Report on Youth Public Opinion For Non-Sectarian Politics in Lebanon
This field report is a result of two studies that were completed during the first year of project implementation. In partnership with Information International, Adyan Foundation conducted a national public survey for Lebanese youth on sectarianism and politics between November and December 2019, and a detailed report on the sample, questions, and answers of the surveyed young people was produced.
Following that, the foundation, in partnership with Peace Labs, held a number of national dialogue fora between March and July 2020. These fora included young men and women from different Lebanese regions and communities and provided them with the opportunity to express freely their views on sectarianism, politics, and a number of other issues that they deemed controversial and important. As a result, a report summarizing the youths’ most prominent contributions during their participation was also produced.
These two studies were conducted during exceptional circumstances, which Lebanon has been going through since late 2019. After the country had been witnessing, in the past years, an unprecedented increase in political, economic, and social crises, a massive popular movement, unlike anything Lebanon had ever seen before, started on October 17th, 2019. It was a clear sign of the citizens’ refusal of the reality they are living in and of the failure of the existing political class and existing practices. This raised questions on the political system as a whole and highlighted the necessity for its reformation. Since the youth were the main contributors to this uprising and the ones shaping the future of the country, they should be communicated with, heard, and given the necessary safe space and opportunity to express their opinions on various matters, including the current crisis and the political system in general. They should also be consulted on ways to overcome current challenges, to build a strong country, and to establish an organized political system that suits their aspirations.
This baseline report contains three main sections. Section one presents the tools and methodology used by the two studies to explore the views of the Lebanese youth and that show the diversity of the participating groups on the level of gender, regions, sects, or other. In the second section, the different opinions expressed by young people through the two studies are distributed into five main axes, in a way to allow all parties involved and interested in this project to easily read and analyze these results. Finally, the third section provides an analysis of the findings that reflect the youth’s opinion on the presented issues and also includes some recommendations at the general political level that may answer their concerns and meet their aspirations for the future based on what they had expressed in the previous sections.