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Monday, March 8, 2021

Arab youth express mixed feelings about Qatar’s 2022 hosting rights

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Arab Youth

The majority of Arabs living in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region support Qatar’s right to host the 2022 World Cup, but some ambivalence remains about the issue, according to a new regional survey.

Some 61 percent of residents polled in the GCC said Qatar was the right choice to host the tournament, compared to 54 percent of those surveyed in several other Arab countries, the 6th Annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey states.

About a quarter of youth in all the countries surveyed said they “don’t know” if Qatar was the right choice, and a little less than 20 percent believe it was the wrong choice.

Despite the ambivalence, over two-thirds of those polled said the tournament would positively impact the development of football in the MENA region.

Regional support for Qatar’s bid comes as the international community is scrutinizing the nation over new bribery allegations that could be linked to the tournament.

Qatar has denied any impropriety, and FIFA has said it will release the results of its investigation into Qatar and Russia’s 2018 bid next month.

Other findings

To obtain the survey results, polling firm PSB conducted face-to-face interviews in 16 countries with some 3,500 young Arabs between the ages of 18 and 24 years old (half male, half female). The latest poll, now in its sixth year, was taken between December 2013 and January 2014.

It covers an average of 200 respondents from each GCC countries (Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the UAE), as well as Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Palestine, Tunisia and Yemen. Syria was excluded due to civil unrest.

Arab Youth Survey 2014

The survey also concluded that the rising cost of living continues to be one of the biggest concerns of young people in the MENA region for the fourth year in a row. Additionally, anxiety about unemployment has been rising.

The report states:

“Concern about rising living costs is evenly split across the Arab world with 63% of respondents in GCC – where inflation is expected to rise this year – saying they are ‘very concerned’ compared to 62% in the remaining Arab countries surveyed.”

However, when it comes to consumer confidence, 71 percent of young people in the Gulf said they believed their countries of residence were more likely to be heading in the right direction. That’s compared to 55 percent of youth surveyed outside the GCC.

Arab Youth Survey 2014

Still, since the survey was conducted, Qatar’s cost of living has gone up for four consecutive months, fueled largely by rising rent. The news has sparked concern among many residents, who said they are finding it more difficult to make ends meet.

Other key findings include:

  • The majority of those surveyed said they believe civil unrest is the biggest obstacle facing the Middle East and will play a huge role in how the region’s future shapes up. Lack of democracy was ranked the second biggest obstacle.
  • For the third year in a row, the UAE was chosen as the most popular country to live in, and the nation that Arab youth would most like their country to emulate. According to the report, “Youngsters in Qatar are the most favorable towards the UAE with 42% of youngsters citing it as the country they would most like to live in while respondents in Tunisia (30%), Bahrain (33%) and Lebanon (33%) are also favourable towards the UAE.”
  • When asked to consider their country’s biggest ally, Arab youth chose GCC neighbors like Saudi Arabia over Western nations.
  • Concerns about obesity and diabetes are growing, and Arab youth are not confident that the healthcare system in their countries has improved over the past year.
  • There is little concern about climate change, and some 70 percent of young Arabs believe they should continue to have subsidized utilities and petrol.
  • TV continues to be the most popular source of news (for the past six years), but social networks are gaining.

Here is a summary of the key findings:

Thoughts?

11 COMMENTS

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Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago

Quite shocking to see that for many youth personal debt and Pan-Arab economy is a bigger challenge than censorship and lack of press freedom. I’d be glad to know how Arab youth prioritize their “challenges” both for them and for their countries.

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

you wouldnt be to concerned about press freedom if you werent sure if you could have a roof over your head or food on your plate tomorrow. food and shelter rank higher on concerns than social issues only once you have the first guaranteed will you have the time to worry about other stuff

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow's_hierarchy_of_needs

Yacine
Yacine
6 years ago

I do agree to some extent, as I was not expecting freedom of the press to be at the top of priorities anyway. However, this does not justify why it is down at the bottom also, and nearly at the same level as climate change which I think most Arabs don’t care about (and for many of them vaguely heard about).

Also, and since the GCC people are relatively well-off, you would expect them to worry less about money and more about freedoms and some other social/political issues. Again, it seems like they don’t, which is surprising.

That said, it is only a survey and surveys are approximate depictions of what society is.

Mohammed Albanai
Mohammed Albanai
6 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

the survey was in 16 arab countries not just the GCC, sadly most of those countries are either in a civil war, on the verge of civil war or next to a country going through a civil war hence there worries are a lot more basic and more personal in nature

HoHum
HoHum
6 years ago

If Anglophone expats read the rich variety of academic texts written in English about the region (in anthropology, sociology, political science, history), instead of surveys with cookie-cutter questions, they’d understand more about Arab youth, whose class and national differences are far more significant than their similarities

SokhnaFan2010
SokhnaFan2010
6 years ago
Reply to  HoHum

Reminds me of a famous quote…….”Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
6 years ago

That’s Arab “unity” for you. Largely a fiction espoused by politicians.

The truth is that the youth polled are like most educated youth the world over–concerned about their economic opportunities and future in unstable times.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

No surprise none of them wanted to live in the religious dictatorship that is Saudi Arabia. Not even Saudis want to live there

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
6 years ago

Not surprising. Like much of the rest of the world, young Arabs are worried about financial and physical security in uncertain times. Censorship and sporting entertainment take a backseat.

MIMH
MIMH
6 years ago

Wow, yet more comments have disappeared! Stories about Arab youths must be very sensitive,……

Ano
Ano
6 years ago

I will stop my association with VISA will call up SONY to take back my TV for free (will not be given for individuals) if Qatar 2022 happens . Hyundai will follow the suit. now they are on my cross hairs. I will not be buying their products anymore….No worldcup unless there is no worker rights

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