Date of this Version
'Traditionally, Arab society dealt with youth in a superficial and slightly condescending manner’, an Arab columnist wrote recently, ‘offering the occasional sports club and scout troop, a usually underfunded and dysfunctional govemment ministry or organization for youth issues, and a correspondingly noncredible occasional speech by a highranking official stressing that youths are the promise of the future'(Khouri, 2005). In light of this somber diagnosis with which many analysts of the Arab world would concur, it appears paradoxical that, today, Arab youth is at the center of some of the most important and controversial debates, from the impact of Western modernity on gender roles and social relations to consumerism and radical political violence. The scope of these debates transcends the borders of the 22 states making up the Arab world in a post September 11, 2001, environment where Arab youth has become a site that is contested both internally and externally. Young Arab women and men are simultaneously subjected to competing and oftentimes conflicting messages from their parents, educational and religious institutions, the vibrant Arab satellite television industry, 'public diplomacy' from the USA, Iran and others, and the interlocking economic, technological and cultural forces of globalization.
Date Posted: 25 May 2012