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What are the Freest Countries in the Middle-East ?

Every year, Freedom House publishes the Freedom index, which ranks the access to political rights and civil liberties of people around the world. Last year, Freedom House complimented the Index with an Internet Freedom Index.

The citizens that enjoy the most freedom live in Western nations. Finland, Canada, and New Zealand all score close to maximum points. At the opposite end of the ranking, we find mostly Middle Eastern and African countries. Freedom tends to come after decades of political stability and social development. Many countries near the bottom are vestiges of European colonialism with artificially created borders. Most of them gained independence less than a century ago. This must be taken into consideration when comparing them to Western countries, which gained a form of independence 2 or 3 centuries ago.

The Middle East has also been plagued by constant foreign wars and interference in the last decade, creating a constant state of disarray. Wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria have displaced tens of millions of people and destabilized the entire region. Today it’s hard to imagine the situation getting worse in the Middle East, but it’s also perhaps too optimistic to imagine it getting better.

Throughout history, instability in a country has led to restrictions on freedom. Citizens will happily exchange security and food for freedom. It’s no coincidence that the wealthy elites in the Middle East have either a second passport or permanent residency in another country. They use Citizenship by Investment programs or Residence by Investment programs to become a citizen of a western country. These offer much-needed security when you live in a region where war is expected to break out at least every decade. Acquiring a second passport is similar to hedging an investment.

The most popular programs over the years have been the Canadian Immigrant Investor program, the US EB5 Investor visa, and the UK Tier 1 Investor. But new ones like the Portugal Golden Residency, Greece Golden Visa, and the Australian Investor Stream have gained in popularity in the last few years.

Freedom is something most people in the West take for granted, but people from oppressed countries know how important it is to have and cherish it. The mental stress of imposed restrictions affects every aspect of your life: health, happiness, relationships. These are things people in the Middle East have dreamed of for decades, if not centuries.

#76 Israel

Political Rights 33/40
Civil Liberties 43/60

Israel is the freest country in the Middle East, a fact that the ruling class of the country has been proudly trumpeting for decades. The country is classified as “free”, but in the last few years, the country’s democracy has eroded.

#122 Lebanon

Political Rights 14/40
Civil Liberties 30/60
Internet Freedom: 52/100

Lebanon is the freest Arab country in the Middle East, with a classification of “partly free”. Lebanon has been facing great economic challenges in the last few years and few in the country are optimistic about their future.

#145 Jordan

Political Rights 13/40
Civil Liberties 24/60
Internet Freedom: 49/100

Jordan has known relative stability in the last few decades. It’s home to many Palestinian refugees.

#154 Turkey

Political Rights 16/40
Civil Liberties 16/60
Internet Freedom: 35/100

In the past, Turkey was often viewed as the most liberal country in the region, thanks to its secular government. In the last decade, however, political rights have been steadily whittled away.

#155 Iraq

Political Rights 17/40
Civil Liberties 14/60
Internet Freedom: N.a.

When the US declared war on Iraq nearly 20 years ago, it promised freedom for the Iraqi people. Unfortunately, freedom and democracy are only built after decades of stability.

#162 Afghanistan

Political Rights 13/40
Civil Liberties 14/60
Internet Freedom: N.a.

Afghanistan has been in a state of war for the past 4 decades. The country has a long way to go to rebuild cohesion in the country.

#164 Qatar

Political Rights 7/40
Civil Liberties 18/60

#173 Egypt

Political Rights 7/40
Civil Liberties 14/60
Internet Freedom: 26/100

#182 Iran

Political Rights 7/40
Civil Liberties 10/60
Internet Freedom: 15/100

#183 UAE

Political Rights 5/40
Civil Liberties 12/60
Internet Freedom: 29/100

#189 Bahrain

Political Rights 1/40
Civil Liberties 10/60
Internet Freedom: 29/100

#191 Yemen

Political Rights 1/40
Civil Liberties 10/60
Internet Freedom: N.a.

#197 Libya

Political Rights 1/40
Civil Liberties 8/60
Internet Freedom: 50/100

#200 Saudi Arabia

Political Rights 1/40
Civil Liberties 6/60
Internet Freedom: 26/100

#209 Syria

Political Rights  3/40
Civil Liberties 3/60
Internet Freedom: 17/100

The Golden Capitalist is powered by Global RCG, the leading provider of mobility assets in America. Reach out if you want to know more about 2nd residence & citizenship.

What do you think?

Written by Piyush GRCG


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