Syria's next generation: youth un/employment, education, and exclusion

Elizabeth S. Buckner (School of Education, Stanford University, Stanford, California, USA)
Khuloud Saba (Syrian Trust for Development, Damascus, Syria)

Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues

ISSN: 1753-7983

Publication date: 1 June 2010



The purpose of this paper is to examine the educational and employment opportunities of Syrian youth. It examines findings from a number of nation‐wide surveys of Syrian youth to investigate the educational and labor market conditions Syrian youth face amidst economic and social changes.


The study summarizes numerous nation‐wide surveys conducted by Syrian and foreign organizations concerning the employment and educational opportunities of Syrian youth and their attitudes to their future opportunities and other social and economic issues.


The study finds that class gender and regional background significantly impact the educational and employment opportunities available to Syrian youth. It also finds that Syrian youth express real concerns about their living conditions and future opportunities.

Practical implications

The study argues that future research on Syrian youth must disaggregate findings by background and demographic characteristics. It also argues that more research is needed to understand how youth perceive recent economic and employment changes, including an emphasis on identifying risk factors for marginalization and social and economic exclusion.


This study summarizes findings from the newest and most comprehensive nation‐wide surveys on youth in Syria. Such is often available in Arabic, in hard copy, and to researchers in Syria only. Scholars of the contemporary Middle East and policymakers directly invested in the fates of Syrian youth have a very real need for detailed and current research on youth in Syria.



Buckner, E. and Saba, K. (2010), "Syria's next generation: youth un/employment, education, and exclusion", Education, Business and Society: Contemporary Middle Eastern Issues, Vol. 3 No. 2, pp. 86-98.

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