Trust in whom? The army!

The Generation What? survey keeps revealing new surprises. It aims at enabling young people aged from 18 to 34 years old to answer a questionnaire that draws the portrait of their generation throughout the world.

The survey was launched a month ago in 8 Arab countries (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Palestine and Lebanon). We’re still at the very beginning of the project, as our investigation will continue developing over the next six months. We have to be careful with the data gathered up to now, as the final results will not be available before early 2019. However, we now count over 4,000 participants on the website, and trends are starting to take shape. It enables us to start our analysis.
As in Europe two years ago, a dozen institutions are tested through the questions staring with: “Do you trust…”. This sentence is followed by a list of institutions, from school to the police, from the army to religious institutions and from NGOs to trade unions. There are four possible grades, that rank from 0, “not at all” to 3, “totally”.

The army is the institution that young Arabs trust the most
The only institution that young Arabs trust is by far the army, with 63% of trust (31% of “totally”).
This figure reaches 73% in Tunisia, 66% in Algeria (37% say “totally”) and 58% in Morocco. We find the same trend in Lebanon (70%) and in Jordan (69%). However, we could not ask this question in Egypt…

This result is not far from the trends noticed in the European youth: the army is the only institution (along with NGOs) which was not massively rejected, where the level of trust reached 50%. France is one of the countries in Europe where the youth trusts the army the most, with 53%.

The police, an institution that reflects poorly on the Arab youth

The police doesn’t have a positive image, as only 39% of young Arabs trust it and merely 12% “totally” trust it.
The gap between countries is very sensitive. 81% of young Tunisians do not trust it, and in Lebanon it reaches 89% – almost unanimously!
In Palestine, we have to be cautious about the data we have. The first trends show that only 25% of the Palestinian youth trust it, as opposed to 75% who doesn’t. In Algeria as in Morocco, the results are more balanced, although a clear majority of the youth there (58%) claims not to trust it.
We were not allowed to ask this question in Egypt either.
The youths of many European countries are similar to the Algerian and Moroccan ones. In France and in Ireland, 55% do not trust the police, and 50% in Spain. You need to go to Northern Europe to notice the trend change: 70% of young Germans and 77% of young Dutch trust the police!

A legal system that appears suspicious rather than protective

Out of the three ruling powers, the judicial one is in the worst position: merely 33% young Arabs trust it.
In Egypt, 96% do not trust it. 69% in Morocco, and 64% in Algeria.
Of all Arab countries, the Tunisian legal system finds its highest rank, with a short majority: 52% do not trust it, which is better than in France, where 60% do not trust it.

The media in the Arab countries is the institution young Arabs trust the less
In the end, the worst graded are from far the media! 86% young Arabs do not trust it, as we can notice in the catastrophic scores in Egypt (96% do not trust them), 86% in Algeria, 85% in Morocco and 87% in Tunisia!
Here again, young Europeans join young Arabs: 82% young Europeans do not trust them, reaching 87% in France!
We will return to this trust in the army, that challenge all the clichés that older adults have on the youth, in Europe as in the Arab world.