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Symposium 2013

The Future of the Arab World

The Challenge

In December 2010, as its outset, the Arab Spring was non-ideological and leaderless. In many respects, it seemed to be the product of a “generational revolution”: 100 million young Arabs were rising against stifling economic and political structures that had stripped them of their freedoms while giving them in return one of the poorest education systems in the world, the highest unemployment rate together with a yawning income gap. Both Tunisia and Egypt demonstrated that rapid economic growth does not buy political stability unless political institutions and public governance are allowed to mature equally rapidly.

The 22 countries that compose the Arab world are far from being homogeneous, but more than two years after the revolution began, the whole region is in an increasing state of flux. There are growing signs of social discord, sectarian violence and economic pressure engulfing most of the Arab world. Is the region in for much tougher times? What are the most likely scenarios in the next 2–3 years? Might turmoil in Egypt – regarded as the vital pillar of regional stability – spread to the entire region? Might the civil wars caused by divisions between Shiites and Sunnis that currently affect Iraq and Syria spread to other countries such as Bahrain and Lebanon? In countries that look relatively calm (Morocco, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf Emirates), is social unrest festering below the surface? If youth unemployment is the main stumbling block on the road to stability, what are the policies susceptible to alleviate it?

Part of the issue cluster "Fiscal and Financial Sustainability"

    Solutions

    Solution
    Symposium 2013

    Create 'national dialogue tables' between opposing religious and political factions in the Arab world

    Create 'national dialogue tables' between opposing religious and political factions in the Arab world

    Create 'national dialogue tables' between opposing religious and political factions in the Arab world

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2013

    Create a regional structural adjustment fund (a Marshall Plan for the Arab world) with reform requirements to restructure centralized economies

    Create a regional structural adjustment fund (a Marshall Plan for the Arab world) with reform requirements to restructure centralized economies

    Create a regional structural adjustment fund (a Marshall Plan for the Arab world) with reform requirements to restructure centralized economies

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2013

    Promote regional economic integration in the Middle East through a Pan-Arab free trade area

    Promote regional economic integration in the Middle East through a Pan-Arab free trade area

    Promote regional economic integration in the Middle East through a Pan-Arab free trade area

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2013

    Improve the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Arab world by creating business incubators

    Improve the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Arab world by creating business incubators

    Improve the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Arab world by creating business incubators

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society
    Solution
    Symposium 2013

    Use appropriate passages of the Koran to inculcate personal responsibility and initiative to promote Arab economic development

    Use appropriate passages of the Koran to inculcate personal responsibility and initiative to promote Arab economic development

    Use appropriate passages of the Koran to inculcate personal responsibility and initiative to promote Arab economic development

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society

    Proposals

    Proposal
    Symposium 2013

    The Future of the Arab World: From Job seekers to Job Creators

    Arabreneur is an initiative to accelerate the creation of new jobs through entrepreneurship by creating a model and regional (virtual) eco-system that will leverage all resources currently available i ...

    Arabreneur is an initiative to accelerate the creation of new jobs through entrepreneurship by creating a model and regional (virtual) eco-system that will leverage all resources currently available in the MENA region.   Background The Arab Spring, also known as the Facebook/Twitter Revolution, has ushered in an era of unprecedented opportunity and great potential for economic and civil society development throughout the MENA region.  The Arab youth of the region are aware of their collective potential, having witnessed first-hand the people power that they wield and can effectively harness through their use of social media.  They are ripe with hope

    Polity, Business
    Proposal
    Symposium 2013

    Islam and the Future of the Arab World

    It is not reliable to measure the depth of the sea at low tide. IN many Western societies, Islam is seen as the greatest threat to democracy, freedom and development. Questions are raised whether the ...

    It is not reliable to measure the depth of the sea at low tide. IN many Western societies, Islam is seen as the greatest threat to democracy, freedom and development. Questions are raised whether the Arab world (and by association Islam) is compatible with democracy, rule of law and modernity? Is the Muslim world lagging behind in education, science and technology due to the influence of Islam? Does Islam permit or prohibit terrorism? Is Islam a hindrance to economic development? Are Muslim societies incapable of improving the position of women? Let me comment on the above questions by conceding that

    Polity, Academia, Business, Civil Society