Conventional wisdom, based mainly on surveyed household income distribution statistics, suggests that inequality is generally low in Arab countries. At the same time, little attention has been devoted to social inequalities, whether in terms of outcomes or opportunities. This column introduces a forthcoming report, which offers a different narrative: based on the largest research project on the subject to date and covering 12 Arab countries, the authors argue that the region is caught in an inequality trap.
Oussama SafaUnited Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA)
Oussama Safa is currently the Chief of the Social Justice Section at the UN ESCWA in Beirut, Lebanon. Prior to this, he was General Director of the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies, a Beirut-based think-tank working on public policies and development in Lebanon and the Middle East and North Africa Region. He has vast experience in research, advocacy and capacity building, and has been focusing recently on issues of political economy, civil society participation and inequality and social justice in the Arab Region.