The Youth Revolt: A New Frontier of Conflict
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Youth issues have become more than a stress on fragile environments. The “youth upheaval” or “youth revolt” has become a form of conflict – with the potential to erupt in vulnerable countries around the world. The direct effects of the youth war are evident in the Arab spring, an uprising that was sparked by two young men: Mohammad Bouazizi of Tunisia who inspired the Tunisian revolution after he set himself on fire to protest against unemployment and the state’s role, and Khalid Saed of Egypt who was killed by security forces while in custody in Alexandria, Egypt. The two were youth who refused to acquiesce to the state and demanded that their rights be respected. In doing so, they tapped into a common sentiment among millions of Arab youth of material deprivation, sense of helplessness, lack of potential and political alienation. Their deaths motivated an apathetic youthful generation to rebel and turned a system upside down where the youth led the political discourse and the older generation followed. This youth upheaval is the result of an ‘action oriented quick results generation’ impatient of waiting for change and taking matters into hand. What started in Tunis and Egypt has now engulfed most Arab nations and threatens the rest of the regional nations.
United States Institute for Peace, International Network for Economics and Conflict
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