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Gr 8 Xpectations: Youth and Youth Cultures in the Middle East Barbara Petzen Middle Gr 8 Xpectations: Youth and Youth Cultures in the Middle East Barbara Petzen Middle East Policy Council

Aspects of Youth Culture l l l Seen as both in danger and dangerous Aspects of Youth Culture l l l Seen as both in danger and dangerous by insiders and outsiders Demographics Space Consumer Culture Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roll (and Sufi Cool) Politics

Youth as the Future l l l Children seen as the future of the Youth as the Future l l l Children seen as the future of the country Schools cultivate ardent nationalism (as in USA) The economic, political, social future of the nation

Youth as the Threat l l l Leftist student violence in Turkey 1970 s Youth as the Threat l l l Leftist student violence in Turkey 1970 s Revolutionary fervor in Iran 1979 Seen as vulnerable recruits to Islamist groups Victimized or violent? Disenfranchised or decadent?

Demographic Trends l High youth populations: 60% under 24; Iran 70% born since 1979; Demographic Trends l High youth populations: 60% under 24; Iran 70% born since 1979; Egypt 33% 14 and under; Yemen 66% under 25, 20% 15 -24 Education leads to higher aspirations l l High unemployment – 85 -90% unemployment among youth Worst among most educated – Class divide –

The Young Middle East Percentage of Population Aged 15 -24 (2005) l l l The Young Middle East Percentage of Population Aged 15 -24 (2005) l l l Algeria Bahrain Egypt Iran Iraq Israel Jordan Kuwait Lebanon Libya Morocco Oman 22. 6 16. 1 20. 8 25. 2 20. 1 16. 1 20. 4 16. 0 18. 0 21. 7 21. 1 21. 5 l l l Palestine Qatar Saudi Arabia 18. 5 Sudan Syria Tunisia Turkey UAE 16. 3 Yemen World United States 14. 3 19. 3 13. 9 20. 1 23. 2 20. 9 18. 6 21. 6 17. 1 Source: UN Population Division, World Population Prospects: The 2006 Revision (2007), www. esa. un. org/unpp.

Urbanization: Turkey The Turkish population increased 5 times from 1927 to 2000. It multiplied Urbanization: Turkey The Turkish population increased 5 times from 1927 to 2000. It multiplied by 3 between 1945 and 1990, whereas urban population increased 7 times. *“urban”= territories with a population over 10, 000 Turkey (total) Urban Turkey Istanbul 1927 13 648 270 3 305 879 806 863 1945 18 790 174 4 687 102 1 078 399 2000 67 803 927 44 006 274 10 018 735

Kustepe* youth survey More than half declare that they are unhappy with their life: Kustepe* youth survey More than half declare that they are unhappy with their life: § § § 57% explain their difficulties by unemployment or by precariousness of their work conditions 52% by lack of formal education 42% by poverty * Low-income neighborhood in Istanbul

Case Study: Iran l Demographic problems as result of own successful and unsuccessful policies Case Study: Iran l Demographic problems as result of own successful and unsuccessful policies l 70% of population born after 1979 l Successful in encouraging people to have lots of babies during Iran-Iraq war— 5. 6% TFR (Total Fertility Rate) 80 -88 l Then started new national family planning program, with birth control counseling mandatory before marriage l Brought TFR down to 2. 5%

Case Study: Iran l Youth literacy 94%, higher for girls l Only 10% accepted Case Study: Iran l Youth literacy 94%, higher for girls l Only 10% accepted to university l Serious drug problem l Unemployment 11 -16%, much higher for youth l Politically active--15 -18 year olds instrumental in 2001 election of Khatemi-some disillusionment; big youth support for Mousavi in 2009

Case Study: Egypt l 44. 4% in “poverty tunnel”—cannot or can just fulfill basic Case Study: Egypt l 44. 4% in “poverty tunnel”—cannot or can just fulfill basic calorie needs, or add basic non-food expenses l 10% unemployment, 87. 2 percent of the unemployed are between the ages of 15 and 29, unemployment among college graduates 10 times higher than nongraduates l Food prices going up

Where does this lead? Where does this lead?

Where does this lead? Where does this lead?

Youth Spaces l l l Real and virtual Class differentiation Corner vs. Campus spaces Youth Spaces l l l Real and virtual Class differentiation Corner vs. Campus spaces The basement and the street The mall

Iranian youth culture Iranian youth culture

Cultural encounters in urban Turkey l l l Emergence of new money with economic Cultural encounters in urban Turkey l l l Emergence of new money with economic transformations “Fear of falling” of the old middle classes A discourse of derision and scornfulness toward newcomers in Istanbul: creation of the “maganda”

Class and Spatial Differentiation and distancing among youth as a result of socio-economic and Class and Spatial Differentiation and distancing among youth as a result of socio-economic and cultural transformations Cem (19) and Can (19), in the Radar Live Festival at Kilyos Beach. (Radikal, July 2007) Erhan (20) is originally from Siirt. His parents first moved to Aydin than to Istanbul. He is working on Istiklal Street, selling corn in summer and chestnuts in winter. He is living in one of the distant gecekondu areas and his main contact with the city center is his work. (Radikal, July 2007)

1990 s : Socio-spatial fragmentation in Istanbul Rapid suburbanisation – Gated communities in the 1990 s : Socio-spatial fragmentation in Istanbul Rapid suburbanisation – Gated communities in the urban periphery in conflict for land with gecekondu zones (urban regeneration projects) Inner city : – – Gentrification Slummification Shopping malls: new public spaces & consumption temples Olivium shopping mall, Zeytinburnu Bahçesehir residential complex, Büyükçekmece

Urban skate culture and beyond l l The new, the proud, the cool Brownbookmag. Urban skate culture and beyond l l The new, the proud, the cool Brownbookmag. com (online urban guide to the Middle East)

The Street Corner/Corniche/Club The Street Corner/Corniche/Club

Elite aspirations: New Dubai opera house l Architecture = international cool Elite aspirations: New Dubai opera house l Architecture = international cool

Virtual spaces Virtual spaces

Virtual space l l l The Blogosphere in the Middle East: Global Voices Baghdad Virtual space l l l The Blogosphere in the Middle East: Global Voices Baghdad Burning: Girl Blog from Iraq Dalia Ziyada: human rights activist in Egypt Twitter @Sandmonkey Mahmoud Salem Mustafa Naggar: Islamist blogger in Egypt 100, 000 blogs in Farsi: English language Iranian blogs at http: //www. iraniansblogs. com/

Virtual space Virtual space

Consumer Culture l l l Globalized media Conspicuous consumption Pop music “clips” International brands Consumer Culture l l l Globalized media Conspicuous consumption Pop music “clips” International brands Tech cool Not the same as secular--can be Islamic chic as well

Beirut consumer culture Beirut consumer culture

Café culture Café culture

Dubai: A Whole New World Dubai: A Whole New World

Islamic haute couture Islamic haute couture

Life Ads Coke l l Nancy Ajram Coke ad http: //www. youtube. com/wat ch? Life Ads Coke l l Nancy Ajram Coke ad http: //www. youtube. com/wat ch? v=35 O 3 ud. LS 83 Y Parody Coke ad http: //www. youtube. com/wat ch? v=g. Gv. Xp. Jjq. LWc&featur e=related

Communications Revolution l l Egypt: Landline phones: 10. 3 million Cell phones: 55. 4 Communications Revolution l l Egypt: Landline phones: 10. 3 million Cell phones: 55. 4 million Internet users: 20. 1 million state-run TV operates 2 national and 6 regional terrestrial networks as well as a few satellite channels; about 20 private satellite channels and a large number of Arabic satellite channels

Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roll l l Youth exchange cell phone numbers by Bluetooth Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roll l l Youth exchange cell phone numbers by Bluetooth Exchange pictures Surreptitious dating— sex is political Cell phones, Facebook and the Blog

Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roll l 'They live in a culture where they are Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roll l 'They live in a culture where they are supposed to be educated, to work and be pretty, ' Khalaf said. 'They have to be sexually attractive but not sexually active and they will do anything to grab a guy's attention. ’ In Lebanon, many young men emigrate for jobs in the Gulf The ratio of unmarried young women to men is said to be 5: 1 Great competition amongst women for men visiting home from Gulf to find marriage partners

Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roll Youth may be less attracted to state-sponsored religious forms, Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roll Youth may be less attracted to state-sponsored religious forms, but that doesn’t mean they are not spiritual or religious themselves—a new “Sufi cool” is apparent across the region Mercan Dede http: //www. mercandede. com/EN/ Mohsen Namjoo http: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=6 rgt 5 hz. Mv. CI Sami Yusuf: Islamic pop http: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=B 5 Gp. BGk 9 tk&feature=related O-Hum: Darvish http: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=Me. N 4 kf. BPx 1 k Kiosk : Love for Speed (subtitles) http: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=Oi 0 egvu. CRCo Junoon: Dosti http: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=DD 59 l 0 e 5 kr. Y

Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roll Hich-Kas: Bunch of Soldiers http: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=QU Sex, Drugs, Rock and Roll Hich-Kas: Bunch of Soldiers http: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=QU 1 NNAH 6 b_g Hoba Spirit: El Caid Motorhead http: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=QIXCI 9 lmaho Arthimoth Iranian death metal http: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=q. Nav 2 lzd-TQ Palestinian Rapperz Ya Sayedati http: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=ci. VGf. B 0 L 3 u 8 Egypt: Arabian Knights with Lauryn Hill http: //www. youtube. com/watch? v=Z 696 QHAb. MIA

Politics l l l Disillusionment with politics as usual Politics through music Use of Politics l l l Disillusionment with politics as usual Politics through music Use of new forms (Young Civilians) New spheres of actions (BGL, environment) Many protests leading up to the “Arab Spring”

Environmental Activism Environmental Activism

The Cedar Revolution The Cedar Revolution

“Freedom’s children” 1990 s and 2000 s: rapid individualization of youth An “actively unpolitical” “Freedom’s children” 1990 s and 2000 s: rapid individualization of youth An “actively unpolitical” younger generation rejecting traditional ways of politics Ex. Young Civilians’ Democracy Class and miniaturk visit as a reaction to recent interventions of the army to the politics

New multiculturalism After Hrant Dink assassination l We are all Armenian l Mass demonstrations New multiculturalism After Hrant Dink assassination l We are all Armenian l Mass demonstrations l

New Youth Protests New Youth Protests

Wellsprings of the “Arab Spring” § Not just about Facebook and Twitter—why did they Wellsprings of the “Arab Spring” § Not just about Facebook and Twitter—why did they play the role they played? § Demographic issues key: youth bulge, unemployment, housing § Corruption (economic, political, judicial, internal security), illegitimacy of political leaders (resistance to attempts to make non-monarchical dynasties permanent) § Poverty (income disparity) § Discrimination § Overcoming psychological barrier of fear of regime, fear that things can indeed get worse (that’s not fatalism)

Lessons of the “Arab Spring” § It’s not all about religion, despite our stereotypes Lessons of the “Arab Spring” § It’s not all about religion, despite our stereotypes § Islam is not seen as something old/outdated, seen as positive alternative to corrupt secular regimes § People have very modern aspirations, admire both our freedoms and our technology § Democracy is important to people, but so is stability—both economic and political § Elections aren’t enough, aren’t democracy § Institution building in judiciary, political infrastructure, business will take time