51
Research Title: Investigating the efficiency of financial markets: Empirical evidence from MENA countries
Author: Izzeddien Naef Ananzeh, Published Year: 2021
Investment management and financial innovations, Volume 18, Issue 1,
Faculty: Business

Abstract: The market efficiency hypothesis has become an important concept for all investors looking to own internationally diversified portfolios, which coincides with an increase in investment flows between all countries, both developed and undeveloped. This study was aimed at investigating the efficiency of a group of Arab stock markets located in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region according to the Random Walk Hypotheses (RWH) at weak form. The study covered the markets of Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain, and Oman. The empirical results of all tests used in this study rejected the RWH at a weak form for all markets through all tests applied – Unit root test, Variance Ratio Test, and Run Test. The result of this study contradicts the results of many studies conducted on developed and emerging markets. This can be a good indication of the ineffectiveness of the reforms that have been adopted by responsible bodies on these markets. Based on this result, all efforts made to expand and deepen these markets should be intensified by improving liquidity, transparency, enhancing investment culture in these countries; supporting legislative and regulatory reforms to attract investment, and developing the financial sector in these markets as a whole.

Keywords: MENA markets, market efficiency, financial markets, unit root tests, run test, variance ratio test

52
Research Title: Expanding the phenotypic spectrum of FINCA (fibrosis, neurodegeneration, and cerebral angiomatosis) syndrome beyond infancy
Author: Tawfiq Froukh, Published Year: 2021
Clinical genetics, 100
Faculty: Science

Abstract: Fibrosis, neurodegeneration, and cerebral angiomatosis (FINCA, MIM#618278) is a rare clinical condition caused by bi-allelic variants in NHL repeat containing protein 2 (NHLRC2, MIM*618277). Pulmonary disease may be the presenting sign and the few patients reported so far, all deceased in early infancy. Exome sequencing was performed on patients with childhood interstitial lung disease (chILD) and additional neurological features. The chILD-EU register database and an in-house database were searched for patients with NHLRC2 variants and clinical features overlapping FINCA syndrome. Six patients from three families were identified with bi-allelic variants in NHLRC2. Two of these children died before the age of two while four others survived until childhood. Interstitial lung disease was pronounced in almost all patients during infancy and stabilized over the course of the disease with neurodevelopmental delay (NDD) evolving as the key clinical finding. We expand the phenotype of FINCA syndrome to a multisystem disorder with variable severity. FINCA syndrome should also be considered in patients beyond infancy with NDD and a history of distinct interstitial lung disease. Managing patients in registers for rare diseases helps identifying new diagnostic entities and advancing care for these patients.

Keywords: cerebropulmonary disease, childhood interstitial lung disease, cholesterol pneumonia, FINCA, lung fibrosis, lipoid pneumonitis, multi-organ disease, NHLRC2

53
Research Title: Comparative effect of valsartan versus valsartan-hydrochlorthiazide on the serum lipid profile in hypertensive patients
Author: Najlaa Saadi Ismael, Published Year: 2021
Current Topics in Pharmacology, 25
Faculty: Pharmacy

Abstract: The objective of this study is to investigate the impact of valsartan versus valsartan-hydrochlorothiazide on the lipid profile parameters in hypertensive patients in comparison with control. Healthy control. Healthy control and hypertensive patients of either sex participated in this study; they were assigned into three groups (of twenty-three subjects each). Group 1 was the control group. Group 2 comprised of hypertensive patients treated with valsartan and Group 3 comprised of hypertensive patients treated with valsartan-hydrochlorothiazide (valsartan-HCT) combination once a day with a dose of 80 mg or 160 mg and 80/12.5 mg or 160/12.5 mg or 160/25 mg (the duration was not less than 3 months), respectively. Blood samples were collected from each subject and then the parameters of the lipid profile were measured in both control and hypertensive patients using a biochemical analysis. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure in patients treated with valsartan and valsartan-HCT drugs were significantly higher than that of the control group. In treated groups, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C), triglycerides (TG), and total cholesterol (TC) were significantly higher than those of the control group. However, in the valsartan-HCT group, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) was significantly lower than that of the control group, while in the valsartan group, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) was non-significantly lower than that of the control group. This study confirmed that the treatment with valsartan and valsartan-HCT may not control the blood Pressure and that the drugs may interfere with lipid profile. Hence, a readjustment of the therapy is important.

Keywords: hypertensive patients, valsartan, hydrochlorthiazide, lipid profile

54
Research Title: القواعد الأخلاقية في المعاملات المالية الإسلامية
Author: Ahmed Mohammed Al-Jayousi, Published Year: 2021
المحلة العالمية للتسويق الاسلامي , المجلد 10 ، العدد 3
Faculty: Business

Abstract: تعتبر الأخلاق والقيم أصلاً من الأصول التي قامت عليها الشريعة الإسلامية، وأوجبت على كل أتباعها (سواء كانوا أشخاصاً طبيعيين أم اعتباريين) الالتزام بها. كما أعلت شأنها، ورفعت مكانتها، حتى وضعتها في قمة الأولويات التي تحكم المعاملات بين الأفراد الجماعات. ولم يقتصر الأمر على الشريعة الإسلامية، بل إنها كانت محط اهتمام معظم الشرائع السماوية، والأنظمة الوضعية، فجميعها دعت إلى التحلي بمكارم الأخلاق، ووجهت أتباعها للتقيد بها، والاستقامة عليها، لما لها من آثار في ترسيخ السلوكيات النبيلة، من العدل والنزاهة، والتعاون والإيثار، والصدق والإخلاص، والأمانة والوفاء، واستئصال السلوكيات الذميمة وغير السوية من حياة الفرد والمجتمع، فتسلم المعاملات وتستقر العلاقات. ومن ناحية أخرى فإن التمويل الإسلامي مرتبط (بحكم طبيعته) بمنظومة من الأخلاق والقيم، بل إن معظم أساليب التمويل والاستثمار في البنوك والمؤسسات المالية الإسلامية (بدءاً من المضاربة والمشاركة وانتهاءً بالسلم والاستصناع) تقوم أساساً على مدى التزام العميل بالقواعد الأخلاقية المتمثلة بالصدق والأمانة والوفاء بالعقود ... وغيرها. ولعل ذلك يفسر سبب تركز تمويلات المصارف الإسلامية على بيوع المرابحة للآمر بالشراء، والابتعاد عن صيغ المضاربة والمشاركة نظراً للمخاطر الأخلاقية فيهما. ومن هنا جاءت فكرة هذه الورقة البحثية بهدف تسليط الضوء على القواعد الأخلاقية للمعاملات المالية في الإسلام، ومكانتها وخصائصها، وبالأخص تلك المرتبطة بمنظمات الأعمال ومنها البنوك والمؤسسات المالية الإسلامية، والآثار السلبية لعدم الالتزام بها من قبل الأفراد والمنظمات.

Keywords: الأخلاق والقيم، التمويل الإسلامي، معاملات مالية، أخلاقيات الأعمال.

55
Research Title: أهمية الوقف في الحضارة الإسلامية
Author: Ahmed Mohammed Al-Jayousi, Published Year: 2021
Faculty: Business

Abstract: منذ أشرقت شمس النبوة على أرض الجزيرة العربية القاحلة، كانت الإنسانية على موعد مع نظام اجتماعي تطوعي وتكافلي، انفردت به الحضارة الإسلامية من حيث الشكل والمضمون والغاية والمقصد. فجاءت بنظام الوقف، الذي يحبس الأصل ويسبل منفعته، لتعم منفعتهُ البلاد والعباد. وقد كان للوقف دورٌ بارزٌ في تحقيق التنمية المستدامة للأمة الإسلامية، باعتباره أحد أبرز مصادر التمويل غير الربحية؛ فقد أسهم مع غيره من مؤسسات الدولة في تمويل الكثير من المرافق العامة، حتى غطت جوانب الحياة كلها؛ الشرعية، والعلمية، والثقافية، والصحية، والاقتصادية، والاجتماعية، والخدمية. وتتجلى أهمية الوقف من خلال قدرته على الربط بين الحاضر والمستقبل، وانتقال منفعته من جيل إلى جيل، وبصورة تجمع بين المنفعة الخاصة للواقف (الأجر والثواب)، والمنفعة العامة التي تعود على المجتمع بالخير الكبير. وعليه فسوف يتم تقسيم هذه الورقة البحثية إلى أربعة مباحث، متبوعة بالنتائج والتوصيات .

Keywords: افوؿف، دور افوؿف، إشفامات افوؿف، افتـؿقة ادستدامة، احلضارة اإلشالمقة.

56
Research Title: Micellar and Polymer Catalysis in the Kinetics of Oxidation of L-lysine by Permanganate Ion in Perchloric Acid Medium
Author: Ahmad Abdullah Najjar, Published Year: 2021
South African Journal of Chemistry, 75
Faculty: Pharmacy

Abstract: Kinetics of oxidation of L-lysine by permanganate ion in a perchloric acid medium was investigated to explore the order of the reaction with respect to oxidant and substrate and to study the catalytic behaviour of sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) and polyethylene glycol (PEG). The reaction was found to be first-order with respect to the oxidant and the substrate and zero-order with respect to hydrogen ion. Changes in the sodium sulphate concentration produce a non-significant variation in the rate of the reaction. SLS and PEG were found to catalyze the reaction. Surfactant catalysis was modelled by Piszkiewicz's cooperativity model, while polymer catalysis was explained with the help of the Benesi-Hildebrand equation. The temperature dependence of the rate of the reaction was elucidated, and activation parameters were obtained. Interestingly, the reaction was found to possess positive activation entropy indicating the dissociative nature of the transition state and outer-sphere electron transfer mechanism. A mechanism of the reaction that is supported by the experimental findings was suggested.

Keywords: L-lysine, permanganate ion, micellar catalysis, polymer catalysis, outer sphere electron transfer mechanism.

57
Research Title: Conditions de vie des Chrétiens sous le règne de l'Empire Ottoman au début du 19ème siècle
Author: Mohammad Al-Ghazu, Published Year: 2020
Faculty: Language Center

Abstract: Résumé Cette recherche vise à éclaircir les conditions de vie des Chrétiens au début du 19ème siècle sous le règne de l'Empire Ottoman. Nous avons essayé de savoir si les Chrétiens orientaux étaient-ils les seuls à vivre dans des conditions difficiles et qui ont été les causes? Pour répondre à cette question, nous avons déterminé les communautés chrétiennes orientales, ensuit, nous avons analysé l'influence politique de l’Occident et celle de certains gouverneurs turcs sur ces conditions. Nous avons pris, comme exemple, l'avis de Chateaubriand, et nous l'avons comparé avec celui d'autres voyageurs contemporains pour arriver à une conclusion générale bien fondée. Nous avons trouvé que, bien que les Chrétiens d'Orient aient subi de mauvais traitements de la part de certains gouverneurs turcs pour des raisons politiques et financières, ils ont reçu également de la part de la majorité musulmane le respect et avaient la liberté d'exercer leurs cultes.

Keywords: Mohamed ghazo, Chrétiens d'orient, l'Empire ottoman, conditions de vie.

58
Research Title: Aqueous core microcapsules as potential long-acting release systems for hydrophilic drugs
Author: Yazan Mohammad Mashour Al-Thaher, Published Year: 2021
International Journal of Pharmaceutics, (606)120926
Faculty: Pharmacy

Abstract: We have previously optimized the internal phase separation process to give rise to aqueous core microcapsules with polymeric shells composed of poly(lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) or poly(lactide) (PLA). In this study, the ability of these microcapsules to act as controlled release platforms of the model hydrophilic drug phenobarbital sodium was tested. Furthermore, the effect of the initial amounts of drug and water added to the system during microcapsule synthesis was investigated. Finally, the effect of varying polymer properties such as end functionalities, molecular weights, and lactide to glycolide ratios, on the characteristics of the produced microcapsules was studied. This was done by utilizing seven different grades of the polyester polymers. It was demonstrated that, within certain limits, drug loading is nearly proportional to the initial amounts of drug and water. Furthermore, drug encapsulation studies demonstrated that ester termination and increases in polymeric molecular weight result in lower drug loading and encapsulation efficiency. Moreover, drug release studies demonstrated that ester termination, increases in molecular weight, and increases in the lactide to glycolide ratio all result in slower drug release; this grants the ability to tailor the drug release duration from a few days to several weeks. In conclusion, such minor variations in polymer characteristics and formulation composition can result in dramatic changes in the properties of the produced microcapsules. These changes can be fine-tuned to obtain desirable long-acting microcapsules capable of encapsulating a variety of hydrophilic drugs which can be used in a wide range of applications.

Keywords: Internal phase separation, PLA, PLGA, Long-acting release, Phenobarbital sodium

59
Research Title: Gene Associated Divergence of COVID-19 Morbidity & COVID-19 Vaccines
Author: Raida W. Khalil, Published Year: 2021
American Journal of Biomedical Research and Science , 14
Faculty: Science

Abstract: indeed caused a considerable increase in morbidity and mortality rates worldwide. Abstract There is an underlying complex interplay between the infectious agents and the human host, which is related to different biological mechanisms. Phenotypic spectrums associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection or COVID-19 range from asymptomatic to severe systemic complications such as pneumonia, respiratory failure, and death. Around 15 % of cases are severe. Some are accompanied by a dysregulated immune system or a cytokine storm, and others with both. There is increasing evidence that the severe manifestations of COVID-19 might attribute to human genetic variants. Polymorphisms in genes that are related to immune deficiency and or inflammasome activation (cytokine storm) are examples of these variants. The question is, is the variability of the hosts’ genetic background the reason behind the different responses to COVID-19? Or are there other factors? Case reports and GWAS studies showed that the susceptibility to severe viral infections was associated with the genetic variants in the immune response genes. Identifying the candidate’s genes is likely to aid in explaining why COVID-19 symptoms are severe to some but not others. Not to mention that it will provide insights that help us further understand the pathogenesis of severe COVID-19, to then make it possible to come out with more effective treatments and vaccines. There are forty genes associated with viral susceptibility. Twenty-one of them were associated with severe SARS-CoV disease and severe COVID-19. Some of these genes are implicated in the TLR pathways and others in C-lectin pathways. Additionally, there are some genes related to inflammasome activation (cytokine storm). This explains the diverse observations of the disease’s severity associated with genes. A vaccine should protect humans against SARS-CoV-2 severe infection and death. It acts against infection, disease, or transmission. A vaccine capable of reducing any of these elements will contribute t

Keywords: COVID-19, Vaccines

60
Research Title: Book : Vitamins and Minerals in Neurosciences : 2.1 Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementias, chapter : α-Tocopherol for Alzheimer’s disease
Author: Raida W. Khalil, Published Year: 2021
Faculty: Science

Abstract: Unlike the positive findings from the pre-clinical studies, the evidence of α-Tph effectiveness in humans with MCI or AD is unsatisfactory and requires larger and well controlled trials. Several studies evaluated α-Tph supplementation in combination with AD drugs. Sano and colleagues evaluated the effect of α-Tph (1000 IU, twice daily for 2 years) alone or in combination with selegiline for its effect on improving cognitive function in moderately severe AD. No improvement in cognitive test scores with either treatment was observed (PMID: 9110909). In another study tested the efficacy of α-Tph (2000 IU) with and without memantine in mild-to-moderate AD subjects up to 4 years; compared to placebo group, α-Tph significantly delayed the functional decline in mild-to-moderate AD patients who were taking acetylcholine esterase inhibitors. This effect was not observed in those who received memantine alone or memantine with α-Tph, suggesting α-Tph combination with acetylcholine esterase inhibitors could benefit mild-to-moderate AD patients (PMID: 24381967). However, in another study evaluated α-Tph individually and in combination with the acetylcholine esterase inhibitor donepezil in MCI subjects, α-Tph with and without donepezil didn’t provide benefits and there were no significant differences in the rate of AD progression when compared to the placebo groups (Petersen et al., 2005). Negative results were also reported in AD patients who received α-Tph (400 IU/day) with vitamin C (1000 mg/day) beside their cholinergic therapy for one year (Arlt et al., 2012). Conflicting results were also reported. In another study, Chan and colleagues tested α-Tph (30 IU) prepared in a formulation containing folic acid (400 mg), vitamin B12 (6 mg), S-adenosylmethionine (400 mg), N-acetyl cysteine (600 mg), and acetyl-L-carnitine (500 mg) in 14 subjects with early-stage AD supplemented for one year. The formulation caused a superior neuropsychiatric performance for more than 12 months and caused a delay in clinical progression of approximately 7 months (PMID: 19047474). Based on these promising results, a Phase II study in 106 individuals with AD was conducted. Consistent with the earlier study, compared to the placebo group, the formulation maintained or improved cognitive performance (PMID: 25589719). The studies were further extended to evaluate the formulation in MCI subjects, and similarly the formulation maintained or improved cognitive performance (PMID: 26402075). While these results are promising, the findings suggest that a combinatorial approach could provide superior neuroprotection than individual α-Tph.

Keywords: α-Tph , AD