Our mission is to promote the economic and social inclusion of young people in the Middle East.
Who We Are
The Middle East Youth Initiative (MEYI) was launched by the Wolfensohn Center for Development at the Brookings Institution and the Dubai School of Government in July 2006. Our objective is to accelerate the international community's ability to better understand and respond to the changing needs of young people in the Middle East. By creating an international alliance of academics, policymakers, youth leaders and leading thinkers from the private sector and civil society, we aim to develop and promote a progressive agenda of youth inclusion.
What We Do
The initiative blends activities in an attempt to bridge the divide between thinkers and practitioners and utilizes robust research as a foundation for effective policy and programs. The initiative has three complementary pillars:
Research and Policy
We advance understanding of economic and social issues to promote solutions for the inclusion of young people through cutting edge research. The main target group is youth 15-29 years old. The research framework focuses on youth making two major transitions to adulthood: from education to employment and from employment to household formation (marriage and home-ownership).
Advocacy and Networking
The initiative aspires to be a hub for knowledge and ideas, open to all stakeholders who can make change happen. Strong partnerships with policymakers, government officials, representatives from the private sector and civil society organizations, donors and the media will pioneer forms of dialogue that bridge the divide between ideas and action. By bringing in the voice and the new perspectives of young people, we will revitalize debate on development in the Middle East.
Outcomes matter. With a focus on areas with the greatest potential for innovation and impact, the initiative will mobilize partners for practical action that can improve young people's lives. MEYI's latest initiative, Taqeem, will promote impact evaluation of programs in the areas of employment and entrepreneurship across the Middle East.
Following Hosni Mubarak's much-anticipated speech on Thursday, 10 February 2011--in which he reaffirmed his determination to remain in office until September, despite popular expectations that he would resign--Edward Sayre talks about the demands of Egyptian youth for economic opportunity and social inclusion. This audio discussion originally aired on The Takeaway and is reposted here. The views expressed in this piece are those of the published author.
Tarik Yousef discusses the disconnect between Egyptian youth and the ruling elites, highlighting the very real possibility that Egyptian civil society will 'thrive' in a future, democratic state. This article was originally published by The Takeaway and is reposted here. The views expressed in this article are those of the published author.
Paul Dyer considers the need for innovative, creative reforms to harness the economic potential and entrepreneurial creativity of Middle Eastern youth. This article was originally published by Knowledge@Wharton and is reposted here. The views expressed in this article are those of the published author.
Tarik Yousef discusses the impact of rising food prices and economic challenges on youth frustrations in the Middle East, and the potential for these issues to fuel further protests throughout the region. This audio show originally aired on The Takeaway and is reposted here. The views expressed in this piece are those of the published author.
Ragui Assaad analyses the mounting economic consequences Egypt faces 'the longer President Hosni Mubarak refuses to resign in spite of demands by protesters to step down from power. This article was originally published by ABC News and is reposted here. The views expressed in this article are those of the published author.
Tarik Yousef discusses how Egypt and other Arab states' preoccupation with security issues over the last decade drove the debate about economics and politics 'out of the halls of government and into the streets.' This story originally aired on NPR's All Things Considered and is reposted here. The views expressed in this story are those of the published author.
Ehaab Abdou, Amina Fahmy, Diana Greenwald and Jane Nelson propose recommendations to facilitate the development of institutional alliances that need to take place in order to capitalize on social entrepreneurship, boost economic opportunities for young people in the Middle East, and prepare the region become more fully integrated into a rapidly changing global economy.
Youth Exclusion in the West Bank and Gaza Strip: The Impact of Social, Economic and Political Forces
Edward Sayre and Samia Al-Botmeh examine three dimensions of the transition to adulthood by Palestinian youth: acquiring skills through schooling and training, finding employment, and forming a family.
Ragui Assaad, Ghada Barsoum, Emily Cupito and Daniel Egel present a comprehensive overview of youth exclusion in Yemen.
Generation in Waiting: The Unfulfilled Promise of Young People in the Middle East (Brookings Press, 2009), edited by Navtej Dhillon and Tarik Yousef, represents three years of research on youth exclusion in the Middle East.
Djavad Salehi-Isfahani and Navtej Dhillon present a framework for policymakers to improve youth outcomes by addressing institutional distortions across sectors: from the education system to the employment, housing, and credit markets.