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  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Online) 2223-506X
Published by QScience Homepage  [13 journals]
  • DNA barcoding of Squamata fauna in Qatar

    • Authors: Yousef Al-Najjar; Dan Cogălniceanu, Aitor Valdeó Kuei-Chiu Chen
      Abstract: Background: DNA barcoding allows for species identification and description of genetic diversity. However, in the Middle East, information on genetic diversity is accumulating at a slower pace compared to that of other regions. Methods: The COI sequence of 24 lizard and snake species in Qatar that represent major families within the order Squamata were sampled and amplified via PCR using RepCOI primers (apart from one species). Purified amplicons were then aligned, and high- quality sequences were uploaded to BOLD. Using Sphenodon punctatus as the outgroup, the phylogenetic analysis was conducted using raxmlGUI software following the maximum likelihood method. Results: The COI sequence from each of the species was obtained and the consensus sequences were submitted to GenBank. In the phylogenetic analysis, a close relationship between members of the Agamidae and Serpentes was confirmed. While members of the same genus often showed sister-taxa relationships, and species in the same family were clustered with reasonably high bootstrap supports, the COI-based phylogeny was not able to resolve the relationships among genera within the families or identify relationships with high resolution at deeper lineages. Conclusion: Although ideal for species identification, COI gene sequencing is limited in phylogenetic inference due to high mutation rates that restrict its effectiveness for resolving relationships at deep phylogenetic levels. However, COI gene sequencing can be combined with nuclear markers for a more in-depth analysis.
      PubDate: 2023-07-15T00:00:00Z
  • Microsatellites confirm the distinctness of Bedouins among ethnic Qatari

    • Authors: Lina Ahmed; Aya Youssef, Mariam Imran, Amal Robay, Noha A. Yousri, Ghizlane Bendriss, Ronald G. Crystal Kuei-Chiu Chen
      Abstract: Background: Microsatellite markers are highly versatile tools used in a wide array of applications including paternity testing, forensic analysis, and disease markers. However, the allele frequencies of these markers can vary greatly depending on ethnic subpopulations. Thus, the discovery of three distinct Qatari ethnic subpopulations (Bedouin, Persian, and African) has prompted the need to determine the allele frequencies that are more representative of the subpopulations. Objectives: This study aims to analyze 15 autosomal microsatellite loci from individuals belonging to each subpopulation and to generate the corresponding allele frequency tables. Additionally, the microsatellite markers were further investigated to examine the mating behaviors within each subpopulation as well as looking into a possible relationship between the markers and the type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Methods: DNA samples isolated from 266 individuals of interest (Bedouin, Persian, or African) were amplified using PCR and subjected to electrophoresis. The results were analyzed using various population genetics software such as FSTAT, GenAlEx, and GENEPOP to calculate several population parameters including inbreeding coefficients, allele frequencies, and expected and observed heterozygosity. Results: The results showed that the Bedouin subpopulation was distinct from the other two subpopulations. Furthermore, the Bedouin and African subpopulations were found to have a small positive inbreeding coefficient, while the Persian subpopulation displayed a slight outbreeding pattern. Lastly, two microsatellite loci showed tantalizing differences between diabetic and non-diabetic participants. Conclusions: The distinctness of the Bedouin population could be attributable to the heterogeneity of the Persian and African subpopulations, while the positive inbreeding coefficients could be explained by the relatively high rates of consanguineous marriages. The allele frequency tables generated for each subpopulation through this study can be used to strengthen microsatellite-based genetic testing; however, more studies are needed to further examine the potential relationship between T2DM and microsatellites.
      PubDate: 2023-05-30T00:00:00Z
  • Employees motivation for better job performance: importance of financial
           and non-financial incentives in banking systems' Case of Oman

    • Authors: Amani Adil Albalush; Sonal Devesh
      Abstract: Background: Employee motivation is a success factor for every organization. Previous studies state that motivation is a factor that triggers people when there are incentives to achieve a desired goal. Aim: This paper investigates the motivation and impact of employee performance in the banking sector. Also, the paper investigates how employees perform in their jobs based on how they are treated, compensated, and encouraged. Method: Data was gathered using a structured questionnaire with a sample of 100 employees working in one of the leading banks in Oman. Statistical measures like descriptive and chi-square analysis were used to validate the study hypotheses. Regression analysis was used to find the influence of financial and non-financial factors on employee performance. Results: The results indicated that financial motivating factors such as salary, bonus, health allowance, and house rent have a great influence on an employee's performance, with the study implicating how much the employee cares about financial motivation. Due to this, both the employee and the bank will benefit and develop in the future. Moreover, non-financial factors such as appreciation, work-life balance, job security, manager's behavior, and working hours significantly impact employees' performance. It was found that 89% of the employees are motivated by financial incentives, and 76% of them confirmed that they are motivated by non-financial incentives. Many theories have stated that when employees are motivated, they are satisfying their need for the work, resulting in better performance. The findings shed light on the factors that banks should focus on to enhance employees' job performance. The study recommends the need for a motivation scheme that directly relates to employees' productivity in the banking sector of Oman.
      PubDate: 2023-05-15T00:00:00Z
  • Artificial intelligence dissociative identity disorder (AIDIS): the dark
           side of ChatGPT

    • Authors: Chokri Kooli
      Abstract: As exploratory research, the actual paper makes an interview with ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence language model designed to understand and generate human-like responses to a wide range of questions and topics. This paper aims to understand the functionality and user engagement of ChatGPT. It concludes that ChatGPT is designed on a transformer-based language model based on deep learning architecture that uses unsupervised learning to generate human-like text. It has a large database and memory system to store previous user responses, and it uses machine learning algorithms and natural language processing techniques to understand user inputs and retrieve information from its database to generate responses. The interview ultimately led to the development of an innovative research paper on Artificial Intelligence Dissociative Identity Disorder (AIDIS). This study: suggests the possibility of AI-based systems developing multiple identities or personas due to their exposure to different types of data and training, explores the potential implications and challenges of such a disorder, including ethical concerns, and the need for new regulations and policies in the field of AI.
      PubDate: 2023-05-09T00:00:00Z
  • Exploring the role of social media marketing in students’ decision to
           select universities in Lebanon: a proposed emerging framework

    • Authors: Fatima Al Husseiny; Hasan Youness
      Abstract: In the era of technological advancement, personalized learning trends are rising rapidly. Consequently, we are swiftly developing the traditional education scope, the social networking dimension, and its relationship with data acquisition. Notably, we live in a prospective learning ecosystem characterized by the demand of being cognitively flexible with a prolonged effect of the growth mindset. Social Media (SM) is becoming the new norm in students personal and academic lives. Surprisingly, SM consumption in the Middle East is critical, where 9 out of 10 Arab youths use at least one social media channel daily. This study explores the role of SM on thoughts and behaviors in students’ decision- making to select a university in Lebanon. The following questions were examined (1) what role does social media marketing play in Lebanese high school students’ decision-making when selecting a university to study' and (2) How do universities use social media marketing to attract new students’ enrolment' Little research was published to explore the challenging role of social media in higher educational institutions in Lebanon and how it influences the decision-making of students. Hence, this research is an exploratory study where qualitative methods were adopted to investigate the above two objectives, resulting in a proposed emerging framework.
      PubDate: 2023-01-31T00:00:00Z
  • Deactivated: Exploring why adults in Qatar quit social media

    • Authors: Ghenwa Yehia; Karen McIntyre
      Abstract: Social media use has become ingrained in life in the 21st century. As a result of such pervasiveness, there is extensive research on the myriad of positive and negative effects of social media use on adults worldwide. The State of Qatar is among the countries with the highest social media penetration levels relative to its population. Despite this, some people consciously choose to deactivate from social media. Through theoretical frameworks relating to models and motivations of behavioral change, this qualitative study of 26 participants sought to examine what factors influence adults in Qatar to deactivate one or more social media accounts. Results showed that four themes emerged as reasons for deactivation: impact on time, distorted value, mental/physical health and well-being, and/or a tipping point/instigating incident. Several other factors acted as barriers to or supported discontinuous social media use. This research’s theoretical and practical implications are discussed, along with recommendations for future research.
      PubDate: 2023-01-16T00:00:00Z
  • Construction planning and scheduling of a precast house extension using a
           multi-objective genetic algorithm and 4D building information modelling

    • Authors: Sarah Alyatama; Ruqaya Al-Sabah
      Abstract: Background: As a result of the rising costs of housing in Kuwait, several families find it increasingly challenging to purchase new homes. Typically, Kuwaitis carry out extensions of the existing housing spaces they possess, to accommodate their growing families. In the management and execution of house extension projects, construction planning and scheduling are complex albeit critical tasks. Building information modeling (BIM) and optimization techniques have become crucial tools for improving these two critical processes. Methods: This study aimed to integrate 4D BIM and multi- objective optimization using a genetic algorithm (MOGA) for construction planning and scheduling of a precast house extension. A case study was undertaken for a two-storey family house in Kuwait, which has been extended by two additional floors using the precast method. The extension of the house has its own foundation and support, with a design that adheres to Le Corbusier's five points of architecture. The Autodesk Revit software was used to generate a three-dimensional architectural model of the house extension. Results and Discussion: After running the MOGA based on the developed schedule, optimal results were obtained as a Pareto front with 70 combinations across workers' cost and construction time. The preferred schedule was selected and fed into Autodesk Navisworks to generate a 4D BIM model. Navisworks was used to simulate the house extension, accompanied by its scheduling information. Conclusion: The amalgamation of a multi-objective algorithm with 4D BIM may be employed to efficaciously plan and schedule building projects, allowing for quality decision-making.
      PubDate: 2023-01-01T00:00:00Z
  • Evaluation of the International Labor Organization project in Qatar

    • Authors: Abdulhadi Rashid Alkhayareen
      Abstract: In April of 2018, the International Labor Organization (ILO) opened its first project office in Qatar to assist the government in reforming labor market policies to ensure compliance with international labor conventions and achieving fundamental principles and migrant worker rights. Using a policy transfer theoretical framework, this study examines the challenges, progress, and achievements of the ILO project in Qatar across five outcomes: minimum wages and wage security, labor inspection policy, occupational health and safety programs, Kafala (sponsorship) abolition, recruitment and working conditions, prevention, safeguarding, prosecution against forced labor; and promoting workers 'perspective, and access to justice. Data for this study consisted of governments and ILO administrative data and reports as well as evidence from literature review and government websites such as the Ministry of Labor, Qatar Statistics Authority, Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states, the ILO Arab States, International Organization for Migrations, and Regional United Nations agencies. Additionally, semi-structured interviews have been conducted with ILO Qatar experts on four progress reports 2018-2021 on labor market challenges, policies, and reforms in Qatar. The key accomplishments of the ILO and the government of Qatar include destroying the kafala system and creating a universal minimum wage for all workers. This signifies a shift toward more open, progressive migrant labor policies and an evolving acceptance of migrant rights and opportunities by the government and members of the mass culture.
      PubDate: 2023-01-01T00:00:00Z
  • How to sustain motivation among the youth in Qatar beyond hosting the FIFA
           World Cup 2022'

    • Authors: Shayma H. Al-Marri
      Abstract: This research aimed to explore and identify ways in which motivation amongst the youth can be sustained beyond the FIFA World Cup 2022 mega sports event. Findings collated via semi-structured interviews which were further validated by a larger sample through a questionnaire. Its main objectives were accomplished and the vast evidence suggested that motivation among the youth relates to key concepts of resilience, leadership styles and sustainability. This research affirms that resilience contributes to the development of youth and acts as a personal strength factor along with several other contributors, which collectively determine positive youth development. This paper also suggests that resilient and dynamic leadership styles are crucial for sustained motivation and that young people can be motivated by resilient leaders. Several recommendations have been suggested which are relevant to Qatar, youth and sustained motivation after the upcoming mega-event. One of which includes conducting and hosting similar mega events to create wider awareness related to sustainability and Qatar National Vision 2030 to contribute to its achievement positively.
      PubDate: 2023-01-01T00:00:00Z
  • 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: 2022-10-09T00:00:00Z
  • 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: 2022-10-09T00:00:00Z
  • 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: 2022-10-09T00:00:00Z
  • 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: 2022-10-09T00:00:00Z
  • Studying the causes of delays in construction projects: the case of Qatar
           infrastructure projects

    • Authors: Amna Khalil Ibrahim Hassan Al-Hail1; Mohammed Mafrash Mohammed Mousoof
      Abstract: Background: This study aims to examine the causes of delay in construction projects, particularly in the case of infrastructure projects in Qatar. The most critical delay causes were analyzed in the perception of the project’s three participants: clients, contractors, and consultants. A literature review was conducted to highlight possible delay causes in other countries. There were gaps in detecting the causes of delay due to the lack of studies on Qatar infrastructure projects. Methods: The deductive approach has been used in this study for the quantitative method. It provides a new framework or theory for identifying the causes of delay. The quantitative method used a questionnaire that was created through Survey Monkey. The number of participants was one hundred thirty-three. The questionnaire included forty-one questions in four sections, one sheet for participant information, nine questions about personal data, thirty questions about delay causes, and two questions about delay effects. Results and Discussion: The data analysis was conducted on a questionnaire to rank the causes of delays by the Relative Importance Index (RII) method. Further analysis was undertaken to interpret the data by regression analysis. The results showed that client changing orders during construction was the most significant delay cause in Qatar infrastructure projects. Conclusions: The research aim was achieved by meeting its objectives. Several recommendations were suggested to reduce delays’ influence on Qatar's infrastructure projects. Research limitations were identified for this study.
      PubDate: 2022-10-09T00:00:00Z
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