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Children & Youth

Building universities of the future for the youth of today

Will Stebbins's picture
World Bank | Arne HoelUniversities are like gardens, where knowledge blooms like flowers. So says Dr. Hatem Elaydi, whose many years of teaching have not dulled his fascination with the growth and transformation he witnesses and participates in daily. The rewards are never ending. “You see your students winning prizes, finishing their graduate studies, or landing a good job, “ he says, “and wherever you go, you are always stopped by either current or former students, their parents or relatives, thanking you for your help.”

Tunisians lighting the path towards a new social contract

Lida Bteddini's picture
World Bank | Arne HoelIt was an immense spark of light – a flame – that engulfed desperation and oppression in Sidi Bouzid.   Making its way through the alleyways of Sousse, through the olive trees and along the ports of Sfax, and traversing through the streets of Meknassy, the light took hold of Tunisian cities in the same hot-blooded and fiery spirit as the Arabian horses that have roamed its land for centuries before. The light continued on its way along the coast of Monastir, and illuminated the alleyways of Sbikhi, and Chebba, until it cast its radiance on the heart of Tunis. 

Am I the native under your magnifier? I need a JOB, not a dissection!

Amina Semlali's picture

“I am sorry, I am so very sorry, I did not mean to be disrespectful,” the young man says as soon as he has blurted his story out. He fidgets nervously with his little notepad. He is young, but the deep lines that crease his face reveal the hard life he has led.  This is his story: “Do you know what it is like to wake up feeling ashamed every morning, feeling deeply ashamed that I cannot help support my aging parents,” he says, “that I cannot go and buy a bit of fruit for my little sister since I do not have a single coin in my pocket?  I went to school, I did well, I went to university, I did even better but what was it good for? Nothing! Here I am, I cannot afford to get married. I cannot even look my mother in the eyes as I spend the nights in the street drowning my sorrows.” The young man lifts his head, his eyes welling up with tears.  “I have been stripped of my manhood, or maybe I should say, I was never even allowed to become a man.”

Youth and jobs: Partnerships for skills development

Kevin Hempel's picture
Over a year has passed since the Arab Spring erupted in Tunisia and Egypt. As the January webchat with the region reminded us, current priorities in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) are all about “jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, jobs, and then some more jobs.” The Youth@Work: Partnerships for Skills Development conference in Amman was a timely event to discuss issues such as skills mismatches, education quality, and regional solutions towards facilitating the school to work transition. Not surprisingly then, the interest in the event was huge with representatives from national and local governments, civil society organizations, the private sector, international donors, and youth. Even Queen Rania of Jordan attended.

Calling young Egyptians: What YOU THINK matters

David Craig's picture
Kim Eun Yeul | 2011When I last wrote, we were launching a round of consultations out of our World Bank office in Cairo to hear from Egyptian voices on how best we support this great country in the historic transition now underway. Thanks to those of you who joined us in the great wide world of the virtual cafe. In our actual offices (and with real tea and coffee) we had meetings with political parties including the Freedom and Justice Party, the Al-Nour Party, Al-Wafd and the Egyptian Social Democratic Party.

What do Yemeni youth want?

Wael Zakout's picture

During my first visit to Yemen, I met with a group of young people in the capital, Sana'a. The purpose of the meeting was to learn more about how the youth are thinking; what is important to them; and how the World Bank can help them achieve their goals. I was amazed at the level of their understanding of priorities, the immediate and short-term ones. Their enthusiasm was overflowing with an expression of unconditional love to serve and develop Yemen, their country. They expressed their full readiness to contribute to the national dialogue and work to build the new civil state if they were given the opportunity to do so.

Jobs in Middle East & North Africa: Let’s talk about it

Roberta Gatti's picture

On pre-election week, the team and I met with a large set of stakeholders in Tunis to kick off the in-country consultations on the regional Jobs Flagship report that we are preparing for the Middle East and North Africa region. I guess that thousands and thousands of people chanting “bread and dignity” in Tahrir Square makes it easy to motivate why we should be talking about jobs now. In the past few months, we started to analyze all the available data on employment and to put the common threads together to understand where the constraints lie and where the solutions might be to generate more and better jobs in the region.

Creating a culture of giving

Guest Blogger's picture

Being a volunteer in Lebanon is not an easy task. People tend to encourage us superficially but they actually do not understand the reason why we would spend our time doing something for free when we can be working on something more profitable - at least to help with our summer expenses or university tuition. It is also pretty hard to bring in or recruit volunteers! I have heard recruiting for such an effort was much easier in the past when my parents were my age. People had fewer distractions and were more committed to the concept of helping each other.

Every day is international youth day

Guest Blogger's picture

From different corners of the world, youth have been celebrating this particular year in an unexpected way. In this International Year of Youth, I reflect on the events shaped by and for youth. To me, to all the young people in my country and my region, International Youth Day means simply nothing; because this year, we made every day a celebration of youth expression, power, and liberation.

Touching upon the truth during the spring meetings

Guest Blogger's picture

When I first received an invitation for the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Spring Meetings, my friends said I shouldn’t open the e-mail because it was probably a spam. My family said I should check the source of the invitation and investigate the reason behind it before accepting. My tutors said this was weird. It seemed like everyone was skeptical about the fact that these international financial institutions could be genuinely inviting young people to this important event. With a lot of curiosity, I traveled to Washington D.C. hoping to reconcile the puzzling ideas in my head about this meeting and these institutions.