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The Middle East has traditionally been important for the world economy. The Middle East situation today has an impact on all aspects of life in America and much of the world.

Only by understanding the motivations of the various factions in the Middle East can we hope to understand how to promote peace and national security for Middle Eastern nations, Europe, and the United States.

Dec 16, 2009

Evaluation of Arab Educational Development

Recently, the Arab Association of Intellectual Thinking, "Alfikr al Arabi", in Kuwait, issued its second report. It focused on the development of education and the use of the internet as a mode of communication in the Arab world. The assocation used a scale from 1 to 7 to assess the level of progress in a selected few educational areas in various Arab countries.

1)The Use of the Internet

Egypt scored 4.68 out of 7 in the use of the Internet to conduct its commercial and trades activities, and ranked number one in the Arab world, follwed by the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, and Qattar. However, Egypt ranked 36 on the world scale.

2) The Use of the Internet in Schools, Goverment, and Private Offices

The United Arab Emirates scored 6.05 on the scale and ranked number one in the Arab world and 5th worldwide. Egypt scored 5.18 on the scale and ranked 32 worldwide. Morocco scoared 4.14, the lowest among the participating Arab states and ranked 111 worldwide.

3)Innovation and Creativity in Relation to the Population Size

Kuwait ranked number one in the Arab world and 37 worldwide. Egypt ranked 5th in the Arab world and 71 worldwide.

4) Freedom of the Press

Kuwait ranked number one in the Arab world and 59 worldwide.

5) Educational Development in Terms of Excellence and Creativity

Saudi Arabia ranked number one in the Arab world and 7th worldwide. Egypt ranked number 7 in the Arab world and 85 worldwide.

6) Allocation of Financial Resources to Educational Development

Saudi Arabia ranked number one in the Arab world and 8th worldwide. Egypt ranked 4the in the Arab world and 59 worldwide.

7) The Quality of Education

Qatter ranked number one in the Arab World and 16 worldwide. Egypt ranked 13 in the Arab world and 126 worldwide.

8) Financial Support for Educational Institutions and the Degree of Independence of Universities

Governments of Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Morocco allocate less than $800 per student per year. Lebanon and Tunisia allocate $1800 per student per year. Saudia Arabia allocates $8,000 per student per year. What Israel and France spend exceeds $19,000 per student per year, and the U.S. spends over $22,000 per student per year.

Based on what the reports reflect, the Arab world is still way behind many countries around the world, especially in the area of educational development, the use of high technology and the availability of enough financial resources, which are needed at all levels of educational development. Furthermore, the absence of democracy and freedom of the press, and the lack of independence for higher academic institutions are all barriers to progress and creativity in the Arab world. The lack of money for research hinders progress and educational development. To illustrate this point, Arab goverments allocate less than $0.3% of their GDP for scientific research, which translates into the equivalent of $10 per capita. Compare to $33 per capita in Malaysia and $1,304 in Finland.

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