Since 2017, I have been working on two themes that are close to my heart: youth and the youth domain, and the Middle-East and North-African region (MENA). In recent years, I have seen the complex issues that organisations and professionals in these fields are struggling with: decentralization of youth care, prevention of radicalisation and extremism, high youth unemployment in the MENA region, and (active) participation of youth in political decision-making.
At the same time, I see an impressive amount of collective knowledge and experience in these fields, and an infinite imagination about how things can be done differently. I am convinced that this enables us to find new answers to these issues and to initiate change.
As a research consultant and editor, I contribute to this by collecting and bringing together (practical) knowledge and experience. I often do that through interviews, desk research and group discussions. It helps that I speak the language – not only the language of the youth sector but also Arabic. From the collected knowledge and experience, I unravel patterns and insights. I then translate these into practical tools or advice, often in the form of reports, stories, articles and fact sheets – and sometimes a podcast.
Examples of what I do
Last December, it was ten years since Tunisian street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire, which sparked a series of revolutions across the MENA region. Looking back at the developments in the last decade, it might be tempting to take stock of the current situation and to conclude that the ‘Arab Spring’ has failed. But it would be unfair and unwise to do so. But it would be unfair and unwise to do so.
The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) is a complex region: more than 500 million people, twenty different countries, a rich cultural, economic and intellectual history, the cradle of all three monotheistic religions, and a strategic location in and next to three...
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