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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.

Jun 30, 2010

Arab Attempts for the Development of Collective Scientific Research

Water scarcity and global weather changes in the Arab world are posing major problems for the Middle East region. The U.N. classified eighteen of the 22 Arab states as water poverty stricken countries. Furthermore, 60% of the service water flowing into Arab countries starts its beyond national borders. In addition, the Middle East and North African region experiences global weather changes and more droughts with longer duration. Also, the Arab countries have had population growth that increases the demand for fresh water. A recent meeting of Arab universities’ union, which includes 400 academic institutions, was held at Cairo University (June 24, 2010). The objective of the gathering was to develop strategies to meet the challenges facing the Arab world. The emphasis placed on the proposed strategy is to develop a collective and joint scientific research during the next five years that will benefit the whole Arab world. The focus of the research will be the management of water resources in the Arab world and its research development will be located at the science research center at Cairo University. The research will be supervised by a council that represents the four regions of the Arab world (the Arabian peninsula, al-Mashrig al-Arabi, al-Magrib al-Arabi, and the central region). Also, a new academic and scientific program will be created that will focus on environmental studies that will lead to an M.A. and a Ph.D. in this field.

Another area that was also the focus of discussion was renewable energy resources and how to maximize benefit from the wind and the sun. Research will be conducted in all Arab countries to enable them to generate energy and at the same time protect the environment.

Emphasis was also placed on people’s health and in particular, the spread of cancer in the Arab world. It was proposed that patient records be created and that they be coordinated with treatments and survival rates, as well as scientific research.

The participants recommended that a copy of the conclusion of the meeting be sent to the director of the Arab League to be officially adopted by Arab states.

One of the basic ingredients for the success of such recommendations is the availability of financial resources to support scientific research. For example, the Egyptian government allocated ½ of one percent of its budget to scientific research. I am of the opinion that the majority of Arab governments don’t put too much emphasis on scientific research or on the quality of education at both the upper and lower levels. In previous posts I have discussed the quality of education in some Arab states. No country ever made rapid progress without first allocating a big budget to education and research. In order for the Arab world to catch up with the rest of the world, they have to at least triple their education and research budget for at least two decades to create meaningful scientific research and produce a new generation w

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