Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Puberty and the Middle East Uprising

By Nicholas Contompasis

If you’re old enough to remember, back in 1969, here in the United States the median age was 26 and we had riots, assassinations, political turmoil and a crime rate that most thought couldn’t possibly get any higher. Since then, as our median age increased to now 37, our crime rate has tumbled, assassinations are mere talking points in history classes and riots, so far, can only be found on videos on the Internet.

Riots, assassinations and general political turmoil come with the territory when your country is young. It’s just a fact of life that most mature nations are forced to put up with, as they gaze from afar, hopefully. This pubescent period unfortunately, can last as long as ten years. The fallout from this turmoil can get out of hand and lead to major wars both regional and global, so these new developments in the Middle East are indeed troubling and should be watched closely.

The Middle East and North Africa are currently experiencing a prominent youth-bulge. An illustration of this bulge can be found in the median age in countries like Egypt of 24, Tunisia 30, Yemen 18, Turkey 28, and Iran 26. That leaves an average for the region of 25 years old. Contrast this with a median age in the United States of 37 now, which is on average 50% older than the now turbulent Middle East.

It all sounds so simple when laid out in anthropological and statistical logic, but people are dying and more will die before this period in the Middle East has had a chance to mature. Of course, we all pray it doesn’t kill any of us in the meantime.

So, if you’re wondering what it’s like to be on the streets of Cairo this evening, just jog your memory, if you can these days, and take yourself back to the streets of Washington D.C. Remember how you felt marching down Pennsylvania Avenue towards the White House screaming “Stop the War.” I do. Remember the youthful bonding that galvanized your emotions along with the thousands around you. Or maybe you were in Baltimore, Philadelphia and Los Angeles helping burn down local white businesses that charged twice the going rate for a loaf of bread, right after the MLK assassination. No matter, it comes with youth, the rage, the impatience and the demand for change.

Let’s all hope and pray that these days of Middle Eastern growing pains don’t kill us all before they pass on into adulthood.

Oh, and one last comment. Mexico’s median age is 27, so buckle up.


rdewitt said...


Your recent article posted on Red Country concerning “The Islamification of the World” is well-researched and highly accurate in assessing the future of the Middle-East. Unfortunately, all televised American media news stations have failed to expose the potential for political disaster if Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak falls at this time. Even Sheppard Smith of FOX News has shown his ignorance of foreign affairs by vehemently supporting anti-government protestors who are backed by the sinister Muslim Brotherhood. Should there be positive social reforms in Egypt that will benefit its people? Absolutely! However, change in Egypt’s government should not come from an anti-Western regime that will prove to be far more draconian than Mubarak ever thought of being. The MB is the driving force behind what has transpired in Egypt, Algeria, Yemen, Jordan, and soon in Saudi Arabia. Their true agenda is the domination over the entire Middle-East and beyond. What folks like Sheppard Smith and others fail to realize is that the odds of a more brutal dictatorship taking the helm in Egypt is not only possible but probable. An historical review of political events that transpired in 1979 Iran should forewarn us of what will happen in Egypt once Mubarak is deposed. The American media, including the so-called conservative FOX News, has once again shown their ignorance and stupidity concerning foreign affairs. As an adjunct professor of "Homeland Security", I teach my students to view all media outlets with a critical eye and to carefully assess world events by analyzing all forms of available intelligence. Making crucial decisions concerning national security based upon emotion and conjecture is not only foolish but potentially destructive.

Ron DeWitt
Eagle River, Alaska

Blog Start Date 8/11/09 said...

Thank you Ron for your very insightful comment.