Only 19 per cent said it would be their family or tribe and 17 per cent pointed to their nationality.
More than their family or nationality, 40 per cent of Arab youth see their religion as ‘the most important’ aspect of their identity, the Arab Youth Survey has found.
Only 19 per cent said it would be their family or tribe and 17 per cent pointed to their nationality. The rest of the respondents chose Arab heritage (7 per cent), political beliefs (7 per cent), language (5 per cent) and gender (5 per cent).
The strongest affiliation to religion were noted in North African countries – Algeria, Sudan and Egypt – where more than two-thirds (67 per cent) said religion defined their identity the most. The least, however, was seen in the GCC, 27 per cent.
In the GCC, with the exception of Saudi Arabia, religion does not play such a central role. In the UAE, only eight per cent of nationals considered religion as a defining factor. Instead, 54 per cent mentioned it was their nationality.
Despite the importance that they have attached to their faith, a vast majority – 66 per cent – also felt that religious institutions need reforms, as they have not kept up with the changing world, the survey showed.
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