that the journalist was arrested in the airport in Jeddah on April 19, detailed in a police station for 20 days, and transferred to a detention center in Mecca, during which he was denied access to a lawyer or any legal representation at his trial. He was also denied the chance to defend himself during his trial.
* Chatham House published a report on July 30 titled “Middle East: A Drug Addict in The Family”. The report highlights that Iran has about 5 million drug users, according to the Fars News Agency, one of the highest rates of opiate addiction in the world. In 2019, 5.4% of Iranian adults were addicts, but experts believe that the real figure is higher. The report adds that with the cancelation of the nuclear deal in 2018 along with the ongoing pandemic, poverty increased in Iran and youth unemployment stands at 17%, and many young Iranians seek escape in drugs. Iran imposes harsh sentences on drug users, which can vary between service life sentences and even facing the death penalty.
* The Youth and Sports Directorate in Alexandria, Egypt, in collaboration with GIZ, began implementing a TOT and capacity building exercises under the project “Youth against Harassment”. The project is training 30 young men and women until August 1, and it aims to prepare a youth cohort to raise awareness about harassment cases and GBV.
* The General Secretary of the Eradet Jeel Political Party in Egypt announced the start of training sessions to prepare youth for the job market, the first of which was launched on July 31 at the party headquarters in Cairo. It included training on personal interviews, CV writing, the job market, how to start a project, strategic planning, advocacy, negotiation, dialogue and persuasion, problem solving, and research.
* بدأت مديرية الشباب والرياضة في الإسكندرية في مصر، بالتعاون مع الوكالة الألمانية للتعاون الدولي، في تنفيذ تمارين تدريب المدربين وبناء القدرات في إطار مشروع "الشباب ضد التحرش". ويقوم المشروع بتدريب 30 شاب وشابة حتى الأول من آب / أغسطس، ويهدف إلى إعداد مجموعة من الشاب القادر على التوعية بقضايا التحرش والعنف القائم على النوع الاجتماعي.
* Hezha Barzani wrote an article for the Atlantic Council titled “An “Illiterate Generation”—One of Iraq’s Untold Pandemic Stories.” In this article, Barzani highlights major implications of the COVID-19 crisis in Iraq, but he shifts the discussion to focus on youth education as one of several untold stories. Barzani indicates that school closures have had a direct negative impact on approximately 7 million Iraqi children, and when taking in consideration the years of violent conflicts students had to endure, the issue requires immediate attention – especially given the potential for “an entire illiterate generation.” Barzani concludes that there are several necessary measures to be taken, including increasing spending in the education sector.
* The World Bank announced that its support to MENA region has exceeded US$4.75 billion in fiscal year 2021 as part of its global response to the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of its operations, the World Bank as dedicated $200 million in Egypt for initiatives to reduce air pollution in Greater Cairo; a $500 million operation in Jordan to spur climate-smart public and private investment and help accelerate recovery, create more jobs, and strengthen green growth opportunities; a $250 million in Morocco to support the economic inclusion of youth in rural areas and improve the marketing efficiency and environmental sustainability of agri-food value chains; and $300 million for cash transfers for vulnerable households and children in Tunisia.
* Addustour reported on July 27 that many volunteers from the All Jordan Youth Commission in Jarash participated in a national campaign to preserve the forests, under the title of “With our Efforts, we Can Protect our Environment.” Many civil society organizations, along with private and public sector institutions participated in the campaign as well.
* Albilad Daily indicated on July 27 that the general manager of the Ministry of Environment, Water, and Agriculture’s branch in Mecca asserted that agricultural tourism is a major project that will contribute to Saudi’s Vision 2030 and that it will provide job opportunities for youth and local families.
* On July 31, the Iraqi Ministry of Health warned of an “epidemic disaster” in the event that Iraqis continue to fail to abide by the preventive measures to avoid contracting the Coronavirus and refrain from receiving the vaccines. A member of the support team for the Ministry of Health said, in a statement, that "the continuing high rates of infections and deaths, represent a rapid and unprecedented increase resulting from the rapid spread of the third wave." He added that Iraqi hospitals are filled with critical cases, many of whom are youth.
* Many Moroccan youth have been actively encouraging their peers to get vaccinated against the Coronavirus following the government’s announcement to begin the vaccination process for those under the age of 30. Moroccan youth are posting pictures of themselves receiving their shots with the hashtag (#nimshyo_nilqaho “let’s get vaccinated”).
* حذرت وزارة الصحة العراقية في 31 تموز / يوليو من "كارثة وبائية" في حال استمر العراقيون في عدم الالتزام بالإجراءات الوقائية لتجنب الإصابة بفيروس كورونا والامتناع عن تلقي اللقاحات. وقال عضو فريق الدعم لوزارة الصحة، في بيان، إن "استمرار ارتفاع معدلات الإصابات والوفيات يمثل زيادة سريعة وغير مسبوقة ناتجة عن الانتشار السريع للموجة الثالثة". وأضاف أن المستشفيات العراقية مليئة بالحالات الحرجة والكثير منهم من الشباب.