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March 11, 2010
Worldfocus Radio: Demographics of the Arab World

Schoolgirls outside Cairo’s Alabaster Mosque. Photo: Flickr user Ed Yourdon

The Arab world has over 350 million people and stretches from the Atlantic Ocean to the Persian Gulf. Unified by a common Arabic culture and history, these 25 countries are at varying levels of economic and political development.

But there seems to be a set of demographic issues that apply to many — if not all — of the nations in the Arab world. We take a deeper look at high birth rates and gender inequality and then compare them to other regions of the world.

Martin Savidge hosts Magda Abu-Fadil and Bernard Haykel to discuss these issues:

  • Youth bulge: jobs for young people, emigration, political instability
  • Gender gap: young women, variation across Arab states, political power
  • Big picture: comparisons to other regions, replacement level, demographic transition

GUESTS:

Magda Abu-Fadil is director of the Journalism Training Program at the American University of Beirut (AUB) and has years of experience as a foreign correspondent and editor with international news organizations such as Agence France-Presse and United Press International.

Bernard Haykel is a professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University, where his research interests include contemporary politics, Arabian history and Islamic fundamentalism.

Credits:
Host: Martin Savidge
Producer: Ben Piven
Associate Producer: Mohammad Al-Kassim

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Comments

3 comments

#3

After the Ottoman empire was defeated, the British took a census and found roughly 22 million Arabs in the entire former Ottoman empire. Today there are some 320 million Arabs. This is a growth of nearly 15-fold in less than a century. By contrast, the US has only grown three-fold in the same period. This is all mainly due to western medicine and the investments made in the Middle East after WWI. Those brought down infant mortality rates and decreased mortality rates due to disease and other problems. The Arab world should be grateful to the West rather than being so hostile.

#2

WHAT CAN ONE SAY ABOUT ANY PERSON’S FAITH
AND HOW THEY SO CHOOSE TO BELIEVE AND THEIR TREAMENT OF WOMEN & GIRLS..OR THEIR VAULES IN LIFE
BESIDE ..YOUTHFUL.. MOTHERHOOD & LOCK AWAY IN THE HOME…BUT ..IT’S I GUESS LESS OF THAT IN THE WESTERN NATIONS…..The cleric weighty rules [his view]of the Koran …sets the level of perhaps,in RELATIONSHIP,her MEAINGFULNESS,The degree of HER INDEPENDENTS ,DOSE SHE FILL VALID..and mostly
IS THE WOMAN.. ALLOWED TO HAVE….AUTHORITY OVER HER LIFE ???? CHOICES ?…….just asking ?

#1

Sad to hear that your program is going off the air. In my opinion, it was the MOST interesting news program of all programs available. Thanks.

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