May 03 2012
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Fair pay and home ownership are top priorities for Arab youth
Informed by 2,500 interviews conducted by international polling firm Penn Schoen Berland (PSB) in 12 Middle East states one year after the start of the Arab Spring, the findings of the Fourth Annual ASDA'A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey highlight how larger political concerns have now been superseded by more personal, economic anxieties.
Today, being paid a fair wage is not only the highest collective priority among those surveyed -- with 82 per cent of all Arab youth citing it as "very important" -- but is also the highest individual priority in each of the 12 countries covered.
Meanwhile, the percentage of respondents who said that living in a democratic country is "very important" to them declined by 10 percentage points in the 2012 survey. This year, 58 per cent of Arab youth said that this is "very important" to them, down from 68 per cent in 2011.
These findings and others were unveiled yesterday in Dubai at the launch of the ASDA'A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey 2012. The survey includes face-to-face interviews with Arabs between the ages of 18-24 in the six Gulf Co-operation Council nations as well as in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and, for the first time, Libya and Tunisia. These interviews, which were conducted exclusively with nationals of each of the surveyed countries, took place in December 2011 and January 2012.
"Eighteen months after the start of the Arab Spring, we all know that Middle East youth are committed to forging an even brighter future," said Joseph Ghossoub, Chairman and CEO of the MENACOM Group, regional parent of ASDA'A Burson-Marsteller .
"While these young people have shared their profound concerns about the cost of living and the price of home ownership, to cite just two examples, they remain firmly optimistic. It is so heartening that when Arab youth look forward, they also continue to look up."
"You can see the great promise of Arab youth throughout this survey: in the level of engagement in current affairs, in the sophisticated use of technology, and in the tempered expectations for the post-Arab Spring era," said Jeremy Galbraith, CEO, Burson-Marsteller, Europe, Middle East and Africa.
"By charting the opinions of young Arab women and men from the modern cities of the oil-rich Gulf to rural areas in the Levant and North Africa," Galbraith said, "the ASDA'A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey provides evidence-based insights of great value to everyone with a stake in the future of this young and rapidly evolving region."
"Since 2008, we have been conducting the most representative and authoritative study of the attitudes of young Arabs -- polling opinion, analysing this data and then sharing these important findings with the public, including governments, private-sector firms and civil society groups," said Sunil John, CEO of ASDA'A Burson-Marsteller .
"We continue to make this signal investment in thought leadership -- requiring a significant investment of our time, energy and capital -- because we understand how important it is to be able to access reliable data here in the Middle East, where research into public opinion is in short supply.
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