MENARY Monitor – Edition 109
April 30, 2023
Politics and Political Engagement
A report by the National News highlights that Iraqi youth face numerous challenges, yet they are looking forward to a better future for their country, two decades after the previous regime change. Many of them have witnessed horrific events, and they participated in protests and remained steadfast in their quest for change. The report added, “being frustrated in their country, thousands of young Iraqis joined in the 2019 protests, the largest in the country since 2003. Their demands were not only to provide better jobs and public services and put an end to the widespread corruption in the country, but also to the exclusion of corrupt political elites that control the country’s capabilities.” The report stressed, “Coming out of the years of war and instability, the next 20 years are viewed with optimism and are full of opportunities despite the challenges.” The report also cites HRW, which stated, in a statement on the twentieth anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq, that innocent Iraqis were the victims of a dictatorship, yet they paid and continue to pay for that war. Nearly half a million people have lost their lives, along with the displacement of millions and countless civilians who have suffered the scourge of war.
More than half of Turkey’s eligible voters are millennials or younger, giving the opposition a chance to unseat President Erdogan after 20 years in power. However, millions of Gen Z Turks are eligible to vote for the first time, and their orientations are not entirely clear ahead of the May 14 elections. Turkey’s Gezi Park generation, an apolitical and politically apathetic group who have grown weary of politics and have little to no belief they live in a functioning democracy. They also appear to lack a voice or be included in any candidate’s political platform, including that of Erdogan or his main challenger, Kemal Kilicdaroglu.
The Coordination’s Committee of Party’s Youth Leaders and Politicians (CPYP) held a political salon titled “CPYP and The National Dialogue.. Participation and Political Focus”, as part of its events on the agenda of the national dialogue, which is planned to begin soon. The session discussed the expectations of the CPYP members for the national dialogue along with aspects related to human rights, civil society, the development of trade union work, the institutionalization of the presidential pardoning, the Equality and Anti-Discrimination Commission, and the reform and activation of the role of political parties.
Economics and Entrepreneurship
Spectator Index reported that Qatar now has one of the lowest unemployment records in the world. According to World Bank data, Qatar’s unemployment rate has been on the decline throughout the past three decades, with 0.17% in 2021. Qatar’s youth unemployment is also among the lowest recorded for the MENA region. Qatar’s youth unemployment rates were found to be lower than the world average, due to the country’s “capacity to absorb young nationals into public sector jobs.”
Dr. Mohammed Jalal, Director of the Entrepreneurship Club, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering at Al-Azhar University, said that young Egyptians who have project ideas but do not have the funding can turn immediately to ministries of planning, youth and sports, communications, and higher education, as they can support young entrepreneurs in transforming their ideas into real projects by providing financial and technical support in the form of grants.
The Egyptian Minister of Labor Force highlighted that the Ministry has taken steps that have contributed to the reduction of unemployment rates over the past year, including creating 24,196 job opportunities to young people in different disciplines. The ministry has also been cooperating closely with business owners and investors to increase job opportunities offered along with practical training opportunities, including for persons with disabilities.
The Israeli occupation forces killed a young Palestinian during a raid on Aqabat Jabr camp in Jericho in the West Bank. In a press release, the governor of Jericho announced that “the young man was shot dead by the occupation, as it stormed the Aqaba Jabr camp,” adding that his body is being held by the occupation forces. It is also worth noting that three others were also injured and one was arrested during the raid, in which the occupation forces fired live bullets, rubber, gas, and sound bombs.
The Israeli occupation forces executed a young Palestinian man in cold blood after shooting him during confrontations in Aqaba Jabr camp in Jericho governorate. The young man, 17 years old, was martyred after the occupying forces blocked his ambulance, left him bleeding on the ground until he was martyred, as 6 other people were injured. The Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed the young man’s death after he was fatally shot in the head. In a statement, the Ministry of Health indicated that three of the six injured people were in serious condition. The Palestinian News and Information Agency reported that large Israeli army forces stormed the camp and surrounded a number of citizens’ homes, leading to confrontations.
An Israeli military analyst was quoted saying “The most important matter that Israel is facing recently comes through the Palestinian arena, a matter we have not seen in 15 years, and it is characterized by the willingness of dozens or hundreds of young men to leave their homes to confront the army forces.” He added that “technical algorithms linked to smart information collection systems should be used to identify those who express hatred to Israel on social media.”
Sudanese youth launched a humanitarian initiative in the city of Shandi in the Nile River State to welcome displaced persons due to the ongoing clashes between the army and the Rapid Support Forces in Khartoum. The initiative’s youth set up tents near the public transport parking lot to take in displaced persons once they arrived in the city, as some tents serve hot food for those arriving. A young coordinator said that such an initiative of this magnitude with such a voluntary grassroots effort was cause for pride.
During an event at the UN headquarters in New York, young Arab men and women discussed youth participation in public life, employment, and education, along with opportunities for empowerment. One of the key themes of the Youth Forum for the Arab States Region, which was organized by the UN Economic and Social Council, was the transition from “Learning to Earning,” which included discussions of educational opportunities, the state of the job market, and other factors that can affect a young person’s progression from education to employment. The event also gave young Arabs a chance to share their stories and projects, showcase their achievements, and discuss ways in which they can help to empower other young people from the region through their experiences of education, employment and volunteering.
The National News reported that the return of the Saudi-Iranian diplomatic relation brings more hope for climate cooperation, especially that GCC states along with Iraq and Iran have long been alert to dust storms, rising temperatures, and water scarcity. The article adds that an increased cooperation can offer huge opportunities for job creation in the climate and energy sphere by tapping into Iran’s tech-savvy youth.