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Friday in Dubai. The congregation has spilled onto the road outside of the mosque. Photo: Levy Clancy

Immigration: half of the youths in the Maghreb, Middle East want to leave

Almost half of 200 million young Arabs in the Mena region would like to leave their country, an Arab Youth Survey revealed. 

Published: October 9, 2020, 9:11 am

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    At least 42 percent of young people aged 18 to 24 from countries in the Maghreb and the Middle East would like to try their luck in another country. This is one of the results of a recent poll by the agency ASDA’A BCW based in Dubai.

    Some 63 percent among youths in Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Yemen and Palestinian Territories, want to pack their bags.

    Almost half of the youth would therefore like to go abroad. Only 15 percent of them have already taken steps to emigrate. It is therefore 30 million candidates out of 200 million. Most are motivated for economic reasons.

    Unemployment has affected one in three young people. This is twice the world average. In addition, 35 percent of young people are said to be in debt, especially after having financed their studies.

    This vast survey was first carried out in January 2020 with a panel of 4 000 young men and young women. However, the investigation was repeated in August, after the coronavirus crisis. The desire to leave the Arab countries have since increased for two thirds of them.

    In the rankings of the five most sought-after countries according to a survey carried out in 17 states in North Africa and the Middle East, the United Arab Emirates was the favorite destination for young Arabs ahead of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany. Since 2013, however, France has dropped out of the top five destinations. Tunisians and Algerians stood out as those attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea.

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