The key to achieving stability and growth in the Middle East is harnessing the potential of entrepreneurial young people who are empowered and committed to creating a better future for the region and supporting their efforts, according to experts on the Atlantic Council’s Middle East Strategy Task Force.

Stephen Grand and Jessica Ashooh, executive director and deputy director of the Middle East Strategy Task Force, respectively, participated in a Facebook live discussion on December 1 to talk about the task force’s final report. Ashooh described how the report, informed by collaboration and consultation with individuals throughout the region, presents a more optimistic approach to the Middle East. She said the report seeks to promote “a new vision for the region that’s led by the region, and led by the region’s people.”

Grand emphasized the need for partnerships between the United States and governments in the region. He described the potential for cooperation between young entrepreneurs who exemplify the potential for positive growth in the Middle East and governments willing to support their efforts, saying this new dynamic presents a “moment of opportunity.”

“There is nothing fundamentally different about the Middle East,” Ashooh said. “There is no reason why the Middle East cannot be as successful as any other region in the world if given the right type of attention and the right type of opportunity.”

Rachel Ansley is an editorial assistant at the Atlantic Council. 

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