In yet another move to reverse the brain drain affecting the Middle East, Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF) will be holding the Arab Expatriate Scientists Symposium (AESS) at the Qatar National Convention Centre from November 19 – 23, 2011.
Organized by QF’s Arab Expatriate Scientists (AES) Network, the event will bring together scientists and researchers of Arab origin who have stayed in their home countries and those that have left, connecting them to international and local colleagues, stakeholders and students.
According to AES - Network, less than 10% of Arab scientists move back to the region after studying and gaining experience abroad.
One expected outcome of AESS is for these scientists to work on major collaborative research projects together, eventually reversing the brain drain of Arab scientific talent by drawing it back to the region.
“AESS will provide ample opportunities for Arab scientists to network and contribute to scientific enhancement in Qatar and the region,” said Dr. Abdelali Haoudi, QF’s Vice President for Research. “The aim is to determine how Qatar can help facilitate effective, active and sustainable participation of Arab scientists from across the world to benefit Qatar, the region as well as developing societies.”
AES - Network's history goes back to 2005, when Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser brought together select Arab Expatriate Scientists to help develop her vision for building a strong scientific research network in the Middle East, with Qatar as its hub.
Since then, the network of scientists has grown and reconvened twice in 2006 and 2007. At their last conference the scientists laid down the roadmap for the three research institutes that QF eventually launched: Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI), Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), and Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI).
“This year we will celebrate the realization of this recommendation as three national research institutes under Qatar Foundation have been launched and are now fully operational," said Dr.
Nabeel Al- Salem, AES – Network’s director. "We are proud that the directors and scientists running these institutes are returning Arab expat scientists, and hope that the research they do will draw more Arab talent back to where it belongs."
AES-Network's efforts have also led to the creation of the Arab Expatriate Scientists Database, which currently has about 5,000 records and will continue to grow significantly in the future. The database development and population was supervised by Dr. Ahmed Elmagarmid, Director of QCRI and Dr. Nabeel Al-Salem, Director of AES-Network.