Recent events continue to underline the fragility of the Arab region. Civil war rages in Syria, refugees surge across borders and the lasting effects of the Arab Spring are uncertain. What is certain, however, is that it is essential to give attention to the welfare of the region’s young people and to economic health in order to build the foundations for lasting political stability and, in many countries, for a transition to democracy. Education is central to this effort. In particular, the ability of educational systems to help the region’s children and youth develop the competencies and skills that will serve them well for their future lives and livelihoods.

The purpose of this report is to shine a spotlight on education in the Arab world at a time when most public attention is focused elsewhere, and thereby to open a dialogue about this key issue. It is crucial now, more than ever, to provide support for the ongoing efforts of Arab educationalists—the many actors and innovators who are working day by day to provide education to the region’s young people. Progressive and smart investments in education made today, including those focused on children affected by conflict, will reap large benefits in the future.