Project

North Africa: The Young and the Restless

Ellen Knickmeyer has been traveling the Arab world from the first weeks of the revolutions to tell the story of the frustrated young generation at the heart of the unrest. After sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East and North Africa hold the largest share of young people in the world. Two out of every three Arabs are under 30. For many, their symbol has become Mohammed Bouazizi, a 26-year-old high school drop-out in Tunisia who set himself on fire when a corrupt cop blocked the peddling by which Mohamed made a bare living for his family. Although he didn’t live to know it, Bouazizi ignited a generation, and a region. Knickmeyer explores some of the causes of the anger that made young Arabs so receptive to the calls to revolution that followed: the highest youth unemployment rate in the world, a lack of prospects that forced many to delay marriage, careers and the launch of what should be their adult lives, and, for too long, a deadening of hope.

With the support of the Pulitzer Center, Knickmeyer traveled to Sidi Bouzid to profile the short, thwarted life and angry death of the young man who generated the first people's power uprising of the Arab World.

Following the spread of the unrest, Knickmeyer reported from Egypt, where an internet-savvy young generation that led the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak is struggling to have a voice in what comes next. She traveled to Saudi Arabia, where government handouts soothe the complaints of a young generation unable to find jobs – but can’t for long, some analysts warn. In Libya, she looks at the wedding dreams of young Libyans unable to afford marriage, and asks the critical question of whether the revolutions of 2011 make the future of these young people look any brighter.

October 26, 2011|

Libya's Sexual Revolution

Wartime romance is budding in Libya. After fighting to take down Qaddafi, the country's once least eligible bachelors are now being seen in a new light.

October 22, 2011|

Tunisia's Surprising New Islamists

Nine months after the revolution that sparked the Arab Spring, Ellen Knickmeyer revisits two of the first Tunisians to protest against the Ben Ali regime.

September 27, 2011|

All About Qaddafi: Libya's Artists

Libya art all but died under Qaddafi. But with the former dictator no longer in power, artists are beginning to display their work in weekly art shows.

February 07, 2011|

Lesson Plan: Revolution in Tunisia

In this lesson students will understand the conditions in Tunisia that led to Jasmine Revolution in December 2010, and the examine the consequences, both intended and unintended, of the rebellion.

January 28, 2011|

Egypt Unrest Sparks Protests in Washington

As protests swarm Egypt, Egyptians abroad are proclaiming solidarity with the anti-government sentiment. Today in Washington, protesters called upon President Barack Obama to support the Egyptians.