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Poll: Young Arabs Remain Optimistic - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Egyptian youth take part in the 2010 'Stand Up, Take Action' campaign against poverty near the great pyramids of Giza on the outskirts of Cairo, on September 17, 2010.

Egyptian youths take part in the 2010 “Stand Up, Take Action” campaign against poverty, near the great pyramids of Giza, on the outskirts of Cairo, on September 17, 2010.

London, Asharq Al-Awsat—Despite widespread economic problems and political instability, the youth of the Arab world are still optimistic about the future, according to the results of a new poll.

The annual Arab Youth Survey, conducted by the Dubai-based ASDA’A Burson–Marsteller public relations consulting firm, involved 3,000 interviews of Arabs aged 18-24 across 15 countries.

According to the firm, the survey revealed that most young Arabs still feel positively about their future prospects, although the events of the previous two years have brought the region’s many economic and political problems into sharp relief.

The survey said that on average, 74% of the respondents agreed with the statement that “our best days are ahead of us.”

However, the survey also revealed a split in attitudes between citizens of Gulf states and those of North Africa and the Levant, with the latter less happy about the direction their countries were going in.

Within the Gulf, the number of respondents who said they were satisfied with the direction of their country of residence ranged from 88% in the United Arab Emirates to 77% in Saudi Arabia.

However, the average for non-Gulf countries was below fifty percent. In Lebanon, the figure was 37%, with 42% in Tunisia and 43% in Libya.

Nonetheless, despite the Arab world’s political problems, a large majority of the respondents said that the events of the Arab Spring had made them more proud to be Arabs.

In terms of economics, the result reflected the widespread concerns about the structural problems of many Arab countries, and was something that both Gulf and non-Gulf residents agreed on.

A majority of respondents cited “being paid a fair wage” as their main priority by a wide margin, and said that their biggest worry was the rising cost of living.

As for the most trusted sources of news among Arab youth, television remained the most popular by a substantial margin at 40%, while online sources showed an increase over last year’s figures, rising to 26%, with a corresponding decline in newspapers, which have fallen to 9%.