Overview

Co-Opinion is a non-partisan, non-profit, policy-oriented youth solidarity network that aims to address the problems of youth in the Middle East & North Africa, from the perspective of youth by advocating youth policies in the region and empowering young people in different sectors. To that end, the network mobilizes influential youth NGOs, student councils, associations, academic institutes/think-tanks primarily in 6 countries: Turkey, Tunisia, Egypt, Morocco, Iraq, and Lebanon.

Mission Statement

Co-Opinion aims to facilitate interaction and co-operation among youth civil society sector, academics, and private sector and provide solutions to the pressing problems of youth by serving as a multi-stakeholder setting across the Middle East & North Africa.

Principles

  • Co-Opinion is a non-partisan volunteer-based network. We are not associated with any political party nor any state.
  • Co-Opinion holds the distinction between policy-making, which we regard as technocratic, short-term outlook to a given problem, and politics, which is a concept necessarily attached to a partisan outlook. Co-Opinion strictly operates in the former sphere.
  • Our advocacy strategies prioritize private sector over public sector.

Our Story

You can read this text in Arabic here.

On January 2015, the co-founders of the Co-Opinion, Semuhi & Cagatay, learned that this year’s UNDP Arab Human Development Report focuses on the problems of the youth in the Middle East & North Africa and has been crafted by a research team from Lebanon. Inspired by the topic of the report, they wanted to take the initiative to address the problems of the youth in the region and to bring together young people to contemplate these issues together. Yet they did not know how to accomplish this goal exactly at that time. They decided to pay a visit to Lebanon to discuss this idea with their peers. The first draft of the Co-Opinion was written at Kudeta Café located on the Badaro Street, Beirut. That was the first milestone of the Co-Opinion as an initiative. For a while, the Co-Opinion operated under the aegis of the Youth Deal Cooperative, an organization in which Semuhi served as a founding member, too. Then, the Co-Opinion established its own legal association in Turkey. Since then, the Co-Opinion has expanded exponentially and reached out to the young people from different parts of the region such that it currently mobilizes over 25 institutions and its team members consist of more than 50 people from different backgrounds.

“I realized that timing was the key to success (…) Most inventions and predictions tend to fail because the timing is wrong”, said Ray Kurzweil. The Co-Opinion emerged when most needed – As the region gets through a period of immense immigration, civil wars, deteriorating economic conditions, and waves of protests, we firmly believe that the youth needs to act together and now.

In the Co-Opinion, youth working for young solutions…