Arab youth ‘optimistic’ despite regional turmoil

Updated 09 January 2018

Arab youth ‘optimistic’ despite regional turmoil

LONDON: Young people from Arabic-speaking countries have an “optimistic” outlook on life, but little faith in politics, according to a study by Germany’s politically-focused Friedrich Ebert Foundation.
The study reveals a positive attitude toward the future, regardless of the political turmoil seen across much of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
“Coping with Uncertainty: Youth in the MENA Region,” was co-edited by Professor Jörg Gertel from Leipzig University, who told to Germany’s DW.com: “I find the contrast between the region’s volatile economic, political and security situation and young people’s optimistic view of the future most surprising.
“There is a two-part answer for this. These teenagers’ parents entered the labor market during a time when there were many relatively secure jobs working for the state … Some still live at home, others have moved out.
“This an important distinction to make: Those who still live with their parents feel protected and deem their economic situation quite promising, whereas those who’ve moved out and started a family of their own say their situation is bad or even very bad.
“So once a person begins to take economic responsibility for his or her own life, and for that of others, the person’s assessment changes.”
Gertel went on to note that between half and two-thirds of those surveyed said emigration was not an option. Only seven percent said they wanted to move abroad. One-third said they were undecided.
The study’s co-author told DW.com that practically nobody surveyed said they want to get involved in politics, and party politics in particular.
“The youngsters distrust the political class. They want nothing to do with them. A deep rift divides them and the political world,” Gertel said.


Lebanese lawmakers to defy naming of new PM

Updated 07 December 2019

Lebanese lawmakers to defy naming of new PM

  • Saad Hariri submitted the resignation of his government on Oct. 29 as a result of ongoing mass protests against corruption

BEIRUT: Three lawmakers and members of Lebanese President Michel Aoun’s parliamentary bloc will not abide by its decision to name a new prime minister on Monday. 

Meanwhile, activists in the civil movement are holding meetings to announce a general strike and the blocking of roads on Monday in protest over reports that the new government will not include technocrats.

Samir Al-Khatib is considered the most favored candidate after preliminary consultations conducted by Aoun with his allies prior to setting the date for binding parliamentary consultations to nominate a Sunni prime minister, as required by the Lebanese constitution.

Prime Minister Saad Hariri submitted the resignation of his government on Oct. 29 as a result of ongoing mass protests against corruption. He later said he would not agree to head a new government unless it consisted of technocrats.

Lawmaker Neemat Frem urged citizens to provide him with the name of their favorite candidate to head the new government, “for you are the primary source of authority, and it is my duty to convey your voice in the binding parliamentary consultations.”

Lawmaker Chamel Roukoz said he will not nominate anyone for the position of prime minister.

Lawmaker Michel Daher declared his intention to boycott the parliamentary consultations if Al-Khatib is the only candidate.

Aoun assured a delegation of British financial and investment institutions, and US bank Morgan Stanley, that binding parliamentary consultations will take place on Monday to form a new government, which will help Lebanon’s friends launch agreed-to development projects.

“The new government’s priority will be to address the economic and financial conditions as soon as it is formed,” he said.

HIGHLIGHT

Samir Al-Khatib is considered the most favored candidate after preliminary consultations conducted by Aoun with his allies prior to setting the date for binding parliamentary consultations to nominate a Sunni prime minister, as required by the Lebanese constitution.

On Friday, Hariri sent letters to the leaders of a number of countries with good relations with Lebanon. 

He asked them to help Lebanon secure credit to import goods from these countries, in order to ensure food security and availability of raw materials for production in various sectors.

His media office said the move “is part of his efforts to address the shortage of financial liquidity, and to secure procuring the basic import requirements for citizens.”

Among the leaders Hariri wrote to are Saudi Arabia’s King Salman; the presidents of France, Russia, Egypt and Turkey; the prime ministers of China and Italy; and the US secretary of state.

On Dec. 11, Paris is due to host a meeting of the International Support Group for Lebanon. Reuters quoted a European source as saying: “France has already sent invitations to attend the group meeting.”

Protesters continued their sit-ins in front of government institutions in Nabatieh, Zahle and Saida.

In Tripoli, protesters blocked the city’s main roads, which were eventually reopened by the army.

In Akkar, protesters raided public institutions and called for an “independent government that fights corruption, restores looted funds, and rescues the economic situation and living conditions from total collapse.”

Lebanese designer Robert Abi Nader canceled a fashion show that was due to be organized in Downtown Beirut, where protesters are gathering. 

Abi Nader said he intended through his show to express support for the protests by designing a special outfit called “the bride of the revolution,” and revenues were to be dedicated to families in need.