The Arab world — a people and region in a flux

The new BBC survey of 25,000 people in the Arab world is startling in its own way. It found more people than before, especially the under-30s, saying they are not religious. And it found a majority (except in Algeria) supportive of the idea of a woman as head of state. Click here for the story.

The survey, by the Arab Barometer research network based at Princeton University, is the largest and most in-depth undertaken in the Middle East and North Africa.

There are some caveats — questions omitted at some governments’ request; limited access in some countries; the Kuwaiti results too late for inclusion and Syria left out because of difficulty of access.

Even so, the survey’s findings do seem to paint a picture of a people and a region in a flux. Particularly striking is the finding that at least one in five people were considering emigrating and in Sudan, half the population wanted to leave.

Originally published at on June 24, 2019.

PhD. Journalism by trade & inclination. Sign up for free email updates on email me at

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