As part of The Young Arab Diplomatic Leaders Program: Trends Center stresses the significance of generalizing the Emirati experience by Exploring Youth’s Perception of Tolerance and Peace


A group of researchers from TRENDS Research and Advisory participated in a panel discussion held as part of the "Ambassadors of Tolerance" initiative. The Arab Youth Center in Abu Dhabi, in collaboration with the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has launched this initiative which is a bootcamp to foster humanitarian values among Arab youth and reaffirms Arab youth’s role in spreading tolerance and peace.

The head of TRENDS delegation, Sultan Al-Ali, Director of the Global Barometer Department at TRENDS Center, presented a paper which was prepared by the Barometer Department entitled: "Attitudes and Perceptions of Arab Youth on Peace and Tolerance". The paper stressed the significance of generalizing the Emirati experience in spreading and disseminating the values of coexistence and tolerance.

Sultan Al-Ali indicated that TRENDS Center, in cooperation with the Arab Youth Center and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, conducted a research project aimed at exploring the attitudes and perceptions of Arab youth towards peace, stability and tolerance. The study is a contribution towards enhancing the positive attitude towards these values and promoting them. The study addresses the weaknesses and challenges of preventing or limiting the spread of these values among Arab youth.

Sultan Al-Ali stated that TRENDS Barometer team worked in two directions, to validate the results. First, they studied the analysis of the data collected from global opinion polls on the subject issue. The second direction is a study based on social media sites, with the aim of comparing reality to the virtual world.

He said that the two-parts study dealt with a sample of 16 countries, namely "the UAE, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Palestine, Egypt, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya, Mauritania, Sudan, Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Jordan."

On the methodology of the research, Sultan Al-Ali indicated that the field study adopted a quantitative approach based on analyzing data for global opinion polls.  The barometer sample size included 26,780 individuals from 12 Arab countries. The sample of the Global Values Survey reached about 10,000 individuals. A total of 30 questions only were selected from the Barometer and the Global Survey questionnaire, out of more than 300 questions for the two questionnaires of the whole survey.  

The questions were selected according to two criteria: the first includes independent variables, representing the context of the subject of study, and the second includes variables representing the dependent variable, namely the value of peace and its relevant elements.

Sultan Al-Ali explained that the study of social media sites relied mainly on two approaches, namely content analysis and netnography. The latest technologies were used in collecting data related to social media sites, with human intervention in processing and verifying the data, and developing a full assessment of expressed opinions and attitudes, conducted by a team of experts.

The Barometer Department head explained that the results of the field study showed that 76.1% of Arab youth respondents expressed a peaceful orientation in general. The statistics showed that 21.8% fostered higher inclination towards peaceful coexistence and peace, while 54.3% expressed peaceful orientation to a certain extent. Male respondents were more oriented towards peace than females, albeit by a small difference, and individuals at higher educational levels expressed higher tendency towards a culture of peace. The rates of peaceful orientations at higher education levels are 78.5% compared to 70% for those with a low level of education.

The study indicated that there are important differences between the youth in Arab countries regarding their understanding of the culture of peace. Kuwait recorded the highest percentage of youth appreciation of peace at 98.4%, followed by Egypt at 87.1%, Yemen at 83.7%, and Sudan at 85.6%.

The Director of the Global Barometer Department at TRENDS Center stated that the analysis of social media content revealed that journalists represented the majority of those interested in peace, tolerance and stability issues, representing 22.8% of the relevant audience.

Classified by gender, The respondent males constituted the majority of social media interactions at 61.8%, while Yemen represented the predominant interest in issues of peace, stability and tolerance at 65.5%.

The study indicated that the majority of Arab youth social media activists' interest in peace was related to Yemen (79.1%), while the majority of Arab youth's interest in stability came from talking about Libya (28.4%), and the majority of Arab youth's interest in tolerance was about Israel at 83.1%.

The study showed that the interest of Arab youth activists on social media was mainly focused on peace issues, at 59.4%, compared to 25.8% for tolerance and 17.4% for stability.