Middle East Youth

What particular challenges do youth in the Middle East face? How can youth successfully transition from education to productive employment? Why might young people choose or resist violent extremism? How is the refugee crisis impacting children and their education? These are just some of the questions that RAND experts delve into through their research and analysis on Middle East youth.

Our Work

  • Report

    Family Is Greatest Factor That Causes Youth to Reject Violent Extremism

    Sep 29, 2015

    Cragin, et al.

    Family influence is more important than peer groups in dampening a young person's propensity toward becoming a terrorist. Policies aimed at undermining radicalization should include teaching parents how to discuss detrimental messages on social media, as well as building programs to strengthen families' influence on youth and ties to communities.

  • Report

    Youth in Jordan: Transitions from Education to Employment

    Jul 1, 2014

    Brown, et al.

    Despite Jordan's strong economic growth during the last decade, youth unemployment remains stubbornly high, as graduates don't possess the skills necessary for their desired professions. Many young women in Jordan have career aspirations but face a number of obstacles. However, numerous policy reforms could turn the tide.

  • Commentary

    The Urgent Need for an Education Plan in Mosul

    Mar 27, 2017


    In addition to restoring Mosul's damaged infrastructure, efforts to stabilize the city must include a plan to rebuild education. Students need to make up years of missed K-12 and university education, and ISIS indoctrination needs to be undone.

  • Commentary

    The Precarious State of Syrian Refugee Women, Children in Lebanon

    Sep 13, 2016


    The gendered impact of political conflict on women and children has been well documented in other conflicts. But much less is known about the effect of the Syrian civil war on displaced women and children.

  • Draft

    Palestinian Youth Health Risk Study: Survey Findings

    Jul 25, 2016

    Little is known about youth health risk behaviors in the Middle East and North Africa—specifically in the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The Palestinian Youth Health Risk Study was designed to address gaps in knowledge and help understand the prevalence and patterns of behaviors such as drug and alcohol use and sexual activity among this population.

  • Commentary

    Countering Extremism: Early Childhood Education Forgotten

    Jun 8, 2016

    Karam, et al.

    Global attention has turned to education as a way to counter extremism. But what has been missing from the conversation is a focus on learning in children's first years, when much brain development occurs. In the Middle East and North Africa, government underinvestment in formal programs for young children is the norm.

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