Balamand, Lebanon
Balamand, Lebanon

The University of Balamand is a private, officially secular university located at El-Koura, Lebanon. It was founded by the Orthodox Patriarch Ignatius IV of Antioch in 1988. The university's main campus is adjacent to Balamand Monastery, but it has two other campuses in Beirut: One is in Sin el Fil, which houses the majority of the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts, and the other is neighboring Saint George Hospital in Achrafieh, which houses the faculty for medicine and medical science.Formerly, it was a project at the Koura District, which North Lebanon’s department came to continue as an inter-cultural message in 1988, and to fuse under its administration the Lebanese Academy of Fine Arts and Saint John of Damascus Institute of Theology.The University of Balamand was founded by the Patriarch through the concept of a Kouranian engineer called Elias Abi Shaheen, in which the concept formed between years 1983 and 1987, in the midst of the Lebanese Civil War. The project started soon after Governmental Clearance in 1988.As of 2010, the Master Plan at the mount of long heritage in the Balamand region, is still incomplete. Wikipedia.


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Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA | Phase: ICT-2007.9.1 | Award Amount: 798.55K | Year: 2008

MEDAR addresses International Cooperation with the Arabic region on Speech and Language Technologies. MEDAR is structured around 3 pillars, 4 main objectives, and a number of instruments.\n\nThe 3 pillars are 1) producing a knowledge base on Human Language Technology (HLT) players, existing language resources (LRs) and processing tools, activities and products for Arabic, 2) designing a strong cooperation roadmap between EU and Arabic countries, within the Arabic countries, and between academia and industry and 3) focusing on Machine Translation (MT) and Multilingual Information Retrieval (MLIR) for which required technology components, LRs, benchmarking methodologies will be identified.\n\nThe 4 objectives are 1) consolidating a network of players in all areas of HLT, 2) developing the Cooperation Roadmap based on a clear picture of the foreseeable technological trends, market potentials, and cooperation possibilities, 3) Updating the Basic Language Resource Kit: the minimum set of resources and tools necessary for carrying out research and training on LRs and HLT, with a focus on MT and MLIR and 4) Supporting the development of tools and resources, in particular MT and MLIR on the basis of partners technologies and open source code (e.g. Statistical MT, MLIR, and speech recognition) and the framework for their benchmarking.\n\nA variety of instruments will be used to achieve the objectives: Surveys will be conducted as well as market analysis. Partners background will be exploited to identify the best multilingual open-source tools to customize to Arabic. Expertise on evaluation within the consortium will create the right benchmarking framework. Key achievements will be highlighted for each strategic partnership in addition to the actions to be taken. Human resources will be at the heart of our recommendations. Information will be disseminated through e.g. website and e-newsletter, and a major conference on LRs, tools, and Evaluation for Arabic.


Grant
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP-SICA | Phase: ENV.2009.2.2.1.4 | Award Amount: 8.83M | Year: 2010

Many efforts have been deployed for developing Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) in the Mediterranean and the Black Sea. Both basins have, and continue to suffer severe environmental degradation. In many areas this has led to unsustainable trends, which have impacted, on economic activities and human well-being. An important progress has been made with the launch of the ICZM Protocol for the Mediterranean Sea in January 2008. The ICZM Protocol offers, for the first time in the Mediterranean, an opportunity to work in a new way, and a model that can be used as a basis for solving similar problems elsewhere, such as in the Back Sea. The aim of PEGASO is to build on existing capacities and develop common novel approaches to support integrated policies for the coastal, marine and maritime realms of the Mediterranean and Black Sea Basins in ways that are consistent with and relevant to the implementation of the ICZM Protocol for the Mediterranean. PEGASO will use the model of the existing ICZM Protocol for the Mediterranean and adjust it to the needs of the Black Sea through three innovative actions: - Constructing an ICZM governance platform as a bridge between scientist and end-user communities, going far beyond a conventional bridging. The building of a shared scientific and end users platform is at the heart of our proposal linked with new models of governance. -Refining and further developing efficient and easy to use tools for making sustainability assessments in the coastal zone (indicators, accounting methods and models, scenarios, socio-economic valuations, etc). They will be tested and validated in 10 sites (CASES) and by the ICZM Platform, using a multi-scale approach for integrated regional assessment. -Implementing a Spatial Data Infrastructure (SDI), following INSPIRE Directive, to organize local geonodes and standardize spatial data to support information sharing on an interactive visor, to make it available to the ICZM Platform, and to disseminate all results of the project to all interested parties and beyond. -Enhancing regional networks of scientists and stakeholders in ICPC countries, supported by capacity building, to implement the PEGASO tools and lessons learned, to assess the state and trends for coast and sea in both basins, identifying present and future main threats agreeing on responses to be done at different scales in an integrated approach, including transdisciplinary and transbondary long-term collaborations.


Daher M.,University of Balamand
Annals of Oncology | Year: 2013

Cancer incidence will increase as the population ages; there will be a 50% increase in new cancer cases over the next 20 years, and the biggest rates of increase will occur in the developing world. Owing to technical advances in the care of critical illness, as it is the case in elderly people with advanced cancer, physicians, patients and families are often confronted with ambiguous circumstances in which medical advances may inadvertently prolong suffering and the dying process rather than bring healing and recovery. In this review of the ethical issues confronting physicians who care for patients with advanced life-limiting illnesses like cancer, a philosophical debate continues in the medical community regarding the rightness or wrongness of certain actions (e.g. physician-assisted death, euthanasia), while at the same time there is a strong desire to find a common ground for moral discourse that could guide medical decision-making in this difficult period in the lives of our patients. We will discuss how a good palliative care can be an alternative to these ethical dilemmas. Although some issues (e.g. the role of physician-assisted death in addressing suffering) remain very controversial, there is much common ground based on the application of the four major principles of medical ethics, no malfeasance, beneficence, autonomy and justice. Thus, the physician's primary commitment must always be the patient's welfare and best interests, whether the physician is treating illness or helping patients to cope with illness, disability and death. A key skill here is the communication of bad news and to negotiate a treatment plan that is acceptable to the patient, the family and the healthcare team. Attention to psychosocial issues demands involvement of the patients and their families as partners. Physicians should be sensitive to the range of psychosocial distress and social disruption common to dying patients and their families. Spiritual issues often come to the fore. An interdisciplinary healthcare team can help in these areas. The goals of this review are to raise the awareness of doctors, nurses and other members of the healthcare team to the important ethical issues that must be addressed in providing medical care to elderly patients with advanced cancer; and also to encourage members of the healthcare team to take the ethical issues seriously so that we can improve the circumstances of a vulnerable group of patients-the elderly patients with cancer. © The Author 2013. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved.


Friction and wear performance of engine oils in the presence of polutetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) and iron fluoride (FeF 3) catalyst with plain zinc dialkyldithiophosphate (ZDDP) oils, and fully formulated oils were studied under extreme boundary lubrication (2.72 Hertzian contact load). Two brands of plain ZDDP oils with the same phosphorus percentages were used in the analysis. The study uses design of experiment (DOE) to analyse and optimise the fluorinated oil combinations, thus reducing phosphorus in both plain and fully formulated oils. High and low concentrations of fluorinated catalyst were optimised, and a (PTFE?+?catalyst) combination suitable for plain ZDDP oil and a fully formulated oil were studied using scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive spectroscopy, wear profile analysis and tribosurfaces comparison. The experiment indicated that submicron FeF 3 catalyst played an important role in preventing the breakdown of the tribofilm. The reduction of phosphorus in engine oil was examined. Very reproducible boundary lubrication tests with three replicates for each oil blend were conducted as part of the DOE software to study the behaviour of FeF 3 catalyst and PTFE or Teflon in developing environmentally friendly (reduced P and S) anti?wear additives for future engine oil formulations. Several responses with respect to sample failure and post?wear measurements were analysed, and the overall desirability of the model was targeted to lower phosphorus blends. The goal of the model solution was to check the maximum and minimum interactions of PTFE and selected FeF 3 catalyst with respect to both plain ZDDP oils and fully formulated oil. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


There is a recent concern about the effects of P-containing anti-wear additives in regard to emissions reduction in automobiles and trucks. Research described here is aimed at providing good friction and wear performance while reducing suspected catalyst poisoning effects from compounds like zinc dialkyl dithiophosphate (ZDDP). The effects of adding submicron particles of titanium fluoride or iron fluoride along with polytetrafluoroethylene to ZDDP were investigated with bearing steel using a sliding ball-on-ring apparatus that operates under boundary lubrication. An optimized load of 336N (2.6GPa Hertzian contact pressure) and 60μl of oil quantity were used to run several tests using 0.05P% plain ZDDP with and without additives (1% catalysts and 2% PTFE) under two different speeds (3.14m/s for the first 943m (5000 revolutions) then 2.2m/s until failure or 18,856m (100,000 revolutions) whichever comes first) and steady state speed of 2.2m/s. Special attention was paid to the effects of running-in and temperature. Therefore, a break in period of 3min was chosen when the tribotest temperature reached 100°C. Results showed that 0.8% FeF3+0.2% TiF3 and 2% PTFE additives when combined with 0.05P% (phosphorus) ZDDP plain oil performed better than that when ZDDP is used alone. Thermally treated surfaces showed better coating and support our findings. A good transfer layer under extreme pressure was responsible for improving the antiwear resistance of additives and for lowering the wear volume and wear debris as it is evident by SEM and TEM images. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.


Kreidy R.,University of Balamand
International Journal of Vascular Medicine | Year: 2014

Prevention, management, and treatment of venous thromboembolism requires understanding of the epidemiology and associated risk factors, particularly in recognizing populations warranting prophylaxis, in evaluating patients with high risk situations, and in determining the duration of anticoagulation required to minimize recurrent thrombosis and to avoid postthrombotic syndrome. The present paper reviews recent advances concerning acquired and genetic risk factors for venous thrombosis, analyses individual risks related to age, and focuses on thrombotic genetic risk factors and the synergistic gene-environment and gene-gene interactions and their importance in the management and treatment of venous thromboembolic disease. © 2014 Raghid Kreidy.


Bassil N.,University of Balamand
Medical Clinics of North America | Year: 2011

Late-onset hypogonadism is a clinical and biological syndrome associated with advancing age and characterized by typical symptoms and a deficiency in serum testosterone levels. It is a common condition but often underdiagnosed and undertreated. The main symptoms of hypogonadism are reduced libido/erectile dysfunction, reduced muscle mass and strength, increased adiposity, osteoporosis/low bone mass, depressed mood, and fatigue. Testosterone replacement therapy is only warranted in the presence of both clinical symptoms suggesting hormone deficiency and decreased hormone levels. It improves libido and sexual function, bone density, muscle mass, body composition, mood, erythropoiesis, cognition, quality of life, and cardiovascular disease. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.


Oil and engine lubricant are complex products consisting of detergent, dispersant, antiwear additives, and viscosity improver. Many of these ingredients can interact and influence the mechanism of tribofilm formation and breakdown. This paper addresses the friction and wear performance of ZDDP plain oil additives (0.1% phosphorus) with (iron fluoride FeF 3+titanium fluoride TiF 3) catalysts and polytetrafluoroethylene PTFE using thermal and tribological analysis. Thermal tests and tribological tests were performed using thermogravimetric analysis (TGA), X-ray Photoelectron Spectroscopy (XPS), and ball on cylinder wear apparatus. The tribological data were collected and Design of Experiment (DOE) was used to optimize the load and oil quantity with respect to surface finish. Data analyzed by Transmission Electron Microscopy (TEM) and Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) on optimized samples showed that 0.1μm R a surfaces tribologically tested with ZDDP, catalyst and PTFE performed better under an optimized load of 307N (2.53GPa Hertzian contact pressure), especially when 2 different rotational speeds are used (100rpm for the first 5000 revolutions then 700rpm until 100,000 revolution or failure whichever comes first). Thermally treated surfaces show better coating in the presence of TiF 3 and FeF 3 with PTFE. The transfer of coating material under extreme pressure improved the antiwear resistance of the additives, and was shown to have an influence on the friction and wear performance. © 2011 Elsevier B.V.


El Hage R.,University of Balamand
Osteoporosis International | Year: 2012

Summary The aim of this study was to compare hip bone strength indices in obese, overweight, and normal-weight adolescent boys using hip structure analysis. After adjusting for weight, obese boys displayed lower intertrochanteric cross-sectional moment of inertia and femoral shaft crosssectional moment of inertia and section modulus in comparison to normal-weight and overweight boys. This study suggests that in obese adolescent boys, femoral shaft bending strength is not adapted to the increased body weight. Introduction The influence of being obese or overweight on bone strength in adolescents remains controversial. The main aim of this study was to compare hip bone strength indices in obese, overweight, and normal-weight adolescent boys using hip structure analysis. The second aim of this study was to explore the influence of lean mass and fat mass on hip bone strength indices in the same population. Methods This study included 70 adolescent boys (25 obese, 25 normal weight, and 20 overweight). The three groups (obese, overweight, and normal weight) were matched for maturity (Tanner stage) and age. Body composition and bone mineral density (BMD) were assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA). To evaluate hip bone strength, DXA scans were analyzed at the femoral neck (FN), the intertochanteric (IT), and the femoral shaft (FS) by the Hip Structure Analysis (HSA) program. Cross-sectional area (CSA), an index of axial compression strength, section modulus (Z), an index of bending strength, and crosssectional moment of inertia (CSMI), an index of structural rigidity were measured from bone mass profiles. Results Body weight, lean mass, fat mass and BMI were significantly higher in obese and overweight boys in comparison to normal-weight boys (P<0.05). Total hip (TH) BMD and femoral neck (FN) BMD were significantly higher in obese and overweight boys in comparison to normal-weight boys (P<0.05). After adjusting for age or maturation index, obese and overweight boys displayed significantly higher TH and FN BMD, CSA, CSMI, and Z of the three sites (FN, IT, and FS) in comparison to normalweight boys (P<0.05). However, after adjusting for weight, obese boys displayed significantly lower IT CSMI and FS CSMI and Z in comparison to normal-weight and overweight boys (P<0.05). Conclusions This study suggests that in obese adolescent boys, intertrochanteric structural rigidity and femoral shaft structural rigidity and bending strength are not adapted to the increased body weight. © International Osteoporosis Foundation and National Osteoporosis Foundation 2011.


Daher M.,University of Balamand
Annals of Oncology | Year: 2012

In 2008, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) released its World Cancer Report, which indicated that cancer accounts for approximately 12% of all-cause mortality worldwide. IARC estimated that globally 7.6 million peopled died from cancer and that 12.4 million new cases were diagnosed in 2008. The report went on to project that, due to increases in life expectancy, improvements in clinical diagnostics, and shifting trends in health behaviors (e.g. increases in smoking and sedentary lifestyles), in the absence of significant efforts to improve global cancer control, cancer mortality could increase to 12.9 million and cancer incidence to 20 million by the year 2030. Looking deeper into the data, it becomes clear that cancer-related stigma and myths about cancer are important problems that must be addressed, although different from a country to another. Stigmas about cancer present significant challenges to cancer control: stigma can have a silencing effect, whereby efforts to increase cancer awareness are negatively affected. The social, emotional, and financial devastation that all too often accompanies a diagnosis of cancer is, in large part, due to the cultural myths and taboos surrounding the disease. Combating stigma, myths, taboos, and overcoming silence will play important roles in changing this provisional trajectory. There are several reasons that cancer is stigmatized. Many people in our area perceived cancer to be a fatal disease. Cancer symptoms or body parts affected by the disease can cultivate stigma. Fears about treatment can also fuel stigma. There was evidence of myths associated with cancer, such as the belief that cancer is contagious, or cancer may be seen as a punishment. After reviewing these different examples of cultural myths and taboos met in cancer care, we can report these lessons learned: 1. Around the world, cancer continues to carry a significant amount of stigma, myths, and taboos; however, there are opportunities to capitalize upon shifting perceptions and positive change. 2. Awareness of cancer prevention, early detection, treatment, and survival are on the rise; however, too many people still report that they feel uninformed when it comes to cancer. 3. Communication is critical to decreasing cancer-related stigma, raising cancer awareness, and disseminating cancer education. People with a personal history of cancer-especially well-known or celebrity survivors-and multiple mass media channels are key resources for dissemination. 4. The school system represents a potential venue for cancer education, and increasing cancer awareness among children may be an investment with high returns. 5. When facing cancer, people around the world want information and emotional support for themselves and their families. 6. Tobacco use and poor nutrition are widely acknowledged as cancer risks. Programs and policies that help people translate this awareness into action are needed. The global cancer community should capitalize upon positive shifts in attitudes about awareness of cancer and leverage these shifts to develop, and disseminate effective media campaigns and behavioral interventions to decrease the incidence of and morbidity and mortality associated with cancer. © The Author 2012. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the European Society for Medical Oncology. All rights reserved.

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