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Jakarta Post

Youth unemployment and youth revolution

  • Sudirman Nasir

Melbourne   /   Mon, February 28 2011   /  10:35 pm

While the causes of the present revolt in Egypt are complex, it is reasonable to say that the high rate of youth unemployment in the country is among many other important triggers for the crisis.

It is also noteworthy that even before the global financial crisis hit, youth unemployment in Egypt was running at more than 30 percent.

Egypt's problems were also shared by other countries in the Middle East and North Africa, from Tunisia on the northwest coast of Africa to Iran in the east, where rates of unemployment, underemployment and informal work were among the highest in the world.

In Tunisia, the young people who helped bring down dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali are called hittistes — French-Arabic slang for those who lean against the wall.

Their counterparts in Egypt, who on Feb. 1 forced President Hosni Mubarak to say he would not seek reelection, ar...