Young people with access to social media technology will help transform Middle East culture in the coming months, Thunderbird Professors Paul Kinsinger and Melissa Beran Samuelson said Sept. 13, 2011, in a faculty webinar.
“The demographics in much of the Arab world is extremely young,” Kinsinger says. “There is tremendous pressure on these governments and these societies to find opportunities for people coming of age.”
Samuelson says the United States saw a similar youth movement in the 1960s. “When you’re young, there is a lot more possibility in the air,” she says. “And that helps drive some of the revolution.” The professors respond to alumni questions about Libya, Syria, Egypt, Israel and other Middle East hotspots in this hourlong webinar. However, Kinsinger says people hoping for straightforward answers and clear predictions will have to keep waiting. “This part of the world is not simple, ever,” he says. “It’s always hard. It’s always complex.”