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Concept: Arab World


The recent wave of mobilizations in the Arab world and across Western countries has generated much discussion on how digital media is connected to the diffusion of protests. We examine that connection using data from the surge of mobilizations that took place in Spain in May 2011. We study recruitment patterns in the Twitter network and find evidence of social influence and complex contagion. We identify the network position of early participants (i.e. the leaders of the recruitment process) and of the users who acted as seeds of message cascades (i.e. the spreaders of information). We find that early participants cannot be characterized by a typical topological position but spreaders tend to be more central in the network. These findings shed light on the connection between online networks, social contagion, and collective dynamics, and offer an empirical test to the recruitment mechanisms theorized in formal models of collective action.

Concepts: Sociology, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Arab World, Jordan, Sudan, Yemen, Social influence


Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is an emerging non-communicable disease worldwide. The Arab countries have a high prevalence of CKD risk factors, e.g. diabetes, obesity and hypertension. Unfortunately, the magnitude of CKD in the Arab world has not been studied well. This review presents the current data on CKD in the Arab world and proposes a call for action to address this rising epidemic.

Concepts: Chronic kidney disease, Epidemiology, Hypertension, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Arab World, Jordan, Sudan


Worldwide, ISO 14001 certification for organizations has become the norm, but the Arab world accounts for an insignificant portion of all the certified organizations. There is a dearth of research on environmental management systems (EMS) in Arab and emerging countries and in public organizations. The objectives of this research are to: (1) examine the key drivers and challenges related to implementation of ISO 14001 certified EMS in the United Arab Emirates, an emerging Arab country and (2) compare and contrast these drivers and challenges between private and public organizations. We adopt an explorative, qualitative methodology, using semi-structured interviews with environmental managers in 11 organizations (6 private and 5 public) from different industrial sectors. Drivers of EMS certification were mostly similar between private and public organizations, with some differences. Compliance with regulations and standards, and increasing environmental performance were the main drivers for ISO 14001 certification in both private and public organizations. Commitment to sustainability was more important for public organizations. Cost reduction, competitors, leadership commitment and customers' demands were shared drivers, but more stressed by private organizations. Local community and employees' pressures were reported by private organizations only. The challenges to ISO 14001 implementation were similar for private and public organizations. They were: a lack of qualified human resources, practical challenges associated with implementation, a lack of regulations, a lack of support from management, and high costs. Our findings have implications for managers, academics, consultants, and policy makers in the UAE and other emerging markets.

Concepts: Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, United Arab Emirates, Middle East, Arab World, Arab League, Persian Gulf, Arab states of the Persian Gulf


Although Arabic is one of the most widely used languages in the world, little is known on the availability of standardized neuropsychological tests in Arabic. We review the literature published before 2016, using the keywords Arab*, cogniti*, and neuropsycholo*, as well as keywords for each Arab country. PubMed, PsycINFO, Education Source, Academic Search Complete, Education Resources Information Center, Shamaa, and Arabpsynet databases were searched, in addition to a selected number of Arabic medical and educational journals. After excluding case reports, studies conducted on Arab groups residing outside the Arab world or Israel, and studies that employed intelligence scales or cognitive screens without standardization, 384 studies were eventually reviewed. Tests with most extensive use, adaptation, validation and norming were identified. The Raven Matrices, with its variants, was the most normed cognitive test for Arab individuals (normed in 16 countries). The rate of neuropsychology publications from the Arab countries combined, per year, was less than half of that of each American journal (top 10 journals pertaining to cognition). Nonetheless, the rate in Arab countries has increased after 2010. Publications were mostly from Egypt and Saudi Arabia, but the ratio of test adaptation-to-publication was the largest in Jordan and Lebanon. Approximately half of these publications did not employ cognitive tests that were developed, translated, adapted, or standardized according to international guidelines of psychological measurement. We provide recommendations on improving clinical neuropsychology to better serve Arab patients.

Concepts: Psychology, United Arab Emirates, Middle East, Israel, Egypt, Arab World, Jordan, Yemen


The Republic of Yemen has the highest incidence of malaria in the Arabian Peninsula, yet little is known of its vectors or transmission dynamics.

Concepts: Saudi Arabia, Arabian Peninsula, Arab World, Jordan, Yemen, Iraq, Oman, Arabian Sea


The Arab world has a set of historical, geopolitical, social, cultural, and economic characteristics and has been involved in several wars that have affected the burden of disease. Moreover, financial and human resources vary widely across the region. We aimed to examine the burden of diseases and injuries in the Arab world for 1990, 2005, and 2010 using data from the Global Burden of Diseases, Injuries, and Risk Factors Study 2010 (GBD 2010).

Concepts: Epidemiology, Africa, Economics, United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Arab World, Jordan, Sudan


Obesity is a growing health problem worldwide. It is associated with serious medical and psychosocial comorbidities that increase the risk of mortality. However, strong evidence confirms lifestyle-modification programs as the cornerstone treatment for excess weight and obesity. The aim of this systematic review was to assess the effectiveness of the lifestyle-modification programs for weight management delivered in Arabic-speaking countries.

Concepts: Medicine, Obesity, Evidence-based medicine, Systematic review, Meta-analysis, Arab World, Jordan, Sudan


The incidence of zoonotic cutaneous leishmaniasis (ZCL) makes it the most widespread parasitic disease in Tunisia and the Arab world. Yet, few studies have addressed its psychological and psychosocial effects. The purpose of this study was to examine the psychosocial impact of ZCL scars among Tunisian women.

Concepts: Africa, United Arab Emirates, Leishmaniasis, Cutaneous leishmaniasis, Arab World


Multiple recent outbreaks of Rift Valley Fever (RVF) in Africa, Madagascar, and the Arabian Peninsula have resulted in significant morbidity, mortality, and financial loss due to related livestock epizootics. Presentation of human RVF varies from mild febrile illness to meningoencephalitis, hemorrhagic diathesis, and/or ophthalmitis with residual retinal scarring, but the determinants for severe disease are not understood. The aim of the present study was to identify human genes associated with RVF clinical disease in a high-risk population in Northeastern Province, Kenya.

Concepts: Africa, Arabian Peninsula, Arab World, Kenya, Jordan, Viral hemorrhagic fever, East Africa, Provinces of Kenya


Discussions leading to the Rio+20 UN conference have emphasised the importance of sustainable development and the protection of the environment for future generations. The Arab world faces large-scale threats to its sustainable development and, most of all, to the viability and existence of the ecological systems for its human settlements. The dynamics of population change, ecological degradation, and resource scarcity, and development policies and practices, all occurring in complex and highly unstable geopolitical and economic environments, are fostering the poor prospects. In this report, we discuss the most pertinent population-environment-development dynamics in the Arab world, and the two-way interactions between these dynamics and health, on the basis of current data. We draw attention to trends that are relevant to health professionals and researchers, but emphasise that the dynamics generating these trends have implications that go well beyond health. We argue that the current discourse on health, population, and development in the Arab world has largely failed to convey a sense of urgency, when the survival of whole communities is at stake. The dismal ecological and development records of Arab countries over the past two decades call for new directions. We suggest that regional ecological integration around exchange of water, energy, food, and labour, though politically difficult to achieve, offers the best hope to improve the adaptive capacity of individual Arab nations. The transformative political changes taking place in the Arab world offer promise, indeed an imperative, for such renewal. We call on policy makers, researchers, practitioners, and international agencies to emphasise the urgency and take action.

Concepts: Africa, Natural environment, United Arab Emirates, Sustainability, Arab World, Jordan, Sudan, Ecological economics