Posts tagged Qatar

The Arabs’ scientific vision

Winds of change blow through research centres and universities operating in the Middle East.

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(Image Credit: Northwestern University in Qatar Photo Gallery)

The Canon of Medicine by Ibn Sina (Avicenna in Latin), the studies on algebra and arithmetic of Al-Khwārizmī (Algoritmi), the Book of Optics by Ibn al-Haytham (Alhazen): these are just a few examples of Middle Eastern literature from the past that testify the outstanding contribution of Islamic intellect to modern science. However, statistics on the scientific impact of today’s Arab world portray a starkly different picture, with universities and research centres from these countries lagging well behind their Eastern Asiatic and Western counterparts1, 2. The output of publications from the entire Middle Eastern region in 2012 amounts to less than one quarter of that of the US1, and only three universities (two from Israel and one from Turkey) are listed in the top 200 institutions in teaching and research worldwide. Yet, an awakened community is now eager to trigger a scientific rebirth in this area.

The creation of scientific hubs able to both play a relevant role in the international community and involve an increasing number of Arab students in research may catalyse the change needed in the Middle East. Certainly, it will be interesting to observe the effects of these efforts on the scientific productivity of the next few years. In the long term, one only hopes that the exposure of young generations to a multicultural, curiosity-driven research environment will spark a new scientific golden age in the region.

Fahad Al-Attiya: A country with no water

Imagine a country with abundant power — oil and gas, sunshine, wind (and money) — but missing one key essential for life: water. Infrastructure engineer Fahad Al-Attiya talks about the unexpected ways that the small Middle Eastern nation of Qatar creates its water supply.

Fahad Al-Attiya’s job is to maintain food security in Qatar, a country that has no water and imports 90 percent of its food.

Islamic Arts Festival Sharjah, 12 December 12 to 12 January 2013
Contemporary and Classical Islamic Art
Image: Calligraphy by eminent Qatari artist Ali Hasan whose work is being featured at the exhibition.

Islamic Arts Festival Sharjah, 12 December 12 to 12 January 2013

Contemporary and Classical Islamic Art

Image: Calligraphy by eminent Qatari artist Ali Hasan whose work is being featured at the exhibition.

The country is for the people and its glory are theirs,
Repeat with one voice and for one fate,
We are all Tunisia in the face of repressive elites!
We are all Tunisia in the face of repressive elites!
The Arab governments and who rules them are, without exception, thieves. Thieves!
The question that frames the thoughts of those who wander will not find an answer in any official channels, as long as it imports everything it has from the West

A rough translation, excerpt from a poem by Qatari poet Mohammad ibn al-Dheeb al-Ajami entitled, ”Tunisian Jasmine” supporting the uprisings in the Arab world.

Three days after the United Nations Climate Change Conference began here in Doha, a Qatari court sentenced a local poet to life in prison, a move that shocked many activists in the Gulf region and human rights observers.

Climate change in the Arab world
A report on climate change in the Arab world highlights the threat to poverty reduction and economic growth. The World Bank report was presented at the United Nations Conference on climate change. 

Climate change in the Arab world

A report on climate change in the Arab world highlights the threat to poverty reduction and economic growth. The World Bank report was presented at the United Nations Conference on climate change. 

Cai Guo-Qiang: Saraab 
Saraab continues Mathaf’s commitment to present an Arab perspective on modern and contemporary art as it turns eastward to consider dynamics across Asia for the first time. Works on view explore the historic and contemporary iconography of the Arabian Gulf and its seafaring culture, as well as the Islamic history of Quanzhou.
Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art

Cai Guo-Qiang: Saraab

Saraab continues Mathaf’s commitment to present an Arab perspective on modern and contemporary art as it turns eastward to consider dynamics across Asia for the first time. Works on view explore the historic and contemporary iconography of the Arabian Gulf and its seafaring culture, as well as the Islamic history of Quanzhou.

Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art

Creative Commons Qatar

Qatar is proving itself to be well versed in technology culture that is so vital to a nation’s economic progress. Under the direction of ictQATAR, Creative Commons Qatar was launched to:

Overriding desire for democracy tops agenda in Arab youth survey

The single greatest priority for young people in the Middle East remains living in a democratic country, according to the findings of the 2010 ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey, the biggest study of its kind of the region’s largest demographic. This finding echoes the results of the 2009 survey — conducted well over a year before the start of recent regional unrest — which similarly identified the yearning for greater political participation as the defining characteristic of Arab youth.

This is the key finding of the 10-country survey unveiled Wednesday in Dubai and New York. Conducted by leading international polling firm Penn Schoen Berland (PSB), the Third Annual ASDA’A Burson-Marsteller Arab Youth Survey included 2,000 face-to-face interviews with Arab nationals and Arab expatriates between the ages of 18-24 in the six Gulf Cooperation Council nations (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE), as well as in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. These interviews were conducted in December 2010 and January 2011.

A New World Order in Science?

A report by the Royal Society shows the changing structure of scientific power. The challenge to the leading scientific nations of the late 20th century - the USA, UK, Germany, France, Japan and Russia - from China, India and Brazil is well documented. However we are also seeing emergent scientific nations from the Middle East, North Africa and SE Asia also impress upon global scientific output. We have highlighted some of the notable findings in the report concerning the Middle East, North Africa and Asia, which we found quite striking:

# Turkey has improved its scientific performance at a rate almost rivalling that of China. Having declared research a public priority in the 1990s, the Turkish Government increased its spending on R&D nearly six-fold between 1995 and 2007, and now spends more annually in cash terms than either Denmark, Finland or Norway.30 Over this period, the proportion of Turkey’s GDP spent on R&D rose from 0.28% to 0.72%, and the number of researchers increased by 43%.31 Four times as many papers were published in 2008 as in 1996.