DOHA: Desirous of taking part in the political process in the country, some 41 percent of Qatari university students said in a survey that they strongly back the establishment of a parliament.
These students believe that people should be given more opportunities to actively take part in public affairs.
Only a small minority (16 percent of those surveyed) said they didn’t support the idea of having a parliament as the state was providing them enough to lead an honourable life.
They said they actually believed that setting up a parliament might have a negative impact.
What is interesting, however, is that more young Qatari men than women believe that they should maintain their traditional way of dressing.
The majority of men interviewed (73.7 percent) said they liked to dress the traditional way because that made them stand out from others and helped them maintain their identity.
But only 22 percent of the women respondents said they believed it was important to dress traditionally.
The survey was conducted by the Research and Social Studies Department of the Social Development Centre.
Those surveyed were a random sample of 269 students of Qatar University from different faculties, including science and humanities.
A vast majority (77.7 percent) of those surveyed were women.
Some 63 percent of those interviewed said they had a fair idea about Qatar National Vision 2030, while 36 percent said they had no clue what it was all about.
Regarding their awareness of Qatar’s constitution, 63 percent of the respondents said they didn’t know about it, while 36 percent said they had a fair idea.
More than half (54 percent) the respondents said they believed that Qatar supported the Arab Spring, while 38 percent said that in their view Qatar played a very significant role in resolving the dispute between the Yemen government and Huthi Shias.
Some 74 percent of those interviewed said they supported the Arab revolutions because the toppled regimes were not of any benefit to the people.
A quarter of the respondents, though, said they didn’t back the revolutions because they believed that rulers should be obeyed irrespective of their behaviour.
A massive majority of the respondents (86 percent) said they knew about the Arab Spring.
They were familiar with the terminology because they closely followed the revolutions against dictatorial regimes due to the wide media coverage and were surprised to see them collapse.
At least 29 percent of those surveyed said they believed that Qatar had an important role in brokering peace between rival Palestinian factions Fatah and Hamas.
Half the respondents (48 percent) were married, and 78 percent of them said they lived off the pocket money provided by their families.
About marriage preferences, 71 percent of the interviewees said they had a positive view of marriage while 29 percent said marriage meant restricted freedom, financial woes and marital problems.
Some 92 percent of women respondents said they wouldn’t like to marry a man who already had a wife. Some 88 percent of the respondents said they would prefer to marry compatriots whereas 77 percent said they wouldn’t prefer to have a non-GCC Arab spouse.
The respondents were aged between 16 and 25 years and the survey was conducted over four months in the academic year 2012-13. It was, however, published this year.