Annually, ASDA'A Burson-Marsteller conducts the Arab Youth Survey which provides interesting evidence-based insights into the Middle East's largest demographic, namely the Arab population under the age of 30, which make up 65 percent of the region.
Now in its 10th edition, the survey has been recognized as one of the most important pieces of research produced in the Middle East.
Under the leadership of Sunil John, the company's founder and CEO, the survey covered 16 Arab countries and conducted 3,500 face-to-face interviews with male and female Arabs aged between 18-24.
"This year has produced some striking findings, including more evidence that the region's youth view the U.S. in a very different light from previous years, and that the majority of young people now envision a future where Daesh and its ideology have no place whatsoever," said John in a statement to the press.
Here are the top 10 findings of this year's Arab Youth Survey titled “A Decade of Hopes and Fears”:
1. On the impact of the Arab Spring and terrorist ideologies
The majority of young Arabs - 55 percent - say they believe the region has moved in the wrong direction over the past decade, a period stamped by the Arab Spring and the rise of terror groups such as ISIS.
Pessimism is particularly pronounced in the Levant, where 85 percent say the region has moved in the wrong direction.
2. On jobs, education, corruption, and terrorism
Defeating terrorism, providing well-paying jobs, better education, and fighting corruption are all cited by Arab youth as the main action areas to move things back on track over the next decade.
3. On Saudi Crown Prince MbS and the impact of his leadership
A vast majority of young Saudis, as well as a significant number of young Arabs from across the region, are supportive of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MbS) and his policies, particularly his far-reaching anti-corruption drive.
91 percent of those who were asked approve of MbS' appointment as the kingdom's Crown Prince, with 90 percent of Saudi respondents saying they believe he is taking Saudi Arabia in the right direction.
An even larger proportion of young Saudis - 97 percent - said they believe MbS is a strong leader, a sentiment shared by 64 percent of respondents across the MENA region.
4. On women's rights in the region
The overwhelming majority of young people in Saudi Arabia say more needs to be done to improve women's rights and men are more proportionally in favor of expanding them.
92 percent of men in Saudi Arabia support the expansion of women's rights, compared to 88 percent of women. Just 3 percent of young Saudi men disagree, compared to 6 percent of Saudi women.
Young people across the kingdom are also strongly in favor of giving women the right to drive, with 82 percent of women and 81 percent of men backing the landmark change in legislation.
Interestingly, 19 percent of Saudi men and 17 percent of Saudi women oppose the change.
5. On terrorist groups such as ISIS and its ideology
An overwhelming majority - 78 percent - of Arab youth say ISIS has become weaker over the past year and furthermore, 58 percent say its violent ideology will be completely defeated.
This marks a significant shift from 2015 when only 47 percent of young Arabs expressed any confidence in their government's ability to deal with the terrorist organization.
6. On U.S.–Arab and Russian–Arab relations
Young Arabs now see Russia as the rising force in the region. The change in perception began under former president Barack Obama, who held back from military intervention in Syria and was seen in the Arabian Gulf as dangerously weak in the face of Iran's ongoing regional aggression.
Asked who was their country's biggest ally, they failed to place the United States in the top five for the first time. In the Levant, which includes Lebanon and Jordan, 1 in 3 sees Russia as the top non-Arab ally, a view held by just 9 percent in 2016.
When asked how they saw the U.S. in relation to their country, nearly 6 out of 10 young Arabs across the MENA region described Washington as an enemy. This rose to 65 percent in the Levant, but even in the GCC, 55 percent took a hostile view of the US' intentions.
7. The UAE remains the top country they would want to live in
For the 7th year running, the UAE retained its position as the top country Arab youth would like to live in and want their own countries to emulate.
More than 1 in 3 - 35 percent - of those surveyed across the 16 Arab countries say the UAE is the country they would like to live in, surpassing global powers like the U.S., Canada (both 18 percent), Germany (12 percent), as well as Saudi Arabia (16 percent) and other Gulf countries.
Young Emiratis also agree with the positive perceptions of the UAE across the region, with 99 percent of the UAE's youth saying their country is heading in the right direction and more than 4 out of 5 (85 percent) saying their best days are yet to come.
8. On Gulf countries and their North African counterparts
Another major finding by the survey was that Arab youth in the Levant have an increasingly bleak outlook compared with peers in North Africa and the Gulf states and are significantly more pessimistic than youth elsewhere in the region.
In contrast, young people in the GCC are markedly more optimistic with 8 in 10 saying their best days are ahead of them.
9. On social media and Qatari-owned Al Jazeera...
On the media front, the findings of the survey asserted that as younger people use social media to glean their news events, they see CNN as the most trusted and Qatari state-owned Al Jazeera as the least trusted news sources.
For the first time in the survey's history, more young Arabs say they get their news on social media than TV, with half saying they get their news on Facebook daily.
10. Tech sector offers hope and future opportunities
The survey said that it found Arab entrepreneurs were increasingly turning to the tech sector where they believe opportunities lie for the future of the region.