Youth and the Approach of Protest and Change in the Arab Countries
The year 2020 witnessed the passing of the tenth anniversary of the start of the Arab revolutions, which ignited the first spark from the body of the Tunisian young man, Mohamed Bouazizi, who burned himself after being insulted by the local authorities in the city of Sidi Bouzid after they confiscated the vegetable cart from which he was feeding, to start chapters of the stubborn revolutions In the Tunisian squares, then it spread to Egypt, Libya, and Yemen, uprooting the political regimes in them, setting fire to the squares of other countries and civil wars still raging.
The protests in Algeria and Sudan contributed, in a second wave in the late first decade, to changing the existing political system, and protests erupted in other Arab countries, specifically in Lebanon and Iraq, whose youth, in a new, uncharacteristic discourse of protest, reject the ruling political forces and foreign interference in the two countries. Specifically, the sectarian and political expansion that divides the two countries and creates armed militias that negatively affect the state’s social contracts and national unity.
The generation of Arab youth before the revolution – with regard to public political affairs – was stereotyped negatively, accused of being indifferent, weak, lacking compass, and not qualified to adopt reformist political issues, then the Arab revolutions came to change this image, which forced the political and social forces and the masses of intellectuals On recognizing that the young generation that was leading the protesters, leading the squares, and directing public opinion on social media platforms, is the voice of change and hope and is the most courageous, powerful and influential generation than its predecessors, and thus important social and political components followed it and needed it in the fields.
Generation and Political Disappointment
The positive image of the generation is still present in the mentality of Arab society, but it differed in the mentality of political forces, especially those that reaped the results of revolutions and protests, as these forces find in the youth a political opponent that competes with them in their programs, and accordingly; It was in its interest to exclude the young generation on the first day after the revolutions, to keep it away from the areas of political decision-making, and to thwart the attempts of its political regularity; In an attempt to transform the energy of the generation into side social and economic issues. Huntington – whose theory ‘dominoes’ proved its hypothesis in the Arab revolutions – points to the importance of realizing modernization when he said: ‘The more societies develop, the more complex they become, and if the process of social modernization that creates This disruption with the process of political and institutional modernization, which is the process that produces political institutions capable of managing modernization, the result is the flourishing of violence.” Therefore, the democratic transition fails in societies that live in a state of political change when they realize the importance of democratic renewal and the political scramble that integrates generations What is new in the democracy industry, according to the so-called generational intermarriage?
Observers find the Tunisian experience, despite the political forces’ exclusion of the Tunisian youth generation from being in decision-making areas, an effective model in achieving the conditions for democratic transition. Tunisia with its boycott of the parliamentary elections, its sudden participation in the presidential elections at the beginning of 2019, and its contribution to the export of a new Tunisian president from outside the list of recognized names, thus starting a new path of a general rejection of the forces that make up the political scene, and we are witnessing a practical application of the theory of “contagion” and “conditionality.” Political and economic” in the democratic transition, through the events of change in the political system of Algeria and Sudan after a wide and stubborn youth participation that had been afflicted by inactivity or retirement for a period exceeding 7 years from the first decade of the Arab revolutions.
The protests moved quickly from North Africa to the Arab Mashreq, specifically in the duality of Lebanon and Iraq, whose youth also adopted the slogan of mass dismissal and general rejection of “all means all” and “we want a homeland” in a reflection of the state of mistrust experienced by young people with state institutions, and with the adoption of a new discourse The most daring rejects sectarian and external interference in political affairs and the role of the so-called third party in the accumulation of corruption. The protests are still present in the Lebanese street with the end of the first decade of the Arab revolutions. On the other hand, the governorates of southern Iraq are still embracing youth protests and civil society despite harassment by militias and religious groups. armed.
The motives of the protests for Arab youth are not yet over, as economic deterioration, political exclusion, and social marginalization constitute; Actual motives for protesting again, especially in light of the rise of authoritarianism and the restriction of opposition, which creates a fertile ground for radical protest action that rejects formal and cosmetic changes that are no longer feasible for it.