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The idea of the book, Public Health in the Arab World, was conceptualized during preparations for the scientific conference of the 50th anniversary of the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) at the American University of Beirut (AUB), which took place in December 2004. Discussions uncovered the need for a comprehensive book focusing on public health in the Arab region. A community of authors began working together in 2008 to produce the volume.
The book covers a board array of contemporary public health issues in the Arab World (see Table of Contents in the Front Matter section) . In addition to fulfilling a need for informational material on leading public health issues in the region, the book presents critical insights based on sound theoretical foundations and offers stimulating material for debate and action.
The significance of the book stems from its approach, seeing health in its broadest sense as a right and as a social construct, thus the emphasis on social determinants of health and multidisciplinarity, associating actions to improve health with broader social actions and, conversely, seeing health actions as having broader social impact.
With 520 pages comprising 38 chapters plus an introduction written by a community of 81 authors, the book is the largest international scholarship collaboration on the subject to date.
The book project has received support from the Ford Foundation's Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa, from AUB, and from FHS where the editorial team has been based and supported by the Center for Research on Population and Health.
The book was "Highly Commended" in the 2012 British Medical Association Medical Book Awards in the Public Health category. More...