10 research outputs found

    "Inbetweeners" : dialogic strategies and practices for writing Arab migration through intercultural theatre : a dissertation presented in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in Creative Writing at Massey University, Wellington, New Zealand

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    This thesis deploys both critical and creative methodologies to address the research question ‘How can playwriting contribute to an understanding of intercultural experiences, identities, and differences between the Middle East and the West?’ When I began this research journey, as a Jordanian-born Muslim playwright now living in Aotearoa New Zealand, I wanted to write a ‘great Arab theatre’ to capture the potentials and positive outcomes of the immigration experiences of Middle Easterners and Muslims and their transnational movements, re-settlements, and inbetweenness, as well as acknowledge the suffering of a region that has been subjected to generations of colonial trauma and is little understood and deeply stereotyped by the West. I wanted to creatively investigate the ways in which migration, and now a global pandemic that has rewritten our understanding of borders, have both fractured and expanded my viewpoints on myself, my culture, and my birthplace. As I explored scholarly models of trauma, I discovered that they, too, have been characterised by colonial thinking and often deploy limited cultural stereotypes as metaphors to explain and address trauma. None of these models fit my experiences. There are uniquely Arab models of storytelling and performance but, looking at many of the key playwrights from the region showed a deep interweaving of Western playwriting traditions in their work as well. Again, these Western-influenced elements seemed to me in part useful yet ultimately inadequate containers to hold my experiences or grasp the wider backdrop of my region’s complex and contested histories. My goal became to find new, expanded, theatrical forms to initiate a dialogue between concepts of diasporic identity, trauma, conflict, and colonial history in the context of the Middle East and its relationships with its Others - including through the specific trajectory of my own journey and how my subjectivity has been shattered and reformed by multiple transnational relocations. I found it helpful to draw on scholarship about intercultural theatre, but I also developed new models of structure and characterisation that depart from and explicitly reject Western models in novel ways, to try to capture the uniqueness of ‘inbetweenness’ that is symptomatic of my region, myself, and my culture. Linear temporality, fixed characterisation, discrete scene plotting, causal action sequences, character hierarchies, and monolingual, unequivocally purposeful dialogue are all rejected in my playwriting, in favour of forms that I found, through the experiment of writing, better reflected the exploded and shapeshifting terms of identity and experience that I know to be true for myself and many others who have, like me, spanned their lives across continents, cultures, languages, religions, traditions, and histories, then ended up finding it difficult to know what is real. In my playwriting, I wanted to recreate that hybridity of both peaceful and contentious cross-cultural exchange and so I developed a kaleidoscopic metaphor to express a blend of different elements that change perpetually and move disorientingly, yet emerge anew, creatively and beautifully. Deploying my kaleidoscopic model of playwriting both thematically and structurally, I wrote a script that conveyed at least some partial sense of what it might mean to be ‘Arab’ in today’s world, and especially, what it might feel like to be ‘Arab’ in Aotearoa. The research was conducted, and the thesis is submitted, in the discipline of creative writing. It is the playwriting itself that constitutes the research experiment, along with the exegetic material that observes and analyses the act of creation including the aesthetic techniques, sources, and motivations. The thesis thus begins with four critical chapters that set out the background to and rationale for the creative work, then concludes with “Aragoze”, a trilogy of plays that embodies the aims of the research to contribute through both its form and its content to an understanding of intercultural experiences and identities situated in between the Middle East and the West

    The Impact of the Board of Directors' Characteristics and Ownership Structure on the Sustainable Development Disclosure in the Banks Listed on the Amman Stock Exchange

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    Purpose: This study tries to comprehend how corporate governance (CG) affects disclosures on economic, social, and environmental sustainability.   Theoretical framework: Recent literature has reported that CG has significant impact on disclosures on economic, social, and environmental sustainability. However, there is still much to investigate and learn about CG in sustainability process.   Design/methodology/approach: For the time period spanning 2015 to 2021, information about study variables was gathered from thirteen (13) banks listed on the Amman Stock Exchange (ASE) through annual reports and quantitative approach.   Findings: Study findings showed that CG components improve sustainability disclosures in general. The study results indicated that, a large board with a female director and a Corporate Social Responsibility Committee (CSRC) is better able to audit and control management choices related to sustainability issues (whether they be economic, environmental, or social) and produces better sustainability disclosure.   Research, Practical and Social implications: This study is proposed to help bank managers understand the real impact of corporate governance practices on sustainability, especially economic, environmental and social indicators of sustainability and how to improve and develop them.   Originality/value: Through quantitative and qualitative analysis, this study contributes methodologically and empirically to the literature on corporate governance and sustainability reporting in emerging and developing economies

    Recurrent Infective Endocarditis in an Adolescent due to Streptococcus agalactiae: A Rare Presentation of a Common Pathogen

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    Streptococcus agalactiae is known to cause invasive infections in risk groups such as pregnant women, newborns, and immunosuppressed patients but it is uncommon in older children. We describe a case of recurrent infective endocarditis due to S. agalactiae in an 11-year-old boy with Loeys-Dietz syndrome who was successfully treated with long-term antimicrobial therapy for one year

    Potential Soft Powers of Oman: Chairs, Cultural Centers and Students

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    This paper explores Oman’s potential soft power instruments such as international students, sixteen university chairs in the world, cultural centers, SQ Prizes, charity organizations contributions, and language centers. Oman has the highest number of university chairs abroad in comparison with the other GCC countries, but unfortunately, their benefits and contribution to Oman’s soft power in those host countries is almost none despite some of them established forty years ago. Those should be put into force again by taking recommended steps in this study. Also, international students’ numbers should be increased in the state and private universities and language centers by giving some visa and work privileges to the applicants from the beginning of their education in Oman. SQ Language Center in Manah and SQ Cultural center in Washington are the best two working institutions as public diplomacy tools and soft power components of Oman. However, unfortunately, the majority of the other instruments do not give enough contribution to Oman’s soft power. That is why some necessary steps should be taken on the ground to resurrect those institutions as Oman’s potential soft power instruments in the host countries.    &nbsp

    Acute Measles Encephalitis in an Immigrant Syrian Child: Case Report and Review of the Literature

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    The introduction of measles vaccination programs and broad coverage worldwide has meant this infection a rare encounter for pediatricians. In Oman, with almost 100% measles vaccination coverage for children, this infection disappeared from the list of fever and rash differential diagnoses. Encephalitis is a well-known complication of measles infection and sometimes can be the only manifestation especially in adults. We report a seven-year-old Syrian immigrant who was admitted to the Royal Hospital, Muscat, with acute encephalitis secondary to wild measles infection. Although she had a classical presentation of measle infection, the diagnosis was missed in the private and regional hospital she attended before getting referred to Royal Hospital. She was later identified to be exposed to an outbreak of the infection in an unvaccinated population. Magnetic resonance imaging showed high signal intensity of both basal ganglia suggestive of measles encephalitis. The diagnosis was confirmed by detection of measles virus from her urine and blood, and a throat swab. The isolated measles virus was D8 serotype, which was prevalent in Syria around the same time. The child was treated with steroids and vitamin A. She achieved full recovery despite her severe presentation. A high degree of suspicion for measles infection should be maintained in unvaccinated children with a compatible presentation of the infection or its complications. There might be a role for steroid use in cases of acute measles encephalitis

    Pertussis and Pertussis like Illness: Pediatric Experience in Oman

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    Objectives: A resurgence of pertussis or whooping cough has been observed worldwide despite broad vaccination coverage. Pertussis like illness (PLI) refers to a clinical syndrome compatible with pertussis infection but lacking laboratory confirmation or an epidemiological link to a confirmed case. Our study aimed to estimate the contribution of Bordetella pertussis infection and identifying predictors of its diagnosis in a cohort of children with PLI. Methods: Demographic and clinical information were retrospectively collected from the medical records of children < 13 years old and hospitalized for PLI in two pediatric units in Oman from 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2013. The laboratory data of all cases were reviewed and confirmed cases of pertussis were identified, analyzed, and compared with non-confirmed cases. Results: A total of 131 patients were enrolled in this study. The majority (95.4% [125/131]) were infants. Only 54.1% (71/131) of admitted children with PLI were tested for pertussis. The incidence of pertussis infection among the tested group was 16.9% (12/71) with a 95% confidence interval 8.2−25.6. Severe illness occurred in 56.4% (74/131) of patients, and six were confirmed to have pertussis. Pediatric intensive care unit admission was required for one confirmed case of pertussis and eight cases from the PLI group (three were negative for pertussis, and five were not tested). Receiver operator characteristic curve analysis revealed that a white blood cell count ≥ 23.5 × 109/L had 96.6% specificity and lymphocytes ≥ 17 × 109/L had 98.3% specificity. Conclusions: Taking into consideration that the number tested for pertussis was limited, the incidence of pertussis was 16.9% (12 out of 71 patients). Lymphocytosis can be used as a reliable predictor for the diagnosis of pertussis especially in the absence of specific confirmatory tests or until their results are available

    The Seroprevalence of Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) in Hemodialysis Patients in Oman: A National Cross-Sectional Study

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    Abstract Background HCV infection in hemodialysis units is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality. The risk of HCV infection among dialysis patients is higher compared to the general population due to high potential blood exposures in hemodialysis settings. This study aims to assess the national HCV seroprevalence in selected dialysis units and to determine the risk factors for acquiring HCV infection. Methods This cross-sectional study was conducted from 1 January to 31 March 2021. A total of 734 patients from 11 hemodialysis centers in Oman were included. Samples were tested simultaneously for HCV antibodies and HCV RNA. HCV genotyping was determined in all viremic patients. Demographic and hemodialysis center related data were gathered and their association with the positive HCV serology were explored using univariate and multivariate logistic regression analysis. Results Out of 800 patients selected from 11 dialysis units for the study, 734 patients (91.8%) were included. The overall seroprevalence of HCV infection among hemodialysis patients was 5.6%. (41/734). HCV RNA was detected in 31.7% (13/41) of seropositive hemodialysis patients. The most common genotype was subtype 1a, followed by subtype 3. Variables associated with high HCV prevalence were family history of HCV and duration of dialysis. Conclusion The prevalence of infection within hemodialysis patients in Oman has significantly decreased but remained higher than the general population. Continuous monitoring and follow-up, including periodic serosurvey and linkage to care and treatment are recommended. Additionally, practice audits are recommended for identifying gaps and ensuring sustainability of best practices and further improvement

    Role of CT Scan in Diagnosis of COVID-19 Infection-A Review

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    Since it was declared a worldwide pandemic, COVID-19 has ravaged almost all over the world and has overloaded several health-care systems. The pandemic also resulted in job losses as a result of lengthy shutdowns, which burdened the global economy. Even though significant clinical research progress has led to a better perceiving of the virus ( SARS-CoV-2) nature and the disease (COVID-19) management, preventing the virus's spread has become a major concern as SARSCoV-2 continues to wreak havoc around the world. Several countries suffered from the second or third wave of viral disease outbreaks, primarily caused by the mutation of SARS-CoV-2. Imaging is critical in the diagnosis and follow-up of patients with new coronavirus-infected pneumonia (NCIP). The primary imaging modality in clinically suspected cases is CT scan and it is useful for monitoring imaging changes following therapy. Therefore, CT is regarded as a useful diagnostic technique for clinically suspected cases of COVID-19. CT has the ability to detect patients who have a negative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) but are highly suspicious of NCIP in terms of clinical problems. In addition, the results of a CT scan may also reveal information concerning the severity of the condition. In this review article, the diagnosis of COVID-19 is discussed and CT characteristics are defined based on the newest research for the diagnosis and management of COVID-19
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