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Arab Youth Debate: Have Young People Reaped the Fruits of the Arab Spring?

  • The Arab Youth Debate will feature youth activists from across the region debating the critical question: Have young people reaped the fruits of the Arab Spring? Moderated by Alajzeera’s Abderrahim Foukara, the debate will take place in Tunisia, on April 1st, 2014, at at 7pm (Tunis time).

    Three years ago, Arab youth seized the initiative and stormed news headlines across the globe by demonstrating in the streets for regime change, contributing to transitions in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen and to new constitutions in Morocco and Jordan. But what has happened since? Unemployment in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is the highest in the world and largely a youth phenomenon. Young people between the ages of 15 and 24 make up at least half of the total number of the region’s unemployed. Moreover, at about 25 percent, the youth unemployment rate in MENA exceeds that of any other region in the world.

    Youth voices also remain conspicuously absent in public policy making in MENA. On April 1st, 2014, the World Bank Group and the Center for Mediterranean Integration (CMI) will host the Arab Youth Debate in the Tunisian capital, Tunis. Moderated by Aljazeera’s Abderrahim Foukara, the event will gather youth activists from across the region to explore the reality behind the statistics and tackle the critical question: Have young people reaped the fruits of the Arab Spring?



    Shatha al-Harazi, Academic/Journalist/Activist, Yemen

    Shatha al-Harazi was most recently a member of the National Dialogue Conference, appointed by the president to represent the voice of independent revolutionary youth. She has covered events in Yemen for a range of national and international media, appeared as a television host and continues to teach mass communication at Sana’a University.

    Mouheb Ben Garoui, I-WATCH Executive Director, Tunisia

    Mouheb Ben Garoui is a co-founder and the executive director of I-WATCH, a Tunis-based advocate for governmental, political and financial transparency and accountability--serving as an anti-corruption government watchdog and the national contact for Transparency International in Tunisia. Ben Garoui is also an accredited elections observer and trainer, and has drafted the first-of-its-kind handbook for campaign finance in North Africa. Read More »

    Abdelrahman Mansour, Hacker/Activist/Co-administrator of “We are all Khaled Said”, Egypt

    A co-administrator of the Facebook page that galvanized the opposition to the Mubarak regime, Abdelrahman Mansour also came up with the idea of naming January 25th as the start of a revolution. A graduate of Mansoura University, Mansour worked on the presidential campaign of Mohamed ElBaradei and was a co-founder of the Hizb el-Dustor (Constitution) party. He has also been active in journalism, contributing to major regional and international media organizations.

    Dr. Ghaith Al-Ghaffari, Trained Surgeon/Entrepreneur/Youth Coordinator/Volunteer, Iraq

    Ghaith Al-Ghaffari studied medicine at Baghdad Medical College and represented KrKa pharmaceuticals. A former member of the Iraqi Youth Parliament and current team leader with the Iraqi Youth Observatory Committee, Al-Ghaffari is a certified trainer and educator. He is also active in community service; raising money for poor families and students, and fundraising on behalf of children with cancer.

    Moderator: Abderrahim Foukara, Aljazeera

    Abderrahim Foukara is the Washington Bureau Chief for Aljazeera Arabic and the host of Min Washington, a weekly show on US affairs and how they impact the MENA region. Foukara completed a PhD in Apartheid studies in the UK before joining the BBC World Service where he worked as producer, reporter, anchor and journalism instructor. In 1999, Foukara moved to the US to join The World, a co-production of the BBC World Service, PRI and WGBH Boston as an Arab World specialist and later as a senior Editor. Foukara joined Al-Jazeera in 2002 and spent four years as the UN correspondent before moving to Washington in 2006. Foukara is a regular guest on NPR and several other US outlets such as MSNBC and CNN.