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Overwhelming majority of Arabs youth reject ISIS, poll finds

Respondents said that the rise of ISIS was the "biggest obstacle facing the Middle East"

Published: Updated:

An overwhelming majority of Arab youth from across the region disapprove of ISIS, a survey released on Tuesday found.

The survey, undertaken by PR agency Asda'a Burson Marsteller, interviewed 3,500 youths aged 18-24 from 16 Arab countries, including Egypt, Algeria and Saudi Arabia.

Respondents said that the rise of ISIS was the "biggest obstacle facing the Middle East," followed by the threat of terrorism and rising unemployment.

The lack of jobs is seen by Arab youth as the top reason young Arab believe people join the group, followed by the belief that followers saw the group's interpretation of Islam as superior.

A more contentious topic was the Iranian nuclear deal, signed between Iran and six world powers last year that saw Iran curb its nuclear activities in exchange for the lifting of crippling sanctions.

A plurality, or 45 percent of those surveyed supported the deal. Omani youth - whose government initially helped broker early stages of the talks - had the strongest support to the deal, with 93 percent in favor.

Meanwhile, in the Levant and Yemen, 48 percent were against the deal, while 45 were in support.

No Spring

Many participants had negative feelings towards the Arab Spring, with Egypt being the only country that went through an uprising in 2011 to believe that the region was better of because of it.

The sentiment stands in marked contrast to an earlier poll conducted in 2012, when 72 percent of respondents said they thought the Arab world was a better place after the uprisings.

This year, security was more highly in demand, with 53 percent saying they believed that the promotion of stability was more important than the promotion of democracy.

The survey excluded Syria, due to the country's ongoing civil war. The survey’s margin of error was +/-1.65 per cent.