In light of last year’s Arab Spring and the recent presidential election in Egypt, it is clear that there are many socioeconomic issues that need to be tackled in the Middle East. Thankfully, 2012 Kravis Prize winner Soraya Salti and her organization INJAZ Al-Arab are working to ameliorate one of the underlying problems, youth unemployment in the region. INJAZ Al-Arab uses their network of Arab business leaders to inspire entrepreneurship and innovation among Arab youth.

In an op-ed published in Right Side News, contributor Daniel Doron discussed how previous regimes in Egypt have discouraged entrepreneurship and commerce. Doron noted, “Growing unemployment is preventing a generation of youth from maturing with dignity. Most are too educated to consider working in manual labor, so they remain dependent on their parents.”

The op-ed quoted Salti, who said in a 2009 interview:

“Youth are marginalized from an opportunity to graduate into adulthood and to become independent, self-respecting human beings who are just able to do the normal things in life, like getting married and having a home.”

Now that Salti and others have recognized these issues, INJAZ Al-Arab and their network of mentors are working to foster a new generation of independent, self-sufficient entrepreneurs in the Middle East!

Free Markets Can Transform the Middle East” [Right Side News, March 11, 2012]