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Middle East Youth Initiative

Middle East Youth Initiative

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The Middle East Youth Initiative is a program at the Wolfensohn Center for Development, housed in the Global Economy and Development program at the Brookings Institution
Brookings Institution
The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit public policy organization based in Washington, D.C., in the United States. One of Washington's oldest think tanks, Brookings conducts research and education in the social sciences, primarily in economics, metropolitan policy, governance, foreign policy, and...

. It was launched in July 2006 as a joint effort between the Wolfensohn Center and the Dubai School of Government
Dubai School of Government
The Dubai School of Government is a research and teaching institution in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, which focuses on public policy in the Arab world. The School was established in 2005 under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United...


The Initiative performs vigorous research on issues pertaining to regional youth (ages 15–29) on the topics of Youth Exclusion
Youth Exclusion
Youth Exclusion is a form of social exclusion in which youth are situated at a social disadvantage in joining institutions and organizations in their societies...

, education, employment, marriage, housing, and credit, and on the ways in which all of these elements are linked during young people’s experience of waithood
Waithood refers to the period of stagnation in the lives of young unemployed college graduates in the Middle East and North Africa region, described as "a kind of prolonged adolescence"....

. In addition to research and policy recommendation, the Initiative serves as a hub for networking between policymakers, regional actors in development, government officials, representatives from the private sector, and youth.

Current fellows with the Initiative include Djavad Salehi-Isfahani
Djavad Salehi-Isfahani
Dr. Djavad Salehi-Isfahani is a professor of Economics at Virginia Tech, and a visiting fellow at the Middle East Youth Initiative at the housed in the program at the Brookings Institution. His expertise and research focus is in economics, demographic economics, energy economics, and the...


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