Youth Participation

Throughout the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), young people make up a large part of the population, and yet they are often not involved in political decision-making processes. Young people who felt politically and economically marginalised and not taken seriously by those in power, played a significant role during the uprisings of 2010/11.

Since then, however, young people have seen very little change in their situation, and the dynamics of the youth protests could not be channelled in a way that would have led to institutional integration or tangible structural changes. The integration of young adults into public life and political decision-making processes is thus still inadequate. For sustainable democratisation and development, however, youth representation and participation are indispensable — long-term political change is barely conceivable without generational renewal.

The Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) views young women and men as vital for democratic development in the region and is keen to strengthen their potential to initiate change in the world of politics and across society. Through its regional and national activities, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung seeks to foster engagement with young people’s situation in the MENA region.

In all the MENA countries where the FES is represented, it promotes young people within the Young Leaders Programme. This programme offers methodological and political training through which participants can develop personally and in terms of thematic knowledge and learn core skills. By addressing central political issues, young people acquire the ability to introduce current socio-political positions into public discourse. In the long term, the FES hopes to promote young professionals at both the national and regional level and to contribute to opening political structures to young actors and integrating the interests of the younger generation more effectively.

The FES MENA Youth Study is a large-scale representative survey of young adults in the MENA region which is coordinated from Tunis. The results of the first survey conducted in 2016 offer insights into the attitudes to life, self-image, and perceptions of the future of 9,000 young people between 16 and 30 years of age. The second survey was carried out in 2021; its results are currently being analysed and will be published in Arabic, English, French, and German.

Publications

Coping with uncertainty

Coping with uncertainty

Youth in the Middle East and North Africa
Berlin, 2021

Download publication (4 MB, PDF-File)


Lebanon: The predecessor of the Arab Spring?

Rosiny, Stephan

Lebanon: The predecessor of the Arab Spring?

The youth is sceptical but not desperate : FES MENA youth study: country analysis Lebanon
Berlin, 2018

Download publication (180 KB, PDF-File)


Turning away from politics

Khatib, Ghassan

Turning away from politics

A survey among Palestinian youth ; FES MENA youth study: country analysis Palestine
Berlin, 2018

Download publication (200 KB, PDF-File)


Coping with frustration

Dihstelhoff, Julius

Coping with frustration

A self-assessment of Tunisian youth ; FES MENA youth study: country analysis Tunisia
Berlin, 2018

Download publication (250 KB, PDF-File)


Optimism during uncertain times

Kreitmeyr, Nadine

Optimism during uncertain times

A report on Jordanian youth : FES MENA youth study: country analysis Jordan
Berlin, 2018

Download publication (220 KB, PDF-File)


Young Leaders

Young Leaders

In all the MENA countries where the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung is represented, it promotes young people within the Young Leaders Programme. More

FES MENA Youth Study

FES MENA Youth Study

In 2015, five years after the Arab Spring, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung assigned TNS Infratest, in collaboration with a scientific... More

Scholarships

Scholarships

Every year, there are a variety of scholarships available to study in or get some other kind of training in Germany. Inform yourself about opportunities offered by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and other German institutions. More

back to top