Iraq’s Teens Drowning in Hopelessness (Arwa Damon)

CNN’s Arwa Damon reports from Baghdad on the sense of hopelessness among even upper-class Iraqi teens today.

AFP gives support to Ms. Damon’s findings: a 2011 poll of Iraqi men under 30 found that 89% of them wanted to emigrate from the country.

A more upbeat treatment by the Associated Press turns out to depend on an old 2009 opinion poll, which isn’t exactly good social science. Wasn’t that like 4 years ago? And even then 20% of Iraqi youth wanted to emigrate, which AP thinks is an optimistic sign! (Young women are less likely in Arab society to want to live abroad than young men, and if the 2009 sample included both sexes, that would help account for the difference with the 2011 poll. But also, things just aren’t getting better with regard to the political and security situation and basic services, and two years of more despair will change the poll numbers.)

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One response

  1. As an aside from the “Left Coast” of the US, youths everywhere are finding themselves under the socioeconomic ‘gun’. Not just in Iraq, or Spain.

    Where I live (Central coast of California beach/college town) their are more teen alcoholics, junkies and speedfreaks than adult, and in my estimation it’s due to their growing up instinctively ‘knowing’ that the economic circumstances here (intentionally created by city policy to maximize commercial property interest profits) WILL NOT allow them to raise the next generation in the town they were raised due to lack of jobs that can literally pay the rent, and affordable housing.

    The business district is ALL facework tacitly ‘reserved’ for UC students, along with housing that a transient student or businessperson on contract in the Bay Area can afford… because they can deduct a good portion from their taxes, but the bag boy at the local supermarket cannot.

    So they ‘hit the escape button’.

    70% of the rather large homeless population here was either born and raised here of were working and housed here when they became homeless.

    The city and county have done literally nothing over the years to ameliorate the problems. Instead they attempt to ‘ameliorate their displaced workers’ by driving them away with nuisance laws that criminalize the behavior caused by their economic situation (camping laws for instance… including a law that legally prevents one from even covering up with a blanket after dark… No lapwarmers… got that?).

    I think local kids, Iraqi kids, the kids in Spain and many other nations, have more in common than they may be aware of.

    If they ever DO become aware… Remember the movie “Wild In The Streets”?

    link to

    Don’t trust anyone over 13.

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