A protester waves the Tunisian flag as he watches a demonstration against President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, in Tunis, Friday, Jan. 14, 2011. Thousands of angry demonstrators marched through Tunisia's capital Friday, demanding the resignation of the country's autocratic leader a day after he appeared on TV to try to stop deadly riots that have swept the North African nation. Image Credit: AP

Dubai: Fewer young people now believe that the Arab Spring has brought about positive changes to the Arab world, the 7th annual Arab Youth Survey reported.

The ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey for 2015, which was conducted on 3,500 young people, aged 18 to 24, from 16 Arab countries found that faith in the Arabic Springs has been diminishing over the years.

In 2015, only 38 per cent agreed that the Arab world was better off following the Arab Spring. This is a significant drop compared with 54 per cent in 2014, 70 per cent in 2013, and 72 per cent in 2012.

Similarly, less than half (41 per cent) of youngsters who took part in the survey agreed that they would be better off in the five years following the uprisings. The numbers were down compared with the last three years: 58 per cent in 2014, 74 per cent in 2013, and 71 per cent in 2012.

To learn more about their thoughts on the Arab Spring, why they believe it failed and what they would have liked to see happen in their countries following the uprisings, Gulf News spoke to Arab youths of various nationalities.

The majority of them said that although the Arab Spring seemed full of promise at first, it eventually turned out to be disappointing as it caused a lot of destruction and turmoil, leaving countries worse off than before.

As a result of the Arab Spring’s bloody aftermath, Arab youth have grown uncertain about the prospect of democracy ever working in the Middle East, the report found.

Those interviewed by Gulf News agreed on the current reality that presents more pressing issues which they would like to see their respective countries deal with, such as stability, safety and education.

One of the many interesting revelations of the survey was the postulation, “Democracy will never work in the region”. The respondents were asked to state whether they agreed or disagreed with it. The results revealed that 39 per cent agreed that (democracy) will never work, 36 per cent thought it could work, while the remaining 25 per cent said they were unsure.

The survey also found that the rise of Daesh (ISIS) is a major concern for Arab youth with nearly three in four respondents (73 per cent) concerned with the terrorist’s group’s growing influence and almost two in five (37 per cent) citing it as the biggest obstacle facing the region.

In the face of this concern, less than half (47 per cent) of the youth are confident their respective national governments can deal with this new threat.

The report presented differing degrees of concern that were influenced by the geographic placement of the youth. In terms of confidence in their government’s ability to deal with Daesh, three in one GCC youths expressed confidence, over half of the young people surveyed in North Africa (53 per cent) said their government was capable of dealing with it but in the Levant, only 25 per cent of the youth felt confident of their governments’ ability to tackle Daesh.