The purpose of the study was to explore and understand the values, the general opinions, and the sociopolitical and cultural attitudes of youths in underdeveloped, Middle Eastern countries, specifically Egypt and Saudi Arabia. The study focused on four general areas of values. First, the study examined the sources of epistemic authorities that the youths rely on in forming opinions about various social and cultural issues and deciding their career. Second, the researchers sought to explore the extent to which the youth were aware of developmental ideas. Third, the research aimed to examine the youths' orientations toward such issues as the relationship between religion and politics, form of government, Western culture, and social status of women. Finally, the study focused on the youths' religiosity and attitudes toward religion.
The researchers conducted face-to-face interviews of youths in six selected cities, three in Egypt and three in Saudi Arabia. The researchers explained to the youths what they were studying and followed by asking them a variety of different social issue questions dealing with religion, marriage, political systems, employment, freedom, and development. They also gathered demographic data from those interviewed, such as age, race, religion, and socio-economic status.
The Egyptian survey was based on a representative sample of 928 youths. A total of 289 youths (32 percent) were from Cairo, 291 (32 percent) were from Alexandria, and 325 (36 percent) were from El-Minya. The region where the interview was conducted was missing for 23 respondents (1 percent). The Saudi Arabian survey used a representative sample of 954 youths. A total of 473 youths (50 percent) were from Jeddah, 321 (34 percent) were from Riyadh, and 160 (17 percent) were from Dammam/Khobar.
All youths ages 18 to 25 between January 5, 2005, and July 25, 2005, in six cities in either Egypt (Alexandria, El-Minya, Cairo) or Saudia Arabia (Jeddah, Riyadh, Dammam/Khobar).
The dataset contains a total of 224 variables pertaining to the general opinion of youths in regards to a variety of social issues. Also included are demographic variables, such as age, education, race, religion, and socio-economic status. The major variables that the researchers examined were the country of origin (Egypt or Saudi Arabia), and responses to questions regarding the level of development, the level of individual freedom, political leadership characteristics, income characteristics, political system characteristics, characteristics of foreign threat, religion and religious issues, economic development, morality scaling, and family change characteristics. Other variables concern family life around the world, attitudes toward women, government, the democratic political system, regional and international problems, and variables about Islam and non-Islamic religions, and Muslims versus non-Muslims. Additionally, variables measure the extent that the respondent relies on, (that is, believes and trusts), parents, teachers of religion at school or university, other (secular) teachers, friends, religious leaders, media, and satellite TV and the internet about the following subjects: the role of women in society and politics, politics and forms of government, education and career choice, evolution (the explanation of how plants and animals have evolved), Western societies and foreign culture, and the role of religion and politics in society.
Several Likert-type scales were used.