MENARY Monitor – Edition 126
August 27, 2023
Politics and Political Engagement
A senior aide to Iran’s Supreme Leader asserts that the regime remains firmly entrenched in a fortress, guarded by a devoted religious group under all circumstances. Gen. Yadollah Javani, formerly known as the Political Deputy to the IRGC Commander and presently serving as the Deputy for Political Affairs for Ali Khamenei within the IRGC, addressed a gathering aimed at “strengthening the Basij militia.” He conveyed that the Israeli evaluation of the 2022 protests in Iran indicated their disregard for the potency, authenticity, and social deterrent capabilities of religious Iranians. He went on to assert that following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Islamic Republic effectively thwarted the United States’ aspirations of global dominance. Javani further contended that the “Woman, Life, Freedom” movement aimed to cultivate animosity among Iranian youth towards individuals of religious faith. Contrary to this, the prevailing viewpoint among a majority of pundits and politicians is that the government’s inability to effectively address the nation’s economic challenges served as a significant catalyst for the burgeoning opposition among the youth. This sentiment is compounded by the perception that the authorities are erecting various barriers that impede young Iranians from pursuing their preferred lifestyles.
Community actors in Karak governorate called for activating national efforts aimed at enhancing political participation and involvement in partisan work. They emphasized the important role of parties in revitalizing political life, as they are the main pillar of democratic systems, and their performance reflects negatively or positively on the quality of political life and on the level of democratic development and political modernization. Youth activist Saddam Al-Awaisat said that the partisan experience in Jordan is one of the oldest in the Arab region, pointing to the need to conduct an analytical field study of the reality of Jordanian political parties and the expected paths, in addition to determining its spread, movement activity, financial resources, communication and media capabilities, and youth and feminist activity, to be an indicator of the partisan movement in the next stage.
The Shakh Hussein Youth Center in the Northern Jordan Valley organized a dialogue session, on youth and democratic participation, with the participation of 20 young people in the age group from 18 to 24 years. Attorney Ihab Bishtawi from the Damj Foundation for the Empowerment of Communities, the trainer, stressed the importance of political participation, especially among young people, and their role in supporting the national reform process and participating in the various parliamentary, municipal and provincial elections. He referred to the role of youth in supporting and moving the wheel of political reform taking place in the Kingdom. The session included a dialogue on the role of youth in political decision-making and the role of political parties in the process of political, economic and administrative reform.
The General Secretariat of the Shura Council participated in the activities of Youth City 2030, which is organized by the Ministry of Youth Affairs in cooperation with the Labor Fund “Tamkeen”. The Secretariat implemented a program titled “the Age of Smart Parliament” which aims to raise youth’s awareness of parliaments and equip them with the necessary skills to keep pace with the legislative work of the developments of the times and modern technology.
Economics and Entrepreneurship
It is expected that providing job opportunities for Moroccan youth will constitute a real challenge for the government in the coming year, in the context of declining economic growth, its fragility and high unemployment among this segment of the population. Prime Minister Aziz Akhannouch, on the occasion of the cabinet’s reconvening after the recess, identified attracting investment to create job opportunities among the major files awaiting the executive authority on the occasion of the new political entry. In this context, the economist Mustafa Malgo imagines, in his interview with Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, that getting rid of unemployment that affects young people, especially graduates, requires a policy approach that moves away from temporary solutions that lead to a kind of social fragility among that group. He believes that, in order to absorb a large part of the unemployed youth, it is supposed to move towards formulating economic policies that focus on sectors that produce added value, especially in the field of industry, which separates it from being the locomotive, as well as services and agriculture.
Representatives of NGOs, academics, and researchers demanded the need to develop an integrated national plan to confront the dangerous repercussions of the problem of emigration of young people and talents from the Gaza Strip, and to launch a national campaign aimed at raising awareness of the dangers of illegal immigration, and strengthening the connection of young people with their society and its problems, given that their problems stem from the problems of society. They also called for the need to establish a national fund for youth, in which all parties, whether the government or the private sector, contribute. It aims to provide technical and financial support for entrepreneurial projects for youth, especially agricultural projects and small and medium enterprises, because of their impact on the growth of the economy and employment of the workforce. This came during a workshop organized by the NGO Network to present a paper prepared by Dr. Imad Abu Rahma, entitled “Exodus of Youth and Talents from the Gaza Strip: Challenges and Solutions”, within the project “Strengthening the Capabilities of Civil Society to Respond to the Needs Resulting from the Rapid Population Growth in the Gaza Strip”, in partnership with the German Friedrich Ebert Foundation.
A recent research paper by global management consulting firm Bain & Company revealed that demand for top tech talent has more than doubled between 2015 and 2019. The nature of the job has also evolved with 40% of the most in-demand jobs today not even existing in 2015. PwC’s Middle East Workforce Hopes and Fears survey 2023, released in June, also found 52% of the individuals surveyed in the region believing their jobs will change significantly in the next five years, requiring them to acquire new skills and capabilities to boost AI literacy. According to a recent study by McKinsey, the MENA region is predicted to witness a significant workforce expansion of 127 million in the next decade, primarily driven by a burgeoning youth population. According to a recent study by McKinsey, the MENA region is predicted to witness a significant workforce expansion of 127 million in the next decade, primarily driven by a burgeoning youth population.
His Excellency Mr. Abdullah bin Adel Fakhro, Minister of Industry and Commerce, affirmed that the national efforts are continuing within a comprehensive vision and clear strategy towards the development of youth as the real wealth of the country, which has resulted in a series of successive successes achieved by the Kingdom in many development fields. This came during the closing ceremony of the camp for the third edition of the “Young Tech Entrepreneur” program, one of the digital youth initiatives, which was held under the auspices of the Minister of Industry and Trade, in the presence of Mr. Ahmed Bou Hazaa, Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Tech Entrepreneur Program, and a number of program participants and entrepreneurs. The Minister announced the launch of the Digital Youth Initiative (Shabab Tech), which provides participants in the program in its current and two previous versions with continuous professional and voluntary development paths, in a way that contributes to developing their projects and serving their community through the experiences they gained in the program.
The Directorate of Labor in Alexandria Governorate, in cooperation with the Arkan Center for Creativity, began holding personal interviews for the second batch of applicants for young men and women for the professions of electronic marketing, photoshop, montage, and animation, at the headquarters of the Arkan Center for Creativity. This comes within the cooperation protocol between the directorate and the center, which aims to empower young people and develop their skills in the electronic field, which has become the most important means of trading in all fields of the labor market, in implementation of the directives of the Minister of Labor Hassan Shehata to pay attention to the file of vocational training on the newly created professions that are commensurate with the labor market and future jobs and provide Appropriate training programs according to the latest international methods and coordination with specialized companies in these fields to participate in training processes to qualify young people and hone their skills in these areas within the framework of the state’s strategy towards digital transformation and Vision 2030 for sustainable development.
Ambassador of the Netherlands to Jordan Harry Verweij hosted a ceremony celebrating the selection of eight Jordanian companies that will receive financial support in the second phase of the Dutch Challenge Fund for Youth Employment in Amman. CEOs, private sector representatives, universities, ecosystem actors and government officials attended the event. The second phase of Dutch Challenge Fund for Youth Employment aims to create more jobs and improve the quality of work for young people, especially women, according to a Dutch Challenge Fund for Youth Employment statement. This phase will provide the eight Jordanian businesses with a total of 5.5 million euros. During the event, the selected businesses introduced their solutions for increasing youth employment opportunities within their companies.
Based on the Jordan Islamic Bank’s keenness to support the youth group, which represents the largest percentage in Jordanian society and the active contributor to moving the wheel of the national economy and sustainable development, the bank provided support for the first conference for Jordanian expatriate youth under the slogan “Create, Subtract, Achieve and Go“, which was held under the patronage of His Excellency Mr. Nidal Al-Batayneh, former Minister of Labor, and organized by the Al-Nashami Forum for the Jordanian community around the world, with the wide participation of expatriate youth and their parents, which was held at the Royal Cultural Center on August 18, 2023.
The Anti-Illegal Migration Agency in the Libyan capital, Tripoli, deported 456 irregular immigrants who hold Egyptian and Nigerian nationalities to their countries. This came in statements by the GNU Minister of Interior, Emad Trabelsi, to journalists, including the Anadolu news agency correspondent, while he was at the headquarters of the Anti-Illegal Immigration Agency in Tripoli. He confirmed that 162 irregular migrants holding Nigerian citizenship were deported, including 102 who were arrested at the Libyan-Tunisian border during the past few days while trying to enter Libya. For two weeks, African migrants suffered very difficult humanitarian conditions on the Tunisian-Libyan border, after they were expelled from their homes following clashes with Tunisians in the Sfax governorate (south) over the killing of a Tunisian youth by African migrants.
The Al-Wasatiya District Youth Center, west of Irbid, organized an awareness dialogue about drugs and the dangers of addiction, with the participation of 30 young members of the center. Dr. Muhammad Al-Jazaery, from Kafr Asad Al-Shamel Health Center, presented the dangers of drugs, their types, the damage they cause to the human nervous system, diseases resulting from abuse, and the causes of their spread. He stressed the importance of drug abusers and addicts undergoing treatment, calling for concerted efforts to combat this scourge that threatens society through partnership with various state institutions, and focusing on the role of the family in supervising its members.
The We Are All Jordan Youth Authority, the youth arm of the King Abdullah II Fund for Development, launched the first phase of the political and democratic empowerment project “Roles Await Us”. Holding a series of discussion sessions in the various governorates of the Kingdom, in line with the recommendations of the third discussion paper. The project focuses on the reform projects adopted by the Jordanian state according to the paths of the reform triangle (political, economic and administrative). The project aims to promote a culture of dialogue among Jordanian youth, enhance their participation in various local issues, link them with centers and houses of official and private expertise and decision-makers, expand the base of youth participation by opening up to different opinions and ideas, and leading a national youth dialogue that sheds light on various national challenges, and a number of experienced people will be hosted.
The Director of Youth and Sports in Kafr El-Sheikh organized a symposium on addressing rumors under the title “Be Sure before You Speak” within the “Summer of Our Youth” at the Kafr El-Sheikh Youth Center, with the participation of 60 young Egyptians, within the initiative of the Ministry of Youth and Sports “Our Youth’s Summer.”
The Moab Model Youth Center organized an educational workshop for high school students, on stagnant, saturated, and required majors, in cooperation with the Civil Service Bureau, Southern Branch. During it, Muawiyah Al-Adaileh from the Civil Service Bureau talked about the most important specializations that suit the aspirations of young people and the extent to which the labor market absorbs these specializations, and the technical and technical diploma and their advantages. For her part, Nujud Al-Tarawneh from the Civil Service Bureau emphasized the carefulness and good choice of specialization, while the Jordanian Higher Education Authority decided to reduce the number of those enrolled in all the stagnant and saturated majors mentioned in the Civil Service Bureau report.
450 young leaders from the world’s most climate-affected regions will gather 28 August to 2 September at a Climate Justice Camp in Lebanon. Participants from almost 100 countries across the Global South will co-create strategies and demands calling on decision makers at COP28 and beyond to implement an equitable climate action framework. Following the stark warning from UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the urgent need for action on what he termed ‘global boiling’ ahead of COP in the UAE, the Climate Justice Camp gives young people living the day-to-day realities of the climate crisis a space to exchange knowledge, develop demands, and lead conversations with decision makers in both local and global contexts.
The Harmony Foundation for Development, in cooperation with the Aden Creative Center, organized, in the capital, Aden, a symposium on the “green economy”, under the title “Developing Youth Skills in the Green Economy“, as part of the Foundation’s interest in preserving the environment and developing the green economy and coinciding with the International Day for young people. Local and Arab youth speakers participated in the symposium to present several inspiring stories to encourage young people to continue striving towards action for the climate and the green economy, and to believe that striving towards achieving the “impossible” is possible.