Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 22

Qatar Related Abstracts

22 Prediction of Road Accidents in Qatar by 2022

Authors: M. Abou-Amouna, A. Radwan, L. Al-kuwari, A. Hammuda, K. Al-Khalifa

Abstract:

There is growing concern over increasing incidences of road accidents and consequent loss of human life in Qatar. In light to the future planned event in Qatar, World Cup 2022; Qatar should put into consideration the future deaths caused by road accidents, and past trends should be considered to give a reasonable picture of what may happen in the future. Qatar roads should be arranged and paved in a way that accommodate high capacity of the population in that time, since then there will be a huge number of visitors from the world. Qatar should also consider the risk issues of road accidents raised in that period, and plan to maintain high level to safety strategies. According to the increase in the number of road accidents in Qatar from 1995 until 2012, an analysis of elements affecting and causing road accidents will be effectively studied. This paper aims to identify and criticize the factors that have high effect on causing road accidents in the state of Qatar, and predict the total number of road accidents in Qatar 2022. Alternative methods are discussed and the most applicable ones according to the previous researches are selected for further studies. The methods that satisfy the existing case in Qatar were the multiple linear regression model (MLR) and artificial neutral network (ANN). Those methods are analyzed and their findings are compared. We conclude that by using MLR the number of accidents in 2022 will become 355,226 accidents, and by using ANN 216,264 accidents. We conclude that MLR gave better results than ANN because the artificial neutral network doesn’t fit data with large range varieties.

Keywords: model, prediction, Road Safety, accident, Qatar

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21 Microbial Quality of Traditional Qatari Foods Sold by Women Street Vendors in Doha, Qatar

Authors: Tahra El-Obeid, Reham Mousa, Amal Alzahiri

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During the past few years the traditional market of Qatar has become an attraction to many customers who eat from the numerous women street vendors selling Qatari traditional dishes. To gain an understanding on the safety of these street vended foods, we designed the study to test microbiological quality of 14 different Qatari foods sold in Souk Wagif, the main traditional market in Qatar. This study was conducted to mainly identify presence or absence of microbial pathogens. A total of 56 samples were purchased from 10 different street vendors and the samples were collected randomly on different days. The samples were tested for microbial contaminants at Central Food Laboratories, Doha, Qatar. The qualitative study was conducted using Real Time-PCR to screen for; Salmonella spp., Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli and E. coli 0157:H7. Out of the 56 samples, only two samples “Biryani” and “Khabess” contained E. coli. However, both samples tested negative for E. coli O157:H7. The microbial contamination of the Qatari traditional street vended foods was 3%. This result may be attributed to the food safety training requirement set by the regulatory authorities before issuing any license to food handlers in Qatar as well as the food inspection conducted by the food health inspectors on a regular basis.

Keywords: Microbiological Quality, Qatar, street vended food, traditional dishes

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20 An Exploratory Study on the Impact of Climate Change on Design Rainfalls in the State of Qatar

Authors: Ataur Rahman, Abdullah Al Mamoon, Niels E. Joergensen, Hassan Qasem

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Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) in its fourth Assessment Report AR4 predicts a more extreme climate towards the end of the century, which is likely to impact the design of engineering infrastructure projects with a long design life. A recent study in 2013 developed new design rainfall for Qatar, which provides an improved design basis of drainage infrastructure for the State of Qatar under the current climate. The current design standards in Qatar do not consider increased rainfall intensity caused by climate change. The focus of this paper is to update recently developed design rainfalls in Qatar under the changing climatic conditions based on IPCC's AR4 allowing a later revision to the proposed design standards, relevant for projects with a longer design life. The future climate has been investigated based on the climate models released by IPCC’s AR4 and A2 story line of emission scenarios (SRES) using a stationary approach. Annual maximum series (AMS) of predicted 24 hours rainfall data for both wet (NCAR-CCSM) scenario and dry (CSIRO-MK3.5) scenario for the Qatari grid points in the climate models have been extracted for three periods, current climate 2010-2039, medium term climate (2040-2069) and end of century climate (2070-2099). A homogeneous region of the Qatari grid points has been formed and L-Moments based regional frequency approach is adopted to derive design rainfalls. The results indicate no significant changes in the design rainfall on the short term 2040-2069, but significant changes are expected towards the end of the century (2070-2099). New design rainfalls have been developed taking into account climate change for 2070-2099 scenario and by averaging results from the two scenarios. IPCC’s AR4 predicts that the rainfall intensity for a 5-year return period rain with duration of 1 to 2 hours will increase by 11% in 2070-2099 compared to current climate. Similarly, the rainfall intensity for more extreme rainfall, with a return period of 100 years and duration of 1 to 2 hours will increase by 71% in 2070-2099 compared to current climate. Infrastructure with a design life exceeding 60 years should add safety factors taking the predicted effects from climate change into due consideration.

Keywords: Climate Change, Qatar, design rainfalls, IDF

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19 Identification of Rainfall Trends in Qatar

Authors: Ataur Rahman, Abdullah Al Mamoon

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Due to climate change, future rainfall will change at many locations on earth; however, the spatial and temporal patterns of this change are not easy to predict. One approach of predicting such future changes is to examine the trends in the historical rainfall data at a given region and use the identified trends to make future prediction. For this, a statistical trend test is commonly applied to the historical data. This paper examines the trends of daily extreme rainfall events from 30 rain gauges located in the State of Qatar. Rainfall data covering from 1962 to 2011 were used in the analysis. A combination of four non-parametric and parametric tests was applied to identify trends at 10%, 5%, and 1% significance levels. These tests are Mann-Kendall (MK), Spearman’s Rho (SR), Linear Regression (LR) and CUSUM tests. These tests showed both positive and negative trends throughout the country. Only eight stations showed positive (upward) trend, which were however not statistically significant. In contrast, significant negative (downward) trends were found at the 5% and 10% levels of significance in six stations. The MK, SR and LR tests exhibited very similar results. This finding has important implications in the derivation/upgrade of design rainfall for Qatar, which will affect design and operation of future urban drainage infrastructure in Qatar.

Keywords: Climate Change, Trends, extreme rainfall, Qatar, daily rainfall, Mann-Kendall test

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18 Distracted Driving among Young Drivers in Qatar

Authors: Khaled Shaaban

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Distracted driving, which includes anything that distracts a driver from the main task of driving, is one of the main causes of traffic accidents in modern societies. The objective of this research was to understand the type of activities that young drivers perform while driving in Qatar and to identify which activities cause the most distraction to the driver based on their experience. The data was collected through administered questionnaires in the city of Doha, Qatar. According to the participants, the majority reported that they use their cell phone all the time or occasionally while driving. Other significantly cited activities while driving included listening to music or radio, talking with passengers, and eating, drinking or smoking. When asked about the activities that distract the driver, using cell phone was listed as the most distracting activity followed by mental activities and adjusting GPS and audio device vehicle.

Keywords: Driver Distraction, Qatar, young drivers, cell phone use

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17 Validation of the Arabic Version of the InterSePT Scale for Suicidal Thinking (ISST) among the Arab Population in Qatar

Authors: S. Hammoudeh, S. Ghuloum, A. Abdelhakam, A. AlMujalli, M. Opler, Y. Hani, A. Yehya, S. Mari, R. Elsherbiny, Z. Mahfoud, H. Al-Amin

Abstract:

Introduction: Suicidal ideation and attempts are very common in patients with schizophrenia and still contributes to the high mortality in this population. The InterSePT Scale for Suicidal Thinking (ISST) is a validated tool used to assess suicidal ideation in patients with schizophrenia. This research aims to validate the Arabic version of the ISST among the Arabs residing in Qatar. Methods: Patients diagnosed with schizophrenia were recruited from the department of Psychiatry, Rumailah Hospital, Doha, Qatar. Healthy controls were recruited from the primary health care centers in Doha, Qatar. The validation procedures including professional and expert translation, pilot survey and back translation of the ISST were implemented. Diagnosis of schizophrenia was confirmed using the validated Arabic version of Mini International Neuropsychiatric Interview (MINI 6, module K) for schizophrenia. The gold standard was the module B on suicidality from MINI 6 also. This module was administered by a rater who was blinded to the results of ISST. Results: Our sample (n=199) was composed of 98 patients diagnosed with schizophrenia (age 36.03 ± 9.88 years; M/F is 2/1) and 101 healthy participants (age 35.01 ± 8.23 years; M/F is 1/2). Among patients with schizophrenia: 26.5% were married, 17.3% had a college degree, 28.6% were employed, 9% had committed suicide once, and 4.4% had more than 4 suicide attempts. Among the control group: 77.2% were married, 57.4% had a college degree, and 99% were employed. The mean score on the ISST was 2.36 ± 3.97 vs. 0.47 ± 1.44 for the schizophrenia and control groups, respectively. The overall Cronbach’s alpha was 0.91. Conclusions: This is the first study in the Arab world to validate the ISST in an Arabic-based population. The psychometric properties indicate that the Arabic version of the ISST is a valid tool to assess the severity of suicidal ideation in Arabic speaking patients diagnosed with schizophrenia.

Keywords: Schizophrenia, Mental Health, Suicide, Qatar

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16 Genetic Analysis of the Endangered Mangrove Species Avicennia Marina in Qatar Detected by Inter-Simple Sequence Repeat DNA Markers

Authors: Talaat Ahmed, Amna Babssail

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Mangroves are evergreen trees and grow along the coastal areas of Qatar. The largest and oldest area of mangroves can be found around Al-Thakhira and Al-Khor. Other mangrove areas originate from fairly recent plantings by the government, although unfortunately the picturesque mangrove lake in Al-Wakra has now been uprooted. Avicinnia marina is the predominant mangrove species found in the region. Mangroves protect and stabilize low lying coastal land, and provide protection and food sources for estuarine and coastal fishery food chains. They also serve as feeding, breeding and nursery grounds for a variety of fish, crustaceans, reptiles, birds and other wildlife. A total of 21 individuals of A. marina, representing seven diverse Natural and artificial populations, were sampled throughout its range in Qatar. Leaves from 2-3 randomly selected trees at each location were collected. The locations are as follows: Al-Rawis, Ras-Madpak, Fuwairt, Summaseima, Al-khour, AL-Mafjar and Zekreet. Total genomic DNA was extracted using commercial DNeasy Plant System (Qiagen, Inc., Valencia, CA) kit to be used for genetic diversity analysis. Total of 12 (Inter-Simple Sequence Repeat) ISSR primers were used to amplify DNA fragments using genomic DNA. The 12 ISSR primers amplified polymorphic bands among mangrove samples in different areas as well as within each area indicating the existing of variation within each area and among the different areas of mangrove in Qatar. The results could characterize Avicinnia marina populations exist in different areas of Qatar and establish DNA fingerprint documentations for mangrove population to be used in further studies. Moreover, existing of genetic variation within and among Avicinnia marina populations is a strong indication for the ability of such populations to adapt different environmental conditions in Qatar. This study could be a warning to save mangrove in Qatar and save the environment as well.

Keywords: Genetic Analysis, Qatar, DNA fingerprint, Avicinnia marina

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15 Production of Date Juice Infused with Natural Antioxidants from Qatari Herbs

Authors: Tahra Elobeid, Noura Al-Wahiemed, Jawaher Al-shammari, Wedad Al-Asmar

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The aim of this study is to utilize Qatari raw materials in the production of a date juice high in antioxidants. The antioxidants were extracted from five Qatari herbs: Caspian manna, Tetraena mongolica, Capparis spinosa, Ziziphus Vulgaris and Lycium shawii. The date juice was prepared in the lab and was infused with the polyphenolic extracts from the 5 different Qatari herbs. The date juice was then infused with the antioxidant containing the highest antioxidant activity and was within the acceptable range in sensory evaluation scale. The phenolic content for Lycium shawii, Alhagi maurorum, Ziziphus Vulgaris, Capparis spinosa and Tetraena mongolica was 4294 ppm, 3843 ppm, 804.59 ppm, 189.14 ppm and 226 ppm respectively, whereas their antioxidant capacity of was 6.21 %, 45.27 %, 69.81 %, 2.96 % and 8.63 % respectively. The highest antioxidant capacity was found in Ziziphus Vulgaris 69.8 % and the highest phenolic content was found in Lycium shawii 4294 ppm. Alhagi maurorum, Tetraena mongolica and Lycium shawii showed good results in terms of taste and aroma however Ziziphus Vulgaris exhibited bitter flavor. Alhagi maurorum antioxidant extract was used to be added to the date juice due to its high phenolic content, high antioxidant capacity, good taste and aroma.

Keywords: Herbs, Antioxidants, Qatar, dates

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14 Factors Impacting Technology Integration in EFL Classrooms: A Study of Qatari Independent Schools

Authors: Youmen Chaaban, Maha Ellili-Cherif

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The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of teachers’ individual characteristics and perceptions of environmental factors that impact their technology integration into their EFL (English as a Foreign Language) classrooms. To this end, a national survey examining EFL teachers’ perceptions was conducted at Qatari Independent schools. 263 EFL teachers responded to the survey which investigated several factors known to impact technology integration. These factors included technology availability and support, EFL teachers’ perceptions of importance, obstacles facing technology integration, competency with technology use, and formal technology preparation. The impact of these factors on teachers’ and students’ educational technology use was further measured. The analysis of the data included descriptive statistics and a chi-square analysis test in order to examine the relationship between these factors. The results revealed important cultural factors that impact teachers’ practices and attitudes towards technology in the Qatari context. EFL teachers were found to integrate technology most prominently for instructional delivery and preparation. The use of technology as a learning tool received less emphasis. Teachers further revealed consistent perceptions about obstacles to integration, high levels of confidence in using technology, and consistent beliefs about the importance of using technology as a learning tool. Further analyses of the factors impacting technology integration can assist with Qatar’s technology advancement and development efforts by indicating the areas of strength and areas where additional efforts are needed. The results will lay the foundation for conducting context-specific professional development suitable for the needs of EFL teachers in Qatari Independent Schools.

Keywords: ICT, Independent Schools, Qatar, EFL, educational technology integration

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13 General Evaluation of a Three-Year Holistic Physical Activity Interventions Program in Qatar Campuses: Step into Health (SIH) in Campuses 2013- 2016

Authors: Daniela Salih Khidir, Mohamed G. Al Kuwari, Mercia V. Walt, Izzeldin J. Ibrahim

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Background: University-based physical activity interventions aim to establish durable social patterns during the transition to adulthood. This study is a comprehensive evaluation of a 3-year intervention-based program to increase the culture of physical activity (PA) routine in Qatar campuses community, using a holistic approach. Methodology: General assessment methods: formative evaluation-SIH Campuses logic model design, stakeholders’ identification; process evaluation-members’ step counts analyze and qualitative Appreciative Inquiry session (4-D model); daily steps categorized as: ≤5,000, inactive; 5,000-7,499 low active; ≥7,500, physically active; outcome evaluation - records 3 years interventions. Holistic PA interventions methods: walking interventions - pedometers distributions and walking competitions for students and staff; educational interventions - in campuses implementation of bilingual educational materials, lectures, video related to PA in prevention of non-communicable diseases (NCD); articles published online; monthly emails and sms notifications for pedometer use; mass media campaign - radio advertising, yearly pre/post press releases; community stakeholders interventions-biyearly planning/reporting/achievements rewarding/ qualitative meetings; continuous follow-up communication, biweekly steps reports. Findings: Results formative evaluation - SIH in Campuses logic model identified the need of PA awareness and education within universities, resources, activities, health benefits, program continuity. Results process evaluation: walking interventions: Phase 1: 5 universities recruited, 2352 members, 3 months competition; Phase 2: 6 new universities recruited, 1328 members in addition, 4 months competition; Phase 3: 4 new universities recruited in addition, 1210 members, 6 months competition. Results phase 1 and 2: 1,299 members eligible for analyzes: 800 females (62%), 499 males (38%); 86% non-Qataris, 14% Qatari nationals, daily step count 5,681 steps, age groups 18–24 (n=841; 68%) students, 25–64; (n=458; 35.3%) staff; 38% - low active, 37% physically active and 25% inactive. The AI main themes engaging stakeholders: awareness/education - 5 points (100%); competition, multi levels of involvement in SIH, community-based program/motivation - 4 points each (80%). The AI points represent themes’ repetition within stakeholders’ discussions. Results education interventions: 2 videos implementation, 35 000 educational materials, 3 online articles, 11 walking benefits lectures, 40 emails and sms notifications. Results community stakeholders’ interventions: 6 stakeholders meetings, 3 rewarding gatherings, 1 focus meeting, 40 individual reports, 18 overall reports. Results mass media campaign: 1 radio campaign, 7 press releases, 52 campuses newsletters. Results outcome evaluation: overall 2013-2016, the study used: 1 logic model, 3 PA holistic interventions, partnerships 15 universities, registered 4890 students and staff (aged 18-64 years), engaged 30 campuses stakeholders and 14 internal stakeholders; Total registered population: 61.5% female (2999), 38.5% male (1891), 20.2% (988) Qatari nationals, 79.8% (3902) non-Qataris, 55.5% (2710) students aged 18 – 25 years, 44.5% (2180) staff aged 26 - 64 years. Overall campaign 1,558 members eligible for analyzes: daily step count 7,923; 37% - low active, 43% physically active and 20% inactive. Conclusion: The study outcomes confirm program effectiveness and engagement of young campuses community, specifically female, in PA. The authors recommend implementations of 'holistic PA intervention program approach in Qatar' aiming to impact the community at national level for PA guidelines achievement in support of NCD prevention.

Keywords: Evaluation, Campuses, Qatar, step-count

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12 Three Year Pedometer Based Physical Activity Intervention of the Adult Population in Qatar

Authors: Suzan Sayegh, Mercia I. Van Der Walt, Izzeldin E. L. J. Ibrahim, Mohamed G. Al-Kuwari, Manaf Kamil

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Background: Increased physical activity is associated with improvements in health conditions. Walking is recognized as an easy form of physical activity and a strategy used in health promotion. Step into Health (SIH), a national community program, was established in Qatar to support physical activity promotion through the monitoring of step counts. This study aims to assess the physical activity levels of the adult population in Qatar through a pedometer-based community program over a three-year-period. Methodology: This cross-sectional longitudinal study was conducted between from January 2013 and December 2015 based on daily step counts. A total of 15,947 adults (8,551 males and 7,396 females), from different nationalities enrolled in the program and aged 18 to 64, are included. The program involves free distribution of pedometers to members who voluntarily choose to register. It is also supported by a self-monitoring online account and linked to a web-database. All members are informed about the 10,000 steps/day target and automated emails as well as text messages are sent as reminders to upload data. Daily step counts were measured through the Omron HJ-324U pedometer (Omron Healthcare Co., Ltd., Japan). Analyses are done on the data extracted from the web-database. Results: Daily average step count for the overall community increased from 4,830 steps/day (2013) to 6,124 steps /day (2015). This increase was also observed within the three age categories (18–30), (31-45) and (>45) years. Average steps per day were found to be more among males compared with females in each of the aforementioned age groups. Moreover, males and females in the age group (>45 years) show the highest average step count with 7,010 steps/day and 5,564 steps/day respectively. The 21% increase in overall step count throughout the study period is associated with well-resourced program and ongoing impact in smaller communities such as workplaces and universities, a step in the right direction. However, the average step count of 6,124 steps/day in the third year is still classified as the low active category. Although the program showed an increase step count we found, 33% of the study population are low active, 35 % are sedentary with only 32% being active. Conclusion: This study indicates that the pedometer-based intervention was effective in increasing the daily physical activity of participants. However, alternative approaches need to be incorporated within the program to educate and encourage the community to meet the physical activity recommendations in relation to step count.

Keywords: Physical Activity, Qatar, pedometer, step count

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11 Impact of Adolescent Smoking on the Behaviour, Academic and Health Aspects in Qatar

Authors: Abdelsalam Gomaa, Mahjabeen Ramzan, Tooba Ali Akbar, Huma Nadeem

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The use of tobacco and the health risks linked to it are well known in this day and age due to the presence of easily available information through the internet. The media is a powerful platform that is used by many anti-smoking awareness campaigns to reach their target audience; yet, it has been found that adolescents are taking up smoking every passing day. Half of this smoking population of youngsters resides in Asia alone, which includes Qatar, the focus country of this study. As smoking happens to be one of the largest avoidable causes of serious diseases like cancers and heart problems, children are taking up smoking at an alarming rate everywhere including Qatar. Importance of the health of the citizens of Qatar is one of the pillars of the Qatar vision 2030, which is to ensure a healthy population, both physically and mentally. Since the youth makes up a significant percentage of the population and in order to achieve the health objectives of the Qatar vision 2030, it is essential to ensure the health and well-being of this part of the population of the country as they are the future of Qatar. Children, especially boys who tend to be more aggressive by nature, are highly likely to develop behavioral and health issues due to smoking at an early age. Research conducted around the world has also emphasized on this association between the smokers developing a bad behaviour as well as poor social communication skills. However, due to lack of research into this association, very little is known about the extent to which smoking impacts the children’s academics, health and behaviour. Moreover, a study of this nature has not yet been conducted in Qatar previously as most of the studies focus on adult smokers and ways to minimize the number of smoking habits in universities and workplaces. This study solely focuses on identifying a relationship between smoking and its impacts on the adolescents by conducting a research on different schools across Qatar.

Keywords: Adolescents, Smoking, Qatar, modelling techniques

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10 Seroprevalence of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS-Cov) Infection among Healthy and High Risk Individuals in Qatar

Authors: Gheyath Nasrallah, Raham El-Kahlout, Hadi Yassin, Asmaa Athani, Marwan Abou Madi

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Background: Since its first isolation in September 2012, Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) has diffused across 27 countries infecting more than two thousand individuals with a high case fatality rate. MERS-CoV–specific antibodies are widely found in Dromedary camel along with viral shedding of similar viruses detected in human at same region, suggesting that MERS epidemiology may be central role by camel. Interestingly, MERS-CoV has also been also reported to be asymptomatic or to cause influenza-like mild illnesses. Therefore, in a country like Qatar (bordered Saudi Arabia), where camels are widely spread, serological surveys are important to explore the role of camels in MERS-CoV transmission. However, widespread strategic serological surveillances of MERS-CoV among populations, particularly in endemic country, are infrequent. In the absence of clear epidemiological view, cross-sectional MERS antibody surveillances in human populations are of global concern. Method: We performed a comparative serological screening of 4719 healthy blood donors, 135 baseline case contacts (high risk individual), and four MERS confirmed patients (by PCR) for the presence of anti-MERS IgG. Initially, samples were screened using Euroimmune anti- MERS-CoV IgG ELISA kit, the only commercial kit available in the market and recommended by the CDC as a screening kit. To confirm ELISA test results, farther serological testing was performed for all borderline and positive samples using two assays; the anti MERS-CoV IgG and IgM Euroimmune indirect immunofluorescent test (IIFT) and pseudoviral particle neutralizing assay (PPNA). Additionally, to test cross reactivity of anti-MERS-CoV antibody with other family members of coronavirus, borderline and positive samples were tested for the presence of the of IgG antibody of the following viruses; SARS, HCoV-229E, HKU1 using the Euroimmune IIFT for SARS and HCoV-229E and ELISA for HKU1. Results: In all of 4858 screened 15 samples [10 donors (0.21%, 10/4719), 1 case contact (0.77 %, 1/130), 3 patients (75%, 3/4)] anti-MERS IgG reactive/borderline samples were seen in ELISA. However, only 7 (0.14%) of them gave positive with in IIFT and only 3 (0.06%) was confirmed by the specific anti-MERS PPNA. One of the interesting findings was, a donor, who was selected in the control group as a negative anti-MERS IgG ELISA, yield reactive for anti-MERS IgM IIFT and was confirmed with the PPNA. Further, our preliminary results showed that there was a strong cross reactivity between anti- MERS-COV IgG with both HCoV-229E or anti-HKU1 IgG, yet, no cross reactivity of SARS were found. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that MERS-CoV is not heavily circulated among the population of Qatar and this is also indicated by low number of confirmed cases (only 18) since 2012. Additionally, the presence of antibody of other pathogenic human coronavirus may cause false positive results of both ELISA and IIFT, which stress the need for more evaluation studies for the available serological assays. Conclusion: this study provides an insight about the epidemiological view for MERS-CoV in Qatar population. It also provides a performance evaluation for the available serologic tests for MERS-CoV in a view of serologic status to other human coronaviruses.

Keywords: Qatar, seroprevalence, MERS-CoV, healthy individuals

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9 Update Mosquito Species Composition and Distribution in Qatar

Authors: Fatima Alkhayat, Abu Hassan Ahmed

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Qatar as the one of Middle East and Gulf country is growing rapidly due to urbanization. Urbanization, population’s movement and goods transportation in addition to climatic change all together create suitable environments for remerging and/or introduction of new disease vectors species. Unfortunately, knowledge on mosquito species composition and their geographical distribution in Qatar is extremely limited. The objective of present study is to provide update information on species composition and distribution. Mosquito larval survey carried out in six sentinel sites in Qatar. The collection was made on monthly basis in period from October 2013 to May 2015 using dipping techniques and identified to species level using appropriate pictorial keys. In total about 3,085 mosquito larvae were collected and identified to species compromising three mosquito genera, Culex 87.4% (n=2697), Ochlerotatus 9.9% (n= 305) and Anopheles 2.6% (n= 81). Among Culex genera; Culex quinquefasciatus represent 87.8% (n= 2369), Cx. pipiens 8.7% (n=237), and Cx. mattinglyi 3.4% (n=91). Culex quinquefasciatus was the most commonly collected species, representing 93.5% in Alwakra (n= 2216) which was observed in November, December, March, April and May when reached the peak. 6.4% in Nuaija (n= 151) was found in February and March and reached the peak in March. 0.1% in Alkaraana (n=2) only observed in April. Cx. pipiens was observed 50.2% in Rwdat Alfaras (n=120) and 48.9% in Hazm Almurkhiya (n=117). While in Rowdat Alfaras it was observed in Oct-May and in Hazm Almurkhiya from Oct-April. Cx. mattinglyi (n= 91) was only found in Nuaija from October to December. Ochlerotatus genera account 1 species Oc. dorsalis (n=305). The majority of Oc. dorsalis were observed in March and May, 98% in Nuaija (n= 299), followed by 2% in Alkhor (n=6) which was observed in January and February. Anopheles was only represented by An. stephensi which was found 69% in Alwakra (n= 56) in November, December, April and May, while 25.9% in Hazm Almurkhiya (n=21) and found in May and November. 6.2% in Rwadat Alfaras and was observed only in November and 1.2% in Nuaija (n=1) and observed in October. Further investigation is required on the composition and distribution of mosquito for implementing a surveillance program and control of mosquito-borne diseases in Qatar.

Keywords: Composition, Distribution, Qatar, mosquito

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8 Challenges to Collaborative Learning in Architectural Education in the Middle East

Authors: Lizmol Mathew, Divya Thomas, Shiney Rajan

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Educational paradigm all over the globe is undergoing significant reform today. Because of this, so-called flipped classroom model is becoming increasingly popular in higher education. Flipped classroom has proved to be more effective than traditional lecture based model as flipped classroom model promotes active learning by encouraging students to work on in collaborative tasks and peer-led learning during the class-time. However, success of flipped classrooms relies on students’ ability and their attitudes towards collaboration and group work. This paper examines: 1) Students’ attitudes towards collaborative learning; 2) Main challenges to successful collaboration from students’ experience and 3) Students’ perception of criteria for successful team work. 4) Recommendations for enhancing collaborative learning. This study’s methodology involves quantitative analysis of surveys collected from students enrolled in undergraduate Architecture program at Qatar University. Analysis indicates that in general students enrolled in the program do not have positive perceptions or experiences associated with group work. Positive and negative factors that influence collaborative learning in higher education have been identified. Recommendations for improving collaborative work experience have been proposed.

Keywords: Higher Education, Female, Middle East, Architecture, Collaborative Learning, Student Experience, Qatar, group work

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7 Burial Findings in Prehistory Qatar: Archaeological Perspective

Authors: Sherine El-Menshawy

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Death, funerary beliefs and customs form an essential feature of belief systems and practices in many cultures. It is evident that during the pre-historical periods, various techniques of corpses burial and funerary rituals were conducted. Occasionally, corpses were merely buried in the sand, or in a grave where the body is placed in a contracted position- with knees drawn up under the chin and hands normally lying before the face- with mounds of sand, marking the grave or the bodies were burnt. However, common practice, that was demonstrable in the archaeological record, was burial. The earliest graves were very simple consisting of a shallow circular or oval pits in the ground. The current study focuses on the material culture at Qatar during the pre-historical period, specifically their funerary architecture and burial practices. Since information about burial customs and funerary practices in Qatar prehistory is both scarce and fragmentary, the importance of such study is to answer research questions related to funerary believes and burial habits during the early stages of civilization transformations at prehistory Qatar compared with Mesopotamia, since chronologically, the earliest pottery discovered in Qatar belongs to prehistoric Ubaid culture of Mesopotamia, that was collected from the excavations. This will lead to deep understanding of life and social status in pre-historical period at Qatar. The research also explores the relationship between pre-history Qatar funerary traditions and those of neighboring cultures in the Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt, with the aim of ascertaining the distinctive aspects of pre-history Qatar culture, the reception of classical culture and the role it played in the creation of local cultural identities in the Near East. Methodologies of this study based on published books and articles in addition to unpublished reports of the Danish excavation team that excavated in and around Doha, Qatar archaeological sites from the 50th. The study is also constructed on compared material related to burial customs found in Mesopotamia. Therefore this current research: (i) Advances knowledge of the burial customs of the ancient people who inhabited Qatar, a study which is unknown recently to scholars, the study though will apply deep understanding of the history of ancient Qatar and its culture and values with an aim to share this invaluable human heritage. (ii) The study is of special significance for the field of studies, since evidence derived from the current study has great value for the study of living conditions, social structure, religious beliefs and ritual practices. (iii) Excavations brought to light burials of different categories. The graves date to the bronze and Iron ages. Their structure varies between mounds above the ground or burials below the ground level. Evidence comes from sites such as Al-Da’asa, Ras Abruk, and Al-Khor. Painted Ubaid sherds of Mesopotamian culture have been discovered in Qatar from sites such as Al-Da’asa, Ras Abruk, and Bir Zekrit. In conclusion, there is no comprehensive study which has been done and lack of general synthesis of information about funerary practices is problematic. Therefore, the study will fill in the gaps in the area.

Keywords: Prehistory, Qatar, burial, archaeological, findings

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6 Factors Affecting Sustainable Water Management in Water-Challenged Societies: Case Study of Doha Qatar

Authors: L. Mathew, D. Thomas

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Qatar is a desert country with scarce fresh water resources, low rainfall and very high evaporation rate. It meets the majority of its water requirement through desalination process which is very expensive. Pressures are expected to mount on account of high population growth rate and demands posed by being the venue for 2022 FIFA World cup. This study contributes towards advancing the knowledge of the factors affecting sustainable water consumption in water-challenged societies by examining the case of Doha, Qatar. Survey research methods have been predominantly used for this research. Surveys were conducted using self-administered questionnaires. Focused group interviews and personal interviews with Qatar’s residents were also used to obtain deeper insights. Salient socio-cultural factors that drive the water consumption behavior of the public and which in turn affect sustainable water management practices are determined. Suggestions for reducing water consumption as well as fiscal and punitive measures to curb overuse and misuse of water are also identified.

Keywords: Middle East, Water management, Sustainability, water consumption, Qatar

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5 Functional Significance of Qatari Camels Milk: Antioxidant Content and Antimicrobial Activity of Protein Fractions

Authors: Tahra Elobeid, Omnya Ahmed, Reem Al-Sharshani, Doaa Dalloul, Jannat Alnattei

Abstract:

Background: Camelus dormedarius camels are also called ‘the Arabian camels’ and are present in the desert area of North Africa and the Middle East. Recently, camel’s milk has a great attention globally because of their proteins and peptides that have been reported to be beneficial for the health and in the management of many diseases. Objectives: This study was designed to investigate the antioxidant, antimicrobial activity and to evaluate the total phenolic content of camel’s milk proteins in Qatar. Methods: Fresh two camel’s milk samples from Omani breed and called Muhajer (camel’s milk A and B) were collected on the 1st of the December. Both samples were from the same location Al- Shahaniyah, Doha, Qatar, but from different local private farms and feeding system. Camel’s milk A and B were defatted by centrifugation and their proteins were extracted by acid and thermal precipitation. The antioxidant activity was determined by 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay. Total phenolic compound (TPC) was evaluated by Folin-Ciocalteu reagent (FCR). On the other hand, the antimicrobial activity against eight different type of pathogenic bacteria was evaluated by disc diffusion method and the zone of inhibition was measured. Results: The of the total phenolic content of whole milk in both camel’s milk A and B were significantly the highest among the protein extracts. The % of the DPPH radical inhibition of casein protein in both camel’s milk A and B were significantly the highest among the protein extracts. In this study, there were marked changes in the antibacterial activity in the different camel milk protein extracts. All extracts showed bacterial overgrowth. Conclusion: The antioxidant activity of the camel milk protein extracts correlated to their unique phenolic compounds and bioactive protein peptides. The antimicrobial activity was not detected perhaps due to the technique, the quality, or the extraction method. Overall, camel's milk exhibits a high antioxidant activity, which is responsible for many health benefits besides the nutritional values.

Keywords: Antimicrobial activity, Proteins, Qatar, camels milk, antioxidant content

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4 The Nation as Brand: Postcolonial Construction of National Identity in Late 20th/21st Century Qatar

Authors: Ryunhye Kim

Abstract:

Despite its relatively short history as an independent state, Qatar has emerged as a highly regarded Gulf state and global power. Since its independence in September 1971, the state has employed deliberate policy initiatives designed to put Qatar on the map and distinguish it from other Gulf states. Because Qatar and its neighbors are resource-poor apart from energy, whoever is first to introduce a unique aspect of branding not only takes the lead but assumes what is often an insurmountable advantage. This study examines three specific modes of branding undertaken by Qatar: (1) energy policies to utilize its natural gas to become a dominant supplier; (2) the deliberate construction of a distinct cultural brand utilizing sports, architecture, museums, and media; and (3) ‘niche diplomacy’ to serve as a mediator in regional and intra-national conflicts, especially as interlocutor between the United States and Arab regimes and Muslim groups. Gleaning data from a range of sources, this study analyzes the effectiveness and significance of Qatar’s place branding on the global stage, as well as potential disadvantages and limits in this branding, including problems encountered before and after the ‘Qatar crisis.’

Keywords: Qatar, soft-power, national branding, national-identity

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3 Banking Sector Development and Economic Growth: Evidence from the State of Qatar

Authors: Fekri Shawtari

Abstract:

The banking sector plays a very crucial role in the economic development of the country. As a financial intermediary, it has assigned a great role in the economic growth and stability. This paper aims to examine the empirically the relationship between banking industry and economic growth in state of Qatar. We adopt the VAR vector error correction model (VECM) along with Granger causality to address the issue over the long-run and short-run between the banking sector and economic growth. It is expected that the results will give policy directions to the policymakers to make strategies that are conducive toward boosting development to achieve the targeted economic growth in current situation.

Keywords: Economic growth, vector error correction model, Qatar, banking sector, VECM

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2 Factors Affecting Cesarean Section among Women in Qatar Using Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey Database

Authors: Sahar Elsaleh, Ghada Farhat, Shaikha Al-Derham, Fasih Alam

Abstract:

Background: Cesarean section (CS) delivery is one of the major concerns both in developing and developed countries. The rate of CS deliveries are on the rise globally, and especially in Qatar. Many socio-economic, demographic, clinical and institutional factors play an important role for cesarean sections. This study aims to investigate factors affecting the prevalence of CS among women in Qatar using the UNICEF’s Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 2012 database. Methods: The study has focused on the women’s questionnaire of the MICS, which was successfully distributed to 5699 participants. Following study inclusion and exclusion criteria, a final sample of 761 women aged 19- 49 years who had at least one delivery of giving birth in their lifetime before the survey were included. A number of socio-economic, demographic, clinical and institutional factors, identified through literature review and available in the data, were considered for the analyses. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression models, along with a multi-level modeling to investigate clustering effect, were undertaken to identify the factors that affect CS prevalence in Qatar. Results: From the bivariate analyses the study has shown that, a number of categorical factors are statistically significantly associated with the dependent variable (CS). When identifying the factors from a multivariate logistic regression, the study found that only three categorical factors -‘age of women’, ‘place at delivery’ and ‘baby weight’ appeared to be significantly affecting the CS among women in Qatar. Although the MICS dataset is based on a cluster survey, an exploratory multi-level analysis did not show any clustering effect, i.e. no significant variation in results at higher level (households), suggesting that all analyses at lower level (individual respondent) are valid without any significant bias in results. Conclusion: The study found a statistically significant association between the dependent variable (CS delivery) and age of women, frequency of TV watching, assistance at birth and place of birth. These results need to be interpreted cautiously; however, it can be used as evidence-base for further research on cesarean section delivery in Qatar.

Keywords: factors, Qatar, cesarean section, multiple indicator cluster survey, MICS database

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1 Investment Guide in Qatar

Authors: Mohamad Farhad Bakhtiyariyan

Abstract:

One of the manner to earning profit and having a high income, is investing in an acceptable market. Every the thinker brain knows, investing in the business world today, maybe, have a manifold profit or lead to failure. So, before entering in the investment market, we must have a comprehensive and sufficient awareness, know markets, acquainted with the main industrial activities, know the rules and regulation and consider the conditions of society. Qatar, as a one of the richest countries in the world, can be a good destination for investment. The inflation rate, taxes, easiness of the importing, company registration, ease of exporting process, profitable and appropriate markets, simple and applicable rules, all of this has made Qatar, one of the best and gainful investment countries. Above all, Qatar 2022 world cup event, has led of investment in this country efficiently and profitable method. In this paper, first, we have introduced the Qatar and its location, also looked at the countries international markets during the world cup and we have described the impact of the world cup on business, and then the laws and regulations of the Qatar in the field of investment, company registration, ownership by foreigners, obtaining residency by investors, export and import process in second part its examined, and in third part, major investment markets, principal industrial activities in Qatar, markets affected by the world cup and the main needs of this country in various fields during the world cup, have been investigated.

Keywords: Investment, Markets, Qatar, world cup

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