During my time abroad I noticed, everywhere I went, that the majority of people were young. They were either young infants or not many years older than I was. I figured that this was simply because the elders stayed at home more often. There was an article in the Times Magazine outlining how 80% of all outbreaks of violence in the Middle East from 1970 to 2007 were where 60% or more of the population was 30 years old or under. What does this suggest about youth and violence?
According to the Times article, about 60% of the regions population is under 30. It accounts more of the violence to the unfulfilled aspirations of the young. There was a survey that was sent out to Middle Eastern youth asking them the #1 wish. Their response was to live in a free country. A job and a desire to live in well-run, modern society also ranked high. Since the number of people under the age of 30 increases so does the unemployment rate. It is almost at 25%. Wealthy countries counter act this by their production of oil. Countries such as Bahrain and Kuwait have given their citizens bonuses from the amount of oil they have sold.
Control and Technology
Many of the citizens are controlled by mass repression or mass bribery. There is a very small group of elites who are controlling a very large, poor and unfulfilled youth. No wonder there is so much violence in the Middle East. In the years before us, the government used technology to their advantage. They were able to use it one to many. Technology ruled in the favor of the elite and powerful. Nowadays technology is distributed many to many allowing the majority to communicate. Technology has now become a disadvantage to the powerful. Many countries in the Middle East have try to stop this large group of youths by shutting d
own the internet, not allowing access to certain sites and even shutting down cell phone communications. The article posed a very interesting question, if the countries decided to shut off the use of cell phones and the Internet, how is it going to economically grow? Will these countries always face violence due to the drastic population of youth? Will the violence decrease with time or only increase as these populations start to get older?
Reference: Zakaria, Fareed. “Why There’s No Turning Back in the Middle East.” Time. Time Inc., 17 Feb. 2011. Web. 22 Oct. 2014.