Middle East

Sitting in limbo is where many young Arabs find themselves today. Nearly a quarter of Arabs under 30 are jobless. Long gone are the days of a guaranteed government gig, and the private sector is far from filling the gap. Today, Arab youth are searching for work and waiting for weddings. Some just want to leave the region – and its long unemployment lines – altogether. At best, unemployment and flagging Arab economies lead to a generation of bored and frustrated youth. At worst, economic conditions create a breeding ground for extremism and instability. 

The Arab world has the largest youth bulge on the planet. Millions of young people are living in a pressure cooker of social, political, tribal, and religious forces. We visit Jordan and Egypt and speak with young Arabs in America about their struggles with identity, and how globalization, Islam, and a turbulent region are shaping how they look at themselves, and the world. 

"The democratic experience in Iraq is still very much in its infant stages, but it's being tested. It was tested over the course of the last four years, more recently it's being tested by the national elections, and now the challenge of putting a government together." 
– Ambassador Gary Grappo, Counselor for Political Affairs in the U.S. Embassy

"What has been going on for many, many years is ad hoc, day-to-day management of problems as these problems continue to grow and grow. Now, they have grown to a point where we fear the country is at risk." 
– Abdul-Ghani Al-Iryani, Political Consultant in Yemen

"General McChrystal’s plan for counterinsurgency — 50 percent of it is military. The other 50 percent is a development program, or a stabilization program." 
– Andrew Natsios, former USAID Administrator

America Abroad Media (AAM), in partnership with CNN and The George Washington University School of Media and Public Affairs, hosted a joint interview with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on a wide range of issues including the war in Afghanistan, nuclear negotiations with Iran and engagement with Pakistan.

"When I worked in the state department, we made the decision to put diplomats into the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan. That's an entirely different proposition than serving in Rome."
– Former Ambassador Nicholas Burns

"Those who argued for these tactics were on the wrong side of the debate, and the wrong side of history. That's why we must leave these methods where they belong, in the past..." 

– President Obama, speech at the National Archives, May 2009

"It's kind of like what Lou Holtz said when he coached Notre Dame football – we're not where we want to be, we're not where we need to be, but thank goodness we're not where we used to be." – Lt. General Frank Helmick 

“It’s possible that after ten years we will have a very big war, because in Central Asia we see a lot of contradictions, there is Europe, [the] United States, China, Russia, Muslim terrorists, so it’s [a] dangerous combination of different interests.”
– Konstantin Simonov, Director of the National Energy Security Fund in Moscow

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