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A Voice for Young Syrian Refugees

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“A Voice for Young Syrian Refugees,” a supplementary survey carried out alongside the 9th annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey 2017 is focused on the hopes, concerns and aspirations of young Syrian refugees living as refugees in Jordan and Lebanon.

For the survey, the international polling company PSB Research conducted 400 face-to-face interviews of young Syrian refugees aged 18-24 years, split equally between men and women, who are living in refugee settlements in Jordan and Lebanon.

The full Arab Youth Survey 2017 consists of 3,500 face-to-face interviews with Arab men and women aged 18 to 24. Fieldwork was conducted from February 7 and March 7, 2017. The survey is the largest of its kind of the region’s largest demographic, and covers the six Gulf Cooperation Council states (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE), North Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia), the Levant (Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and the Palestinian Territories) and Yemen. The Survey has not included Syria since 2011, due to the civil unrest in the country.

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A Voice for Young Syrian Refugees

  1. 1. A VOICE FOR YOUNG SYRIAN REFUGEES arabyouthsurvey.com #arabyouthsurvey asdaabm.com
  2. 2. “A VOICE FOR YOUNG SYRIAN REFUGEES” A White Paper on supplementary findings to the ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey 2017 Published in 2017 by ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller This White Paper can be obtained from the ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey website: www.arabyouthsurvey.com Copyright © 2017 ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller www.asdaabm.com All rights reserved No part of this document may be reproduced in any form or by any means without the written permission of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller. ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller and ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey logos are trademarks of ASDA’A Burson- Marsteller. Other company, product and service names may be trademarks or service marks of their respective owners.
  3. 3. CONTENTS 02 METHODOLOGY 04 TOP 5 FINDINGS 06 INSIGHTS 24 ABOUT US 25 SYRIAN REFUGEE DATA 03 VIEW FROM REFUGEE SETTLEMENTS REVEALS A GENERATION ADRIFT SUNIL JOHN Arab Youth Survey 2017 1
  4. 4. As part of the 9th Annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey 2017, international polling firm PSB Research conducted 400 face-to-face interviews between February 12 and March 12, 2017 with Syrian refugees aged 18 to 24 living in camps and settlements in Jordan and Lebanon (N=200 interviews per country). This was the first time that Syrian refugees had been included in the Survey. The interviews were completed in Arabic and English. Respondents were exclusively Syrian nationals. The gender split of the survey is 50:50 male to female. In Jordan, interviews were conducted in three refugee camps: Al Za’atary, Al’Azraq, and Mrajeeb Al Fhood. In Lebanon, interviews were conducted in Tripoli, in the Beirut suburbs Dahieh, Ain Remmaneh and Sin el Fil, and in Marjeyoun and Nabatieh. The margin of error of the refugee survey is +/-4.85 per cent. Participants were interviewed about subjects ranging from the political to the personal. Topics explored included the concerns and aspirations of young Syrian refugees, their views on the conflict, and what they think needs to happen to improve their living conditions in the short-term and in the long run. The full Arab Youth Survey 2017 consists of 3,500 face-to-face interviews with Arab men and women aged 18 to 24. Fieldwork was conducted from February 7 and March 7 2017. The survey is the largest of its kind of the region’s largest demographic, and covers the six Gulf Cooperation Council states (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE), North Africa (Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia), the Levant (Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and the Palestinian Territories) and Yemen. The Survey has not included Syria since 2011, due to the civil unrest in the country. METHODOLOGY 400 face-to-face interviews conducted by PSB Research Syrian refugees aged 18-24 years Living in Jordan and Lebanon (200 interviews in each) Sample split 50:50 male/female Interviews conducted from February 12 to March 12, 2017 2 ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller
  5. 5. Now in its sixth year, the Syrian refugee crisis has triggered heated arguments across the world, polarising the political debate in the Arab states, Europe and the US. One voice, however, has been conspicuous by its absence in this debate – that of the refugees themselves. The annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey – the most important research of its type into this crucial demographic across the Middle East – has itself excluded young Syrian voices since 2011, due to the security situation. This year, we are redressing that omission. With the plight of Syrians – and especially those forced to flee the fighting – dominating headlines in the region and globally, we felt it was important to hear those voices. For the first time, therefore, we conducted a supplementary poll alongside our Arab Youth Survey 2017, reaching out to young Syrian refugees living in Lebanon and Jordan. The figures surrounding the refugee crisis are alarming. Six years of war have left hundreds of thousands dead. Half of the population – over 11 million people – have been displaced by the fighting, and of those, more than 5 million have been forced to flee their country altogether and seek refuge in other countries. Most find themselves in refugee camps and settlements in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt and Turkey. Despite what the headlines in Europe suggest, only one in ten has fled further afield, attempting to seek refuge and asylum in Europe. If the sheer scale of the crisis is worrying, our findings from this Survey are sobering. More than half of the young Syrians we surveyed – all living in severe poverty, in cramped refugee settlements just miles from their homeland – say they don’t think they will ever permanently return to Syria. More, for this return to happen, the complex politics and the wider strategic implications of the war and the crisis take a back seat to a far more basic need: an end to the fighting. These findings are of significant value to policymakers and civil society in identifying new channels of engagement with the young refugees. While their loss of livelihoods is disturbing enough, their deeper sense of disappointment, as reflected in the findings, underlines the need for finding alternate and lasting solutions to restore their optimism. For nine years now, the Arab Youth Survey has provided the world with an annual snapshot into the hopes and aspirations, and the fears and concerns, of Arab youth, providing policymakers and businesses with evidence-based insights into this demographic. This year, our Survey revealed a growing divide between those young Arabs in the Gulf states who feel confident and optimistic about the future, and those elsewhere who feel windows to opportunity have been shuttered. Our additional data on Syrian refugees adds depth to this theme, providing insights into those young Arabs whose future is even more insecure than most. We are hopeful that the findings from A Voice for Young Syrian Refugees will inspire all stakeholders to identity more tangible solutions in addressing the challenges faced by young people. If you haven’t already, after reading these insights, I invite you to study the full 2017 ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey, which can be found at www. arabyouthsurvey.com. If the sheer scale of the crisis is worrying, our findings from this Survey are sobering. More than half of the young Syrians we surveyed – all living in severe poverty, in cramped refugee settlements just miles from their homeland – say they don’t think they will ever permanently return to Syria. More, for this return to happen, the complex politics and the wider strategic implications of the war and the crisis take a back seat to a far more basic need: an end to the fighting. Sunil John Sunil John is the founder and chief executive of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller. He has been at the heart of the public relations business in the Middle East for more than two decades. During this time he has shaped ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller into the benchmark public relations consultancy in the Arab world. He also leads the agency’s research arm, PSB Middle East, and its branding and digital marketing subsidiary, Proof ME. Sunil is the first PR professional in the Middle East to receive the Outstanding Individual Achievement SABRE Award in the EMEA region from The Holmes Report. VIEW FROM REFUGEE SETTLEMENTS REVEALS A GENERATION ADRIFT Arab Youth Survey 2017 3
  6. 6. TOP 5 FINDINGS 01More than half of young Syrian refugees say they are unlikely to return home permanently 04Syrian refugees are divided on Iranian and Russian involvement in the war and don’t believe Trump’s presidency will change the course of the conflict 03Young Syrian refugees view Canada, US, UAE, and Germany as the top countries to live in A VOICE FOR YOUNG SYRIAN REFUGEES 02Young Syrian refugees say that ending the war and Daesh leaving Syria are most critical for their return home 05Young refugees agree with their Arab peers, who say Daesh is getting weaker and military action is not the only priority in defeating terror 4 ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller
  7. 7. Arab Youth Survey 2017 5
  8. 8. 01 MORE THAN HALF OF YOUNG SYRIAN REFUGEES SAY THEY ARE UNLIKELY TO RETURN HOME PERMANENTLY 6 ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller
  9. 9. MORE THAN HALF OF YOUNG SYRIAN REFUGEES SAY THEY ARE UNLIKELY TO RETURN TO SYRIA PERMANENTLY IN THE FUTURE The majority of the young Syrian refugees interviewed for the Survey in Lebanon and Jordan believe it is unlikely that they can ever return to their homeland. Asked “How likely are you to permanently return to Syria in the future?” 54 per cent said ‘unlikely’, 42 per cent said ‘likely’ and 4 per cent said they did not know. The split was much the same for young refugees in both countries surveyed, with 53 per cent in the Jordan camp and 55 per cent in the Lebanon settlement saying it was unlikely they would ever return to Syria. How likely are you to permanently return to Syria in the future? Arab Youth Survey 2017 7
  10. 10. 02 YOUNG SYRIAN REFUGEES SAY THAT ENDING THE WAR AND DAESH LEAVING SYRIA ARE MOST CRITICAL FOR THEIR RETURN TO SYRIA 8 ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller
  11. 11. Nearly half of the young Syrians surveyed said that the ending of the civil war was the single most important prerequisite to them returning home. Asked ‘Which of the following, if any, is the most important thing that needs to happen for you to be able to return to Syria?’ two answers dominated the responses: 47 per cent said ‘the war ends’, while 25 per cent said ‘Daesh leaves Syria’. Trailing far behind were ‘the economic situation improves’, chosen by 8 per cent of the respondents, and ‘Bashar Al Assad leaves’, chosen by 7 per cent. NEARLY HALF OF YOUNG SYRIAN REFUGEES SAY THE WAR ENDING IS THE MOST CRUCIAL DEVELOPMENT THAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN FOR THEM TO RETURN Which of the following, if any, is the most important thing that needs to happen for you to be able to return to Syria? Daesh leaving Syria is seen as more important than Assad leaving Arab Youth Survey 2017 9
  12. 12. Most young refugees do not consider President Assad leaving office as a prerequisite for reaching a peace agreement. Just over a quarter (27 per cent) agreed with the statement ‘There can be no peace agreement as long as Bashar Al Assad stays in office’ against 71 per cent who agreed that ‘ending the fighting is more important than Bashar Al Assad leaving office’, with 2 per cent saying they did not know. Again, findings were similar between the two locations, with 70 per cent in Jordan and 72 per cent in Lebanon agreeing that ending the fighting was more important than Assad leaving office. MOST YOUNG REFUGEES DO NOT CONSIDER ASSAD LEAVING OFFICE AS A PREREQUISITE FOR REACHING A PEACE AGREEMENT Which of the following is closer to your view? 10 ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller
  13. 13. Many of those surveyed do not believe that military action alone will resolve the conflict in Syria. Asked: ‘Which of the following do you think is the best way to resolve the ongoing conflict in Syria?’, 43 per cent said a combination of political and military solutions; 27 per cent said a military solution; and 26 per cent said a political solution, with 4 per cent saying they did not know. MANY DO NOT BELIEVE THAT A MILITARY SOLUTION ALONE IS THE BEST WAY TO RESOLVE THE CONFLICT IN SYRIA Which of the following do you think is the best way to resolve the ongoing conflict in Syria? Arab Youth Survey 2017 11
  14. 14. 03 YOUNG SYRIAN REFUGEES VIEW CANADA, US, UAE, AND GERMANY AS THE TOP COUNTRIES TO LIVE IN 12 ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller
  15. 15. For young Syrians who are seeking to migrate to another country, North America is the preferred destination. Asked: ‘Which country in the world, other than Syria would you like to live in?’, 27 per cent said Canada; 23 per cent said the United States; the United Arab Emirates and Germany were chosen by 22 per cent each; France was the choice for 14 per cent; with the UK chosen by 13 per cent. Note: multiple responses were allowed, so findings may not add up to 100 per cent TOP COUNTRIES SYRIAN REFUGEES WOULD WANT TO LIVE IN ARE CANADA, THE US, UAE AND GERMANY Which country in the world, other than Syria, would you like to live in? (showing top 6 countries) Arab Youth Survey 2017 13
  16. 16. In another finding relating to migration, asked about what can be done to improve their plight, the majority of refugees, and particularly men, said that EU governments could help them most by permitting more Syrian refugees to enter the EU, rather than providing financial help to their host countries (Jordan and Lebanon). In total, 56 per cent of young refugees believe the EU opening borders further would be helpful, against 42 per cent who felt the EU should provide more money to Jordan and Lebanon. When split by gender, two thirds (67 per cent) of men but only 46 per cent of women surveyed said permitting more refugees to enter the EU was the best way to help; while a third (31 per cent) of men thought more money to host nations would help more, against 52 per cent of women. MOST REFUGEES, PARTICULARLY MEN, THINK EU GOVERNMENTS CAN HELP THEM MOST BY PERMITTING MORE SYRIAN REFUGEES TO ENTER THE EU Which of the following is closer to your view? “The European Union governments could help Syrian refugees more by...” 14 ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller
  17. 17. Arab Youth Survey 2017 15
  18. 18. 04 SYRIAN REFUGEES ARE DIVIDED ON IRANIAN AND RUSSIAN INVOLVEMENT IN THE WAR AND DON’T BELIEVE TRUMP’S PRESIDENCY WILL CHANGE THE COURSE OF THE CONFLICT 16 ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller
  19. 19. Young Syrian refugees are divided on whether Russia’s impact on the conflict is a positive or negative thing, with those in Jordan more positive than those in Lebanon Asked: ‘Do you think Russia helping Bashar Al Assad had a very positive, somewhat positive, somewhat negative, or very negative impact on the Syrian conflict?’ 49 per cent of all Syrian refugees said positive, while 46 per cent said negative, and the rest not knowing. When split into camps, however, 54 per cent of those surveyed in Jordan said ‘positive’ against 43 per cent of those in Lebanon . YOUNG SYRIAN REFUGEES ARE DIVIDED ON WHETHER RUSSIA’S IMPACT ON THE CONFLICT IS POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE, WITH THOSE IN JORDAN MORE POSITIVE THAN THOSE IN LEBANON Do you think Russia helping Bashar Al Assad had a very positive, somewhat positive, somewhat negative, or very negative impact on the Syrian conflict? Arab Youth Survey 2017 17
  20. 20. Asked ‘Do you think Iran helping Bashar Al Assad had a very positive, somewhat positive, somewhat negative, or very negative impact on the Syrian conflict?’, the split was almost identical with 49 per cent of all Syrian refugees saying it was positive, while 48 per cent said it was negative, and the rest did not know. The split between locations varied slightly, with 54 per cent of those in Jordan saying ‘positive’ against 42 per cent of those in Lebanon. THE SAME APPLIES TO IRAN’S SUPPORT FOR ASSAD Do you think Iran helping Bashar Al Assad had a very positive, somewhat positive, somewhat negative, or very negative impact on the Syrian conflict? 18 ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller
  21. 21. The majority (66 per cent) of young Syrian refugees surveyed said they don’t believe Donald Trump’s presidency will change the course of the conflict with one in four (23 per cent) expecting it to get worse. THE MAJORITY DON’T BELIEVE DONALD TRUMP’S PRESIDENCY WILL CHANGE THE COURSE OF THE CONFLICT WITH ONE IN FOUR EXPECTING IT TO GET WORSE Which of the following is closer to your view? “Under the presidency of Donald Trump, the Syrian conflict will…” Arab Youth Survey 2017 19
  22. 22. 05 YOUNG REFUGEES AGREE WITH THEIR ARAB PEERS, WHO SAY DAESH IS GETTING WEAKER AND MILITARY ACTION IS NOT THE ONLY PRIORITY IN DEFEATING TERROR 20 ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller
  23. 23. This question compared the views of young Syrian refugees with their peers in the wider Middle East, as gauged by the 9th annual ASDA’A Burson- Marsteller Arab Youth Survey 2017. Asked whether Daesh had become stronger or weaker over the past year, 77 per cent of young Syrian refugees believed the terrorist group had become weaker, while 19 per cent believed it was growing stronger. In the Jordan camp, 84 per cent believed Daesh was getting weaker, against just 15 per cent who felt it was growing stronger; in Lebanon, 71 per cent said ‘weaker’ and 23 per cent ‘stronger’. Overall, Syrian youth – and especially those in Jordan – are more convinced than their peers in the Middle East as a whole that Daesh is getting weaker. In the 2017 Arab Youth Survey, 61 per cent of youth said Daesh was getting weaker, while nearly a third (31 per cent) said it was growing stronger. LIKE THE WIDER ARAB YOUTH, YOUNG SYRIAN REFUGEES THINK DAESH HAS BECOME WEAKER Over the past year, do you think Daesh has become significantly stronger, somewhat stronger, somewhat weaker, significantly weaker, or neither stronger nor weaker? Arab Youth Survey 2017 21
  24. 24. Young Syrians also broadly agree with their peers in believing that military action alone is not sufficient to defeat Daesh. Among Syrian refugees, 18 per cent said informing the public through media campaigns that Daesh’s ideology has nothing to do with Islam was the most important tool to defeat extremism, against 12 per cent for young Arabs as a whole. Military action and educational reform were each chosen by 16 per cent of young Syrian refugees, compared with 13 per cent each for all young Arabs; and creating more well-paying jobs was chosen by 12 per cent of both the young refugees and wider Arab youth. DEBUNKING ISIS IDEOLOGY, MILITARY ACTION, EDUCATIONAL REFORM AND ADDRESSING YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT ARE SEEN AS THE PRIORITIES IN THE FIGHT AGAINST DAESH Which of the following, if any, do you think should be the top priority in the fight against Daesh and terrorism in general? 22 ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller
  25. 25. Arab Youth Survey 2017 23
  26. 26. ABOUT US Established in 2000, ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller is the region’s leading public relations consultancy, with 11 fully-owned offices and six affiliates across the Middle East and North Africa. The agency provides services to governments, multinational businesses and regional corporate clients and institutions, operating five specialist communication practices – Brand Communication, Corporate, Financial, Enterprise & Technology and Public Affairs. A digital, design and marketing subsidiary – Proof ME, and a full-service research insights agency – PSB Research Middle East – complete the offering. ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller is part of the global Burson- Marsteller network and a WPP company. asdaabm.com PSB Research, a member of Young & Rubicam Group and the WPP Group, is a global research-based consultancy that specialises in messaging and communications strategy for blue-chip political, corporate and entertainment clients. PSB’s operations include over 200 consultants and a sophisticated in-house market research infrastructure with the capability to conduct work in over 90 countries. The company operates offices in Washington DC, New York, London, Seattle, Los Angeles, Dubai, Madrid and Denver, which are supported by an in-house fielding capability and are fully equipped to provide the complete creative solutions PSB clients need. psbresearch.com Proof Middle East, a subsidiary of ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller, brings a whole new approach to communications that leverages cutting-edge skills in branding, design, digital and social media. From informed social media strategy to compelling websites and creative ads, annual reports and more, Proof helps our clients connect, engage and deliver business results. proofic-me.com WPP is the world’s largest communications services group with billings of US$73 billion and revenues of US$19 billion. Through its operating companies, the group provides a comprehensive range of advertising and marketing services including advertising & media investment management; data investment management; public relations & public affairs; branding & identity; healthcare communications; direct, digital, promotion & relationship marketing and specialist communications. The company employs nearly 190,000 people (including associates and investments) in over 3,000 offices across 112 countries. wpp.com 24 ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller
  27. 27. SYRIAN REFUGEE DATA SYRIAN REFUGEES: AN OVERVIEW 5.05 million Total registered Syrian refugees 18.5 million Population (2015 Est) 50% Unemployment rate (2016) $50.28 billion GDP by PPP (2015 Est) 35.8% Youth unemployment rate (2016) $226 billion Cost of 6-year civil war to Syrian economy Decline in crude oil production: 98% from 385,000 bpd in 2010 to 8,000 bpd in 2017 Source: UNHCR Statistics 2017 Sources: The World Bank, The World Fact Book, UNRWA, AFP 660,315 Syrian refugees in Jordan 1.01 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon DEMOGRAPHY SYRIA SOCIO-ECONOMIC INDICATORS Total camp population 481,796 (10%) 51.5% Total 25.5% Age 18-59 Total urban, peri-urban, and rural population 4,576,190 (90%) 48.5% Total 23.8% Age 18-59 Male Female Arab Youth Survey 2017 25

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