The vast majority of Arab youth prioritizes harmonious relations with the international community and wholeheartedly regard themselves as global citizens, according to the second annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey, a study of 2,000 Arab national and expatriate youth between the ages of 18 and 24 across nine Middle East countries.
The survey asked Arab youth to rate the importance of global citizenship—the shared feeling of identity regardless of ethnic, religious or national background—with seven out of ten respondents interviewed describing the concept as either somewhat or very important.
Arab national and expatriate youth in the UAE went even further, with 79 per cent describing it as somewhat or very important. A plurality of youth in every country surveyed concurred with the exception of Oman, where 41 percent said the notion of global citizenship was either somewhat or very important.
According to Sunil John, chief executive of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller, “As with the 2008 survey, our second in-depth attitudinal study of Arab youth challenges a number of inaccurate assumptions about the beliefs and behaviour of the Middle East’s largest and most important demographic. Far from rejecting globalization, Arab youth appear to be actively seeking to participate in the trends shaping the international community. Politicians, business leaders, educators, marketers and the media would do well to take note.
“Arab youth are talented, media aware and eager to make their mark in the world as fully engaged global citizens.”