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  Subjects -> SCIENCES: COMPREHENSIVE WORKS (Total: 374 journals)
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  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Online) 2223-506X
Published by QScience Homepage  [13 journals]
  • تعزيز ثقافة القراءة: أدلة من ‘قطر تقرأ’

    • Authors: لوجان كوشران; أوزجان أوزتورك, هانيه ختائي, ريم الأحبابي, فاطمة المالكي هشام نورين
      PubDate: 2022-07-06T00:00:00Z
  • Towards disruptive education: The potential role of artificial
           intelligence in customized learning

    • Authors: Marwen Hjiri; Alexandre Freire Dormeier
      Abstract: This work aims to study the potential role of Artificial Intelligence in customized learning. The rationale behind this particular topic relies on two factors. First of all, the need to highlight the importance of the educational eco-system in Qatar as it considers all levels of education starting from kindergarten to university and higher studies. Education in Qatar has achieved a significant advancement in various areas after adopting independent school systems with international practices and allowing students to join top-ranked universities worldwide. Secondly, the need to find a way to combine Artificial Intelligence (AI) with education to explore the potential of AI in adaptive learning in Qatar. The results show that the utilization of AI in adaptive learning seems to be promising in advancing the quality of education in an unstable instruction setting, such as the experience of the COVID-19 pandemic and the prospect of implementing a versatile education.
      PubDate: 2022-05-19T00:00:00Z
  • Doping in sports and current regulations

    • Authors: Muneera Ahmed Alkhelaifi; Maria Alejandra Martinez
      Abstract: Over the years, numerous agencies were created to build and protect integrity in sports by reviewing the suitability of the existing laws in promoting community confidence in athletics. Doping is defined as the illegal consumption of certain substances in order to enhance athlete's performance and it has recently become a matter of concern. Anti-doping agencies were established to create regulations so players can participate in a doping-free sporting environment. Anti-Doping rules emphasize on the rationale to preserve what is intrinsically valuable about sport. This intrinsic value is often referred to as “the spirit of sport” and is concerned with ethics, fair play and honesty, health, excellence in performance, character and education, respect of rules and laws among other aspects. Hence, the key objective of this critical review is to reiterate on the importance of the criminalization of doping. It highlights the important gaps where immediate interference should take place with focus on the role of medical practitioners, pharmacies and sport science. Such a move is essential, as it will increase the avenue for handling doping cases using additional resources such as the legal framework of a country. Previously published articles were reviewed and the main findings indicate that several factors contribute to the increase in number of doping incidents such as the availability of steroids, facilitated drug trafficking, the involvement of multinational pharmaceutical organizations and other political interests. Moreover, in order to fight this phenomenon, local and international laws should penalize athletes who are engaged in doping at various levels. This criminal offense charges should implement prison sentence as well as imposing significant fine amounts to be paid. The ultimate legal action for offenders should be long-term suspension from participating in sporting events.
      PubDate: 2022-04-30T00:00:00Z
  • Seasonal influenza disease and annual influenza vaccine coverage at
           Primary Health Care Corporation, Qatar, 2018–2019: a descriptive study

    • Authors: Seema Sylvia Dsouza
      Abstract: Background: Influenza is the most common communicable disease in the State of Qatar. The objective of this study was to describe the occurrence of seasonal influenza and influenza vaccine uptake, as well as to analyze whether influenza vaccine efficacy during the 2018/2019 season was met. Primary Health Care Corporation (PHCC) plays an important role in influenza disease surveillance and annual influenza vaccine administration in the country. Therefore, specific data available from this organization would reflect on the surveillance standards in place. However, data on influenza disease burden and vaccination coverage for the season was limited.Methods: A cross-sectional descriptive study was conducted on the retrospective data of influenza-like illness (ILI) cases confirmed during the 2018/2019 influenza season by PHCC and the number of people who received the annual influenza vaccine in PHCC during the same season.Results: ILI and influenza data: A total of 998 ILI cases were considered for this study. Laboratory testing was carried out among 88.5% of the cases. Type A and B infection contributed to 63.4% and 36.4% of the influenza cases, respectively. Furthermore, 87% (n=415) of the total influenza cases were not vaccinated with the season’s influenza vaccine, and 69% (n=18) of the total vaccinated ILI cases (n=26) tested negative for influenza. Influenza vaccine campaign data: Overall, 42,476 individuals were vaccinated with the annual influenza vaccine in PHCC for the 2018/2019 season. Influenza vaccine was administered to 52.3% of people with any one risk factor (mostly chronic diseases) for severe disease due to influenza.Conclusions: The findings of this study on influenza seasonality and etiology were similar to that on previous seasons in the region. Recommendations focused on accurate and elaborate data collection and future research on the factors facilitating influenza vaccine uptake and vaccine effectiveness.
      PubDate: 2022-04-30T00:00:00Z
  • دراسة تأثير كوفيد-19 على الصحة النفسية في
           سوريا مقارنة بعينة من البلاد العربية:
           دراسة متغيرات مستوى القلق قبل اندلاع
           جائحة كوفيد-19 وفي ظل وجودها

    • Authors: باسل عبدالهادي صوفان; باسل عمر بيرقدار ، اياد عبدالهادي صوفان
      Abstract: Background: With the COVID-19 pandemic dramatic outcomes: high death rate, education institutions closure, business deterioration, and lock down with no social or religious gatherings, individuals have experienced several psychiatric disturbances like anxiety. Aims: This study aims to compare the levels of anxiety among people in some Arab countries before and after the COVID-19 pandemic; how the pandemic affected their mental health and lead to the appearance of psychosomatic symptoms. The study includes three variables: gender, work, age. Methods: The study used an online questionnaire that included a number sections, the main section was Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale (HAM-A), In addition to other sections like the demographic information section. We analyzed the data using python (programming language). Results: The study received 559 responders (N=559) from several Arab countries (62.79% Females, 53.31% of participants are 21-30 years old, 53.31% live in Syria). This study found Hamilton Anxiety Rating Scale increased by 5.50 points in Syria, and 4.60 in some other Arab countries with no significant difference (P>0.05). Females aged less than 31 are the most affected people. Conclusion: The number of patients who experience psychological and digestive symptoms is increasing. Moreover, education and work performance have been affected as a result of the increasing levels of anxiety (especially among the youth). We recommend providing mental health support in schools, universities, and workplace.
      PubDate: 2022-04-30T00:00:00Z
  • Data mining indicates an association between ambient PM2.5 levels and wind
           speed in an urban environment (Education City, Doha, Qatar)

    • Authors: Kevin Zhai; Fatema Al-Wahshi, Latifa Mahmoud, Majda Sebah Mohammad S. Yousef
      Abstract: Background: Elevated PM2.5 levels pose serious health hazards and are implicated in numerous acute and chronic conditions. Delineating the contributions of meteorological factors to PM2.5 levels is a daunting task, especially in confined or semiconfined urban spaces. This study aims to (1) characterize the influence of wind speed and direction on outdoor PM2.5 levels within a semiconfined urban environment, and (2) develop a simple and readily accessible data mining method for this purpose. The ultimate goal is to evaluate the extent to which PM2.5 correlations demonstrated in open spaces hold in semiconfined outdoor settings with irregular terrain. Methods: In this study, data mining techniques were applied to retrieve patterns pertaining to the effects of meteorological factors on PM2.5 levels. As a proof of concept, a feasible framework was developed to elucidate the associations between wind speed and direction and PM2.5 levels during May 2020 in Education City, Doha, Qatar. Results and Discussion: The results showed a modest negative correlation between wind speed and PM2.5 levels, at low to moderate, but not high, PM2.5 readings. Meanwhile, no correlation was detected between wind direction and PM2.5 levels. Conclusions: Limited by the geographical location, microenvironment, and duration of this study, it can be said with moderate statistical confidence that low PM2.5 readings are associated with high wind speeds. As a result, increasing wind speed may be beneficial at low to moderate PM2.5 levels. However, delineating a single contributing factor to high PM2.5 readings may prove infeasible. Moreover, an association with wind direction was not immediately obvious, possibly due to microenvironmental limitations. These findings underscore the applicability of data mining and the importance of microenvironmental factors in air quality research and mitigation.
      PubDate: 2022-02-28T00:00:00Z
  • The improvement in PM2.5 levels in Education City, Doha, Qatar during the
           COVID-19 lockdown was limited and transient

    • Authors: Latifa Mahmoud; Fatema Al-Wahshi, Kevin Zhai, Majda Sebah Mohammad S. Yousef
      Abstract: Background: The COVID-19 lockdown reduced anthropogenic activities worldwide and therefore provided a unique opportunity to investigate the factors that impact air pollution. Here, we investigated the effect of the COVID-19 lockdown on particulate matter (PM2.5) levels in Education City, Doha, Qatar. Methods: Ambient air samples were collected in real time from two stations within Education City during 2019 and 2020. PM2.5 data collected from four different seasons during the lockdown were compared with their corresponding pre-lockdown levels. Results: No significant changes in PM2.5 levels were observed during the spring and fall seasons. A 10% decline in the PM2.5 level was observed post-lockdown in the summer season, whereas a 33% increase in the PM2.5 level was observed post-lockdown during the winter season. Conclusion: The decline in PM2.5 levels in Education City during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown was transient and modest. No significant decline in PM2.5 levels was detected for most of the year. Therefore, anthropogenic activities (vehicular and industrial) could have had season-dependent effects on ambient PM2.5 levels within Education City.
      PubDate: 2022-02-28T00:00:00Z
  • Process Pattern Recognition for Building Information Models:A Case Study

    • Authors: Haya Al-Roum; Ruqaya Al-Sabah
      Abstract: Background: The fourth dimension of building information modeling (BIM) plays a significant role in construction planning by linking the construction schedule to the existing building information model. However, a difficulty may arise concerning the ease with which a link can be made and modified. Pattern-based techniques that search for recurring processes can help eliminate this drawback by producing predefined process templates. Methods: This paper critically examines the applicability of generating pre-defined process templates for BIM-based schedules using process pattern recognition techniques to reduce the effort of defining the construction schedules and integrating the templates into the BIM data. The technique estimates the level of recurrence of certain tasks within a schedule by applying several metrics. A real-life construction schedule from a housing project in the State of Kuwait was decomposed into numerous sub-schedules based on a set criterion to estimate the level of recurrence, the sub-schedules were compared based on structural and contextual similarities. Results and Discussion: The generated process templates produced demonstrated that the approach is ideal for projects with repetitive processes and that by utilizing the templates, linking building elements to tasks in 4D modeling can be greatly facilitated, thereby reducing the planning time. Conclusion: This study corroborates the results of previous literature, which found that the improvement in the efficiency of construction planning could be achieved by applying reusable process templates. The generated templates should enable the idea of storing the process templates in data banks for detecting undesired regularities in previous schedules in preparation for future use.
      PubDate: 2022-01-31T00:00:00Z
  • How to Improve the Quality of Living in Smart Cities: Recommendations for
           a Citizen-centric Strategic Approach for Msheireb'

    • Authors: Salma Mohamed Al Sulaiti
      Abstract: Various countries across the globe have implemented smart city initiatives to enhance the quality of living (QoL) for their citizens and other frequent users by offering smart services and innovative solutions. However, in many cases, end-users are often neglected during the planning, designing, and implementation phases of smart cities, which can impact the success of locally-based initiatives because their needs are not always fully taken into consideration. This research aims at exploring the approach of citizen-centricity in smart cities, define their key components, investigate the gap and challenges as perceived by citizens, users, and developers, and propose strategic recommendations for ways to enhance the QoL in Msheireb Smart City (MSC). The primary research was conducted to investigate citizens’ satisfaction, experience, usage of services, and to collect their feedback on areas of improvements in MSC. The results show that MSC’s users had low level of awareness about the smart services offered in the city, which resulted in less frequent use of the services. Based on this research, the strategic recommendations advise that smart city decision-makers should recognize citizens’ needs and preferences by implementing a customer relationship management strategy, promote citizens’ inclusion and engagement by establishing a citizen-centric inclusion strategy, and improve their awareness and usage of services by implementing a marketing campaign strategy.
      PubDate: 2021-10-21T00:00:00Z
  • Factors that contribute to the internationalization of the Qatari Small
           and Medium Enterprises

    • Authors: Hamad Al Jaber; Marios Katsioloudes
      Abstract: This study aims to identify the factors that the Qatari government can contribute to Qatar’s internationalization of Small-Medium Enterprises (SME). In addition, it highlights the current role played with a variation of the future proposed programs. The obstacles faced by entrepreneurs also have been identified, and was accompanied by counterparts’ views from the country’s officials. This study involved an online survey shared with 100 business owners and people working in the private sectors targeted through different mediums with help from Qatar Development Bank and their subsidiaries. The overall conclusion from the data analyzed is that there are still missing factors that the country lacks regulations, facilities, and education. However, there is evidence that the Qatari regulator moves in the right direction with the different initiatives and programs. Therefore, even though there are existing facilities, the programs offered do not fit the entrepreneurs’ needs. The entrepreneurs lack the managerial and marketing skills and the power in bargaining and negotiation with external stakeholders. The main recommendation is to set national private sector/SME advancement techniques within the broader national advancement translated in a centralized portal based on the overall conclusion. Different recommendations have been proposed to provide proper training programs’ implementation plan. The proposals include the capacity of the Qatari government to actualize sound macroeconomic arrangements. The training programs to involve the teachers’ development expand the learner’s ranks, content sharing facility, and instructional methods redesigning. In addition, accessibility to loans and advanced finance equity, mainly to medium and long-term opportunities to grow SMEs’ exchange and venture capacity align with the Qatari National Vision 2030, whereas keeping up sound government accounts will offer assistance to the accessibility of finance for improvement purposes.
      PubDate: 2021-10-21T00:00:00Z
  • A Call for implementing minimum age condition to protect young
           athletes‘ human rights

    • Authors: Buthaina Mohammed Al Kuwari; Geraldine Van Bueren
      Abstract: Sport is considered a favorable activity for children. Through participating in sport, children can acquire several skills and develop character traits like cooperation, teamwork, resilience, and focus. Nevertheless, it has been argued that children’s rights might be violated in sport at an elite level, primarily due to the intensive training given at an early age. More specifically, it was reported that approximately 20 percent of children involved in competitive sports may be at risk of abuse, violence, or exploitation, while 10 percent may be at risk of extreme abuse. This paper focusses on the lack of international law provisions to protect children who participate in elite sports and hence argue for a more effective protection. This gives rise to the need for an enforcement mechanism in the International Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) specifically for elite-level sports. Thus, the international law could have a positive impact on domestic laws regarding young athletes in competitive sports. As a possible way through, this paper will examine the idea of imposing minimum age limit, including legal examples, as a potential solution to help protect children’s rights in sport.
      PubDate: 2021-10-21T00:00:00Z
  • Digital diplomacy during the first 100 days: How GCC ministries of foreign
           affairs and ministers tweeted the blockade

    • Authors: Tarfa Al-Mansouri; Haya Al-Mohannadi Mariam Feroun
      Abstract: Since the sudden outbreak of what is known as the GCC crisis or the blockade on June 5, 2017, the four nations in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) involved in the conflict –the State of Qatar, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the Kingdom of Bahrain – have found themselves in a diplomatic race for the support of their position on the rift in traditional media, as well as on social media platforms. This paper focuses on the different ways the ministries of foreign affairs (MOFAs) and the ministers of foreign affairs (MFAs) used Twitter as an instrument of digital diplomacy during the first 100 days of the GCC crisis. In general, states tweet on a daily basis, and the ways in which a sovereign state presents itself online offers an insight into the patterns of representation of state identity, strategy, emotional expression, and recognition of others. This study is based on the content analysis of tweets created by the MOFAs and their respective MFAs of the GCC, with a focus on Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain over the first 100 days of the crisis (June 5, 2017–September 13, 2017).This paper uses different types of tweets to examine the various kinds of political and diplomatic discourses perpetuated on Twitter by the GCC officials, in order to engage the online public sphere and navigate the domestic and international discourses. For example, if ministers engage in dialogue with their followers, then they are exercising a two-way digital diplomacy approach via Twitter. On the contrary, when they tweet about their bilateral meetings, it is an example of a one-way digital diplomacy approach, since they do not require any response from their followers. It was of specific interest to examine the differences of topic, content, and frequency of tweets, through the communication in Arabic and English. The study shows that the countries engaged in discourse around the topic of the blockade, but the type of discourse differed significantly depending on the state itself. While some chose to focus on the idea of legitimizing their stance on the topic of the blockade (i.e. Saudi Arabia), others were more direct in voicing their viewpoint, creating specific hashtags such as “#boycottQatar” (i.e. Bahrain). In addition, Qatar differed significantly in terms of the volume of tweets and the topic, tweeting often in both Arabic and English and shifting their focus towards affirming their strong diplomatic relations with countries outside the GCC, such as the Republic of Turkey. Overall, this study aims to compare the way the four GCC countries used Twitter, in order to engage their local and international communities to disseminate an image or a message.
      PubDate: 2021-01-31T00:00:00Z
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