The Arab world has a rich history of scientific enquiry. During the Golden Age of Science, the Arab world was influenced by texts from neighbouring regions of Greece, Persia and India, and built on them with great discoveries and inventions such as algebra, optics, medicine and many others. For more than 500 years Arabic was the language of science. Following translation into Latin, Arabic scholarship fed back to these neighbouring regions and helped lay the foundation for the European enlightenment and current Western science.
Nature Middle East has been created with an understanding of the potential of the Arab world to once again be an important centre of science. It covers a diverse group of 18 nations: Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, the Palestinian territories, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen. Nature Middle East is about recognizing the contribution of many different peoples working together, united by a common language.
Nature Middle East is a comprehensive portal site for information on scientific and medical research in the Arabic-speaking Middle East, the research community and its activities. It is a site with a broad scope that caters for scientific and medical researchers at all levels, from students to post-doctoral fellows to principal investigators. Most importantly, Nature Middle East will be a unique online platform for the scientific and medical research community to connect, network and exchange information or ideas, to promote good science and stimulate research and debate.
In its March Editorial, Nature Cell Biology ( 12, 201;2010) welcomes this newest NPG regional gateway: “Nature Publishing Group has initiatives that aim to stitch together scientific communities within specific regions. As this issue of Nature Cell Biology goes to press, ”http://www.nature.com/nmiddleeast/">Nature Middle East, a website dedicated to serving the science community in Arabic-speaking countries of the Middle East, is being launched. The site aims to become a comprehensive source of information on scientific and medical research, with a target audience of students, postdoctoral trainees and principal investigators from Arabic-speaking countries across the Middle East, and for researchers outside the region who may have an interest in the emerging science of the Arab world. Following the success of two equivalent gateways — Nature China and Nature India — Nature Middle East will have content mainly in English, with some content being translated into Arabic. The content will include highlights of select research published in Nature journals and elsewhere, news items and commentaries. By providing links to jobs and events in the region and creating a platform for discussion via blogs and other online social networking tools, the website will also serve as a networking forum to engage the science community in this region, and facilitate further integration with the global scientific community.
A global scientific society that values open communication, collaboration and sharing of resources could become a powerful medium for change if these attributes take root in other spheres of human activity."