Sports Medicine in the Arab World

  • Mohamad Y. Fares
  • Hamza A. Salhab
  • Hussein H. Khachfe
  • Youssef Fares
  • Jawad FaresEmail author
Living reference work entry


The rise in popularity of sports worldwide has shed light on the importance of sports medicine on both individual and community-based levels. The increasing participation of Arab countries in global sporting events, the rise of talented Arab athletes worldwide, and the greater allocation of funds towards Arab sporting organizations have attracted many investors and promoters to the region. This helped establish better sporting facilities and enhance and promote athletic youth development. Nevertheless, sports medicine remains a young medical field in the Arab world. This is unfortunate, given the health problems facing Arab countries, evident by the prevalence of obesity and physical inactivity among its population. The Arab world is noticeably lagging when it comes to sports medicine research. The lack of research culture, deficiency of adequate funds, and the political turmoil embroiling the region are some of the reasons as to why this medical field is not developing properly. It is essential to solve these problems if we ought to remain up-to-date with the academic advancements achieved worldwide. Forging scientific collaborations, expanding research activities, and harboring political and regional stability are essential for the research culture to thrive and prosper in the Arab world.


Sports medicine Exercise medicine Physical activity Arab world Research activity Sports research Orthopedics 


  1. Abbassi D (2007) Sport et usages politiques du passé dans la Tunisie des débuts du XXIe siècle. Polit Soc 26(2–3):125–142Google Scholar
  2. About Aspetar (2019) In: Aspetar. Accessed 30 June 2019
  3. Al-Haifi AR, Al-Fayez MA, Al-Athari BI et al (2013) Relative contribution of physical activity, sedentary behaviors, and dietary habits to the prevalence of obesity among Kuwaiti adolescents. Food Nutr Bull 34(1):6–13PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Almansour S (2016) The crisis of research and global recognition in Arab universities. Near Middle East J Res Educ 2016(1):1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Alrababa’h A, Marble W, Mousa S, Siegel AA (2019) Can Exposure to Celebrities Reduce Prejudice? The Effect of Mohamed Salah on Islamophobic Behaviors and Attitudes.
  6. Amara M (2011) Sport, politics and society in the Arab world. London, UK: Palgrave MacmillanGoogle Scholar
  7. Amara M (2012) Makhzanat Arriadah: Korat El-Kadam Namoudhajan [Makhzenization of Sport in Morocco: case study of football]; Sport et Politique en Algérie, The International Journal of the History of Sport, 29:15, 2200–2203, Scholar
  8. Amara M (2014) Sport and political leaders in the Arab world. Hist Polit 23(2):142–153CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Amara M, Henry I (2004) Between globalization and local ‘modernity’: the diffusion and modernization of football in Algeria. Soccer Soc 5(1):1–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bahr R (2001) Recent advances: sports medicine. BMJ 323(7308):328–331. Scholar
  11. Bizri AR, Fares J, Musharrafieh U (2018) Infectious diseases in the era of refugees: hepatitis A outbreak in Lebanon. Avicenna J Med 8(4):147PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Brannagan PM, Giulianotti R (2014) Qatar, global sport and the 2022 FIFA world cup. In: Leveraging legacies from sports mega-events: concepts and cases. Palgrave Pivot, London, pp 154–165CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Darling EA (1899) The effects of training. A study of the Harvard University crews. Boston Med Surg J 141:229CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fares Y, Fares J (2013) Anatomical and neuropsychological effects of cluster munitions. Neurol Sci 34(12):2095–2100PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fares Y, Fares J (2017) Neurosurgery in Lebanon: history, development, and future challenges. World Neurosurg 99:524–532PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fares J, Fares Y (2018) Cluster munitions: military use and civilian health hazards. Bull World Health Organ 96(8):584PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Fares Y, Ayoub F, Fares J et al (2013a) Pain and neurological sequelae of cluster munitions on children and adolescents in South Lebanon. Neurol Sci 34(11):1971–1976PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Fares Y, El-Zaatari M, Fares J et al (2013b) Trauma-related infections due to cluster munitions. J Infect Public Health 6(6):482–486PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Fares Y, Fares J, Gebeily S (2014) Head and facial injuries due to cluster munitions. Neurol Sci 35(6):905–910PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Fares J, Fares MY, Fares Y (2017a) Musculoskeletal neck pain in children and adolescents: risk factors and complications. Surg Neurol Int 8:72PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Fares J, Gebeily S, Saad M et al (2017b) Post-traumatic stress disorder in adult victims of cluster munitions in Lebanon: a 10-year longitudinal study. BMJ Open 7(8):e017214PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Fares MY, Fares J, Baydoun H et al (2017c) Sport and exercise medicine research activity in the Arab world: a 15-year bibliometric analysis. BMJ Open Sport Exerc Med 3(1):e000292PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Fares MY, Dimassi Z, Baydoun H et al (2018) Slipping rib syndrome: solving the mystery of the shooting pain. Am J Med Sci 357:168PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Fares MY, Salhab HA, Khachfe HH, Khachfe HM. (2019). Breast Cancer Epidemiology among Lebanese Women: An 11-Year Analysis. Medicina, 55(8):463.PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Fares J, Salhab HA, Fares MY, Khachfe HH, Fares Y. (2019a) Academic medicine and the development of future leaders in healthcare. In: Laher I. (eds) Handbook of healthcare in the arab world. Springer, Cham.
  26. Fares J, Khachfe HH, Fares MY, Salhab HA, Fares Y. (2019b) Conflict medicine in the arab world. Handbook of healthcare in the arab world. In: Laher I. (eds) Handbook of healthcare in the arab world. Springer, Cham.Google Scholar
  27. Giles J. (2006) Arab state pours oil profits into science. Nature, 441:132–3. Scholar
  28. Ginesta X, de San Eugenio J (2014) The use of football as a country branding strategy. Case study: Qatar and the Catalan sports press. Commun Sport 2(3):225–241CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Guthold R, Cowan MJ, Autenrieth CS et al (2010) Physical activity and sedentary behavior among schoolchildren: a 34-country comparison. J Pediatr 157(1):43–49PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hallal PC, Victora CG, Azevedo MR et al (2006) Adolescent physical activity and health. Sports Med 36(12):1019–1030PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hoteit A (2015) War against architecture, identity and collective memory. Int J Dev Res 5(2):3415–3420.Google Scholar
  32. Hoteit A (2016) Architectural education in the Arab world and its role in facing the contemporary local and regional challenges. Can Soc Sci 12(7):1–7Google Scholar
  33. Hoteit A, Fares J (2014) Psycho-environmental tribulations arising from cluster munitions in South Lebanon. Sci-Afr J Sci Issues Res Essays 2(10):469–473Google Scholar
  34. Kahn JA, Huang B, Gillman MW et al (2008) Patterns and determinants of physical activity in US adolescents. J Adolesc Health 42(4):369–377PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Khachfe HH, Salhab HA, Fares MY, Khachfe HM (2019a) Current state of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy clinical trials. Global heart, 14(3):317–325.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Khachfe HH, Salhab HA, Fares MY, Khachfe HM (2019b) Probing the colorectal cancer incidence in Lebanon: an 11-year epidemiological study. Journal of gastrointestinal cancer, 1–8.Google Scholar
  37. Khachfe HH, Refaat MM (2019) Bibliometric analysis of cardiovascular disease research activity in the Arab world. Int Cardiovasc Forum J 15.
  38. Khachfe, Hussein H, et al. (2019) Maternal mortality and health in the Arab World: A 25-year epidemiological study. Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research.Google Scholar
  39. Lopez ST (2012) Race, place and soccer: Egypt, Morocco and ‘African’ identity in the competition to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Soccer Soc 13(5–6):639–652CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Malkawi BH (2006) Broadcasting the 2006 World Cup: the right of Arab fans versus ART exclusivity. Fordham Intell Prop Media Ent LJ 17:591Google Scholar
  41. Malliaropoulos N, Ghrairi M, Al Hashimi M et al (2017) Inspiring excellence in musculoskeletal sports medicine. Br J Sports Med 51:1575CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Mowafi H (2011) Conflict, displacement and health in the Middle East. Glob Public Health 6:472PubMedCrossRefPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  43. Musaiger AO (2002) Diet and prevention of coronary heart disease in the Arab Middle East countries. Med Princ Pract 11:9–16PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Musaiger AO (2011) Overweight and obesity in eastern mediterranean region: prevalence and possible causes. Journal of Obesity, Article ID 407237, 17. Scholar
  45. Musaiger AO, Al-Hazzaa HM (2012) Prevalence and risk factors associated with nutrition-related noncommunicable diseases in the Eastern Mediterranean region. Int J Gen Med 5:199PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Musaiger AO, Al-Mannai M, Tayyem R et al (2012) Prevalence of overweight and obesity among adolescents in seven Arab countries: a cross-cultural study. Journal of Obesity, Article ID 981390, 5. Scholar
  47. Musaiger AO, Al-Mannai M, Tayyem R et al (2013) Perceived barriers to healthy eating and physical activity among adolescents in seven Arab countries: a cross-cultural study. Sci World J 2013:1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Nelson ME, Rejeski WJ, Blair SN et al (2007) Physical activity and public health in older adults: recommendation from the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Heart Association. Circulation 116(9):1094PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Ng SW, Zaghloul S, Ali H et al (2011) Nutrition transition in the United Arab Emirates. Eur J Clin Nutr 65(12):1328PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Nichols EH, Richardson FL (1909) Football injuries of the Harvard squad for three years under the revised rules. Boston Med Surg J 160(2):33–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Nichols EH, Smith HB (1906) The physical aspect of American football. Boston Med Surg J 154(1):1–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Population Reference Bureau (2016) World population data sheet. Population Reference Bureau, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  53. Puddington A (2012) Freedom in the world 2012: the Arab uprisings and their global repercussions. In: Freedom in the world. Washington DC, USA: Freedom House, pp 1–40Google Scholar
  54. Rosselli D (1999) Geography of biomedical publications. Lancet 354(9177):517PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Ryan AJ (1971) History of the development of sport sciences and medicine. In: Larson LA, Herrmann DE (eds) Encyclopedia of sport sciences and medicine. Macmillan, New York, pp XXXIII–XXLVIIGoogle Scholar
  56. Salhab HA, Salameh P, Hajj H et al (2018) Stroke in the Arab world: a bibliometric analysis of research activity (2002–2016). eNeurologicalSci 13:40–45PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Salhab HA, Fares MY, Khachfe HH et al (2019a) Epidemiological study of lung cancer incidence in Lebanon. Medicina 55(6):217PubMedCentralCrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  58. Salhab HA, Fares MY, Khachfe HH et al (2019b) Musculoskeletal lower limb injuries in Major League Baseball. Phys Ther Sport 39:38PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Sibai AM, Nasreddine L, Mokdad AH et al (2010) Nutrition transition and cardiovascular disease risk factors in Middle East and North Africa countries: reviewing the evidence. Ann Nutr Metab 57(3–4):193–203CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Snook GA (1984) The history of sports medicine. Part I. Am J Sports Med 12(4):252–254PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. SPI (2019) In: SPI Sport Performance Institute | Fitness and Sports Education in Canada the Middle East, and China | Sports education in the Middle East. Accessed 30 June 2019
  62. Sweileh WM, Zyoud SEH, Al-Jabi SW et al (2014) Research output from Palestine (1995–2012): a bibliometric study. Int Inf Libr Rev 46(3–4):99–112CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. UFC 242 Abu Dhabi (2019) In: UFC. Accessed 30 June 2019
  64. World Health Organisation (2017) Physical activity. World Health Organization.
  65. Youcef F (1994) Sport et tiers-monde. Presses Univ de France, ParisGoogle Scholar
  66. Zahlan A (2012) Science, development, and sovereignty in the Arab world. New York, USA: SpringerCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Zeigler EF, McGregor J (1958) International scene; Basketball – the world’s fastest growing game. J Health Phys Educ Recreat 29(7):47–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mohamad Y. Fares
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Hamza A. Salhab
    • 2
    • 3
  • Hussein H. Khachfe
    • 2
    • 3
  • Youssef Fares
    • 3
  • Jawad Fares
    • 4
    Email author
  1. 1.College of Medical, Veterinary, and Life SciencesUniversity of GlasgowGlasgow, ScotlandUK
  2. 2.Faculty of MedicineAmerican University of BeirutBeirutLebanon
  3. 3.Neuroscience Research Center, Faculty of MedicineLebanese UniversityBeirutLebanon
  4. 4.Department of Neurological SurgeryFeinberg School of Medicine, Northwestern UniversityChicagoUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Irene Anne Jillson
    • 1
  1. 1.Georgetown UniversityWashington DCUSA

Personalised recommendations