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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


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


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 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


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


Discoveries from the human genome, HapMap, and 1000 genome projects have collectively contributed toward the creation of a catalog of human genetic variations that has improved our understanding of human diversity. Despite the collegial nature of many of these genome study consortiums, which has led to the cataloging of genetic variations of different ethnic groups from around the world, genome data on the Arab population remains overwhelmingly underrepresented. The National Arab Genome project in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) aims to address this deficiency by using Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology to provide data to improve our understanding of the Arab genome and catalog variants that are unique to the Arab population of the UAE. The project was conceived to shed light on the similarities and differences between the Arab genome and those of the other ethnic groups.

Concepts: Human genome, Human Genome Project, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Arab World, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Arab people


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


There is substantial evidence that on average, urban children have better health outcomes than rural children. This paper investigates the underlying factors that account for the regional disparities in child malnutrition in three Arab countries, namely; Egypt, Jordan, and Yemen. We use data on a nationally representative sample from the most recent rounds of the Demographic and Health Survey. A Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition analysis is conducted to decompose the rural-urban differences in child nutrition outcomes into two components; one that is explained by regional differences in the level of the determinants (covariate effects), and another component that is explained by differences in the effect of the determinants on the child nutritional status (coefficient effects). Results show that the under-five stunting rates are 20 % in Egypt, 46.5 % in Yemen, and 7.7 % in Jordan. The rural- urban gap in child malnutrition was minor in the case of Egypt (2.3 %) and Jordan (1.5 %), while the regional gap was significant in the case of Yemen (17.7 %). Results of the Blinder-Oaxaca decomposition show that the covariate effect is dominant in the case of Yemen while the coefficients effect dominates in the case of Jordan. Income inequality between urban and rural households explains most of the malnutrition gap. Results were robust to the different decomposition weighting schemes. By identifying the underlying factors behind the rural- urban health disparities, the findings of this paper help in designing effective intervention measures aimed at reducing regional inequalities and improving population health outcomes.

Concepts: Public health, Health disparities, Nutrition, Poverty, Population health, Economic inequality, Arab World, Arabic language