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Opinion: The UAE Upholds Religious Values While Other Countries Are Losing Sight Of Theirs

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The Arab Youth Survey is a key annual survey that takes into account interviews with youth from 15 countries across the region in an attempt to get an insight into the regions’s largest demographic…

65% of the Arab population is under the age of thirty – that’s 200 million Arab Youth.

The survey highlights the biggest issues and concerns for youth (unemployment and living expenses), showed the Youth trust social media more than traditional media, showed Arab Youths are diving the region’s e-commerce boom, however this year’s key finding tells of a generation who feel religion plays too big of a role in the Middle East.

“Young Arabs say religion plays too big of a role in the Middle East and religious institutions need to be reformed”

Arab Youth Survey

The UAE upholds its values as an Islamic country despite influences from other regions

The UAE is an Islamic country and it’s never more apparent than during Ramadan where the entire country adjusts to respect the Holy Month.

Eating, drinking or loud music is not permitted in public, respectful clothes should be worn and working hours are shortened. These measures are taken to respect people who are fasting, however the tradition has evolved and now all nationalities take the month as a time to reflect and many choose to treat it as a month of good-will.

Countries ARE losing their religion

I grew up in Ireland in the nineties/00s, which was then a majority Catholic country. At the time most people practiced Lent, a Christian tradition to prepare for Easter, where for forty days you would avoid or sacrifice some foods to replicate a time Jesus Christ spent in the desert.

Fast forward twenty years and the Irish population’s faith in the Catholic Church has waned for a number of reasons. The church has less influence which in turn could mean people give less time to humanity and faith.

And what I’ve found since I moved to Dubai is Ramadan is a time for reflection, regardless of religion.

So while the Arab Youth suggest there is too much of a reliance on religion, coming from a country where many have lost faith, it’s brilliant to see so many devoted to a faith.

And a country which chooses to take a step back once a year to reflect and move at a slower pace, allowing all cultures to uphold personal values, is pretty extraordinary.

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