After the Arab Spring: While Islamic identity gains strength, a significant number see the revolution as unsuccessful
Around 63.9% of Libyan youth considered their revolution ‘successful’, while 53.5% of Tunisian youth considered their revolution ‘unsuccessful’, in an Arab Youth survey carried out by Al Jazeera Centre for Studies. In Egypt 43.5% of those surveyed and 37.9% in Yemen, also thought it was unsuccessful.
Interestingly, Islam and not nationality, was the primary identity for majority of the youth, except in Egypt. The percentage of youth that hailed their Islamic identity are as follows: Tunisia – 53.2%, Yemen – 59.1% and Libya – 72.7%. The only exception was Egypt, where 62% of the youth placed their Egyptian identity above religious identity.
More than half of the respondents, Egyptians included, preferred Islamic Shariah to be the main source of legislation in their respective countries (Libya – 93%, Yemen – 89%, Tunisia – 4% and Egypt – 56.5%.)
The survey included 8045 young men and women in the four Arab Spring countries of Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen and was conducted to assess what the Arab youth thought about the Arab Revolution, and its aftermath.
Economic situation a concern
Citing the reasons of the revolutions failure, the youth didn’t see major improvements in the economic situation, the strengthening of security, the fight against corruption or the achievement of social justice – changes that they hoped the revolutions would bring about.
These are the findings for the above:
Nonetheless, the revolution did manage to spark progress in the field of human rights and freedom of expression.
About 61.6% of Libyan youth, 42.1% of Tunisian youth and 40.2% of Yemeni youth felt there was an improvement in the field of human rights. However, 43.3% of Egyptian youth felt that the situation was better before the revolution.
More freedom of expression
Regarding freedom of expression, 88.1% in Libya, 79% in Egypt, 76.7% in Yemen and 75.4% in Tunisia felt that the revolution was successful in achieving it.
Overall, 77.6% of Libyan youth are optimistic about their country’s future after the revolutions, and so do the 47.5% of the youth in Yemen. However, in Tunisia, only 34% were positive while a vast majority felt the contrary.
In Egypt, 34.6% of the youth were certain that their country’s situation would deteriorate in the future.