Findings revealed from The Big BBC News Arabic Survey

Date: 24.06.2019     Last updated: 24.06.2019 at 12.27
Category: World Service; News
BBC News Arabic has carried out the largest in-depth survey ever carried out in the region.

The Big BBC News Arabic Survey 2018/19 was carried out by Arab Barometer and interviewed more than 25,000 people face-to-face in 10 countries and the Palestinian territories about a wide-range of subjects including religion, corruption, sex and mental health. The results give an unprecedented insight into the opinions of those living in the Middle East and North Africa today.

Findings indicated by the #BBCArabicSurvey include:

  • A growing number of people in the Middle East and North Africa are turning their backs on religion
  • A third of the region say they are depressed
  • In Iraq more men than women say they’ve been sexually harassed
  • Most people believe a woman should have the right to be head of state, but that a husband should have the final say in all family decisions
  • In Lebanon only 6% think being gay is acceptable
  • Almost half of adults under 30 years old are considering becoming a migrant
  • 6 out of 10 people think violence against the USA is understandable
  • Donald Trump’s Middle East policies are less popular than Vladimir Putin’s. But Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s policies are far more popular than both put together
  • Trust in the region’s primary Islamist movements, actors like the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, and Hezbollah, has been in decline since the Arab uprisings
  • More than half of internet users consider social media a more trustworthy news source than TV and newspapers in the majority of countries surveyed

Further details can be found here:

The results will be covered across the BBC in the coming weeks, including a look deeper behind the statistics with features such as:

All The Numbers
Special Correspondent Nawal Al Maghafi travels through Baghdad, Amman and Jerusalem exploring the findings of the Big BBC News Arabic Survey.

Exploring Morocco
BBC Arabic News Correspondent, Reda Al Mawy meets a family divided across the key issues in the survey and finds out why so many people are calling for governmental change.

Ten years on from researching for her book Sex And The Citadel, academic Shereen El Feki meets people across the region creating safe spaces for extremely frank conversations about sex and love in the region.

Why Are More Men Reporting Sex Abuse Than Women In Iraq?
Megha Mohan and Samia Hosny investigate why men in Iraq and Sudan are reporting being sexually abused in greater numbers than women.

Losing Their Religion
Selim and Mustafa are two young men from Lebanon - one was a pious Christian and the other a devout Muslim. But today they find the word “atheist” to be the best way to describe their beliefs.

Suicide Note
Matthew Cassell explores the impact of and causes of widespread depression in the region through the story of one young Tunisian man who posted his final goodbye on Facebook before taking his own life at 32.

BBC News Arabic is the single media partner for this survey. The survey took place between October 2018 and April 2019.

Arab Barometer are a nonpartisan research network based at Princeton University that works with universities in the region. They have been conducting high quality and reliable public opinion surveys in the Middle East and North Africa since 2006.

To ensure all those who took part in the survey were given the chance to answer as honestly as possible and without any fear of consequence - some questions were presented to them in a less direct way. For example, illegal or taboo subjects were asked about in the form of selection from a list of options.

The survey is of citizens across most of the Arab world. Exceptions include countries where full and fair access to the survey was not possible or the safety of interviewers could not be guaranteed.

Full details on all methodology are available on the Arab Barometer website.