Nature Middle East this week provides heartbreaking accounts of the impact of war upon Iraqi and Syrian children:
How fear has stolen the childhood of a generation
Across the Arab world many children are showing signs of severe psychological distress and support efforts are often futile in the face of continuing raging conflicts.
The toll of war on learning for a generation
The Syrian civil war is creating an uneducated generation — burdening social systems in countries of refuge, and forcing children into illegal labour.
Iraqi children endure a crippled healthcare system
Thirty years of conflict, sanctions and a mass exodus of medical professionals has severely compromised the health of Iraqi children. And there’s no respite on the horizon.
Once proud, Iraq’s schools reel from decades of setbacks
Schools in Iraq continue to struggle, limiting learning opportunities for the country’s youth. Educational indicators show a marked decline as wars, sanctions and sectarian strife have stripped Iraq’s education system of resources.
Winds of change blow through research centres and universities operating in the Middle East.
(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.
Powerless, defenceless grey mice, which is often the image that the West has of Arab women. Most will be about them, rarely talked with them. Now Arabs speak for themselves, let their lives speak for themselves. In portraits and reportage tells Karim El-Gawhary of living in the dark ages of dictatorship, during the riots and in the Arab world today.
Karim El-Gawhary questioned stereotypes. It’s not about whitewash things. Magdoulin, a young Libyan women’s rights activist, says: “It is important that we in , and not what we to have his head. “This book is about why what Arab women in the head have.