Leerom Segal

President & CEO, Klick Communications


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Are the youth of the Arab world wiser and more capable than the old ideological regimes?

Head of Al Jazeera, Wadah Khanfar, said in a TED Talk this morning that the youth of the Arab world are much wiser and more capable than the old ideological regimes. In his talk, Wadah Khanfar said that if you switch off the cameras in Tahrir Square tonight, there will be a genocide. He said that "You are protecting us by showing what is happening" and that there is a chance to create a new future in the Arab world because dictators are losing their power to deceive. Do you think that social networks have created an amazing opportunity for democracy in the middle east?

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    Mar 3 2011: If they are not wiser, they are at least more willing to do something about their state of life and that is encouraging. It is quite possible however that those popular movements are massively backed by the older generations too but that these generations simply lack the kind of hopes and aspiration that one has as a young person. I also suspect that the younger generation isn't as used to the regimes in place as are older generations.
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    Mar 2 2011: Your question asks whether the youth are wiser than older 'regimes'. If you mean are youth wiser than their elders, the answer is always no, but they have not yet been corrupted and they have more courage than their elders. The youth of any society don't know what they don't know. Many successful people have said "I was young and had I known how difficult it would be, I might not have done it."

    Revolutions are for the impulsive ,young and idealistic. And that's a good thing.
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      Mar 6 2011: Hi Clay,
      I understand your point but I am not convinced the some young people are not wiser. They have learned from great masters like Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr. and seen their successes. We did not have the benefit of knowing those outcomes by the touch of a few keys. They are idealistic, yes, sometimes impulsive but mostly they have a courage that is based on youthful strength and on the newly available interconnectedness. They hold in their hands the technology that can inform them of the things we could not see- what the majority of our peers thought, what is happening beyond our line of sight, what other people are planning in real time. We were far more alone with our untried ideologies.
  • Mar 2 2011: No. They are still mired by religious dogma. The framework for such a susceptible state of consciousness allows for further mistakes, error and genocide. Do you think that they will elect someone who is fair over another patriarchal idealist just because they are age impaired? I believe they are easily swayed especially since the flow of information goes both ways in help and hinder.