The Middle East Journal of Anesthesiology (Middle East J. Anesth), commonly known as MEJA, was first published in June 1966. It received its International Standard Serial Number (ISSN 0544-0440) in 1981. MEJA was licensed by the Lebanese Ministry of Information Decision No. 84 that was published in the Lebanese Official Gazette No.22 in 28/5/1992. MEJA was accepted for inclusion in the Index Medicus and MEDLARS databases in 1976.
The Middle East Journal of Anesthesiology was first published in June 1966 by Dr. Bernard Brandstater, Chairman and Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology at the American University of Beirut – Medical Center and School of Medicine. Dr. Brandstater assumed the role of the first Editor-in-Chief of the journal and gave it the famous motto “For some must watch, while some must sleep” (Hamlet – Act III, Sc. Ii). He also chose its symbol, the poppy flower (Papaver Somniferum), because the poppy flower was first cultivated in the Middle East and has given a unique service to the suffering of humankind for thousands of years. The journal is a non-profit publication of the Department of Anesthesiology at the American University of Beirut and is managed by volunteer staff from the department.
MEJA is published three times a year (February, June, and October) and has an Editorial Executive Committee consisting of faculty members from the department in addition to consultant editors from various parts of the world. MEJA has a worldwide circulation and was made available electronically since 2008.
The main objective of the journal is to act as a forum for publication, education, and exchange of opinions by promoting basic science and clinical research publications in the field of Anesthesiology.
MEJA has followed a policy to dedicate total issues for regions in the Middle East. To date, 17 regional issues have been published: Iran (June, 1969), Egypt (June, 1970), Lebanon I (February, 1971), Syria (October, 1971), Turkey (June, 1973), Saudi Arabia I (February, 1979), USA I (October, 1979), Lebanon II (February, 1984), Saudi Arabia II (June, 1985), USA II (February, 1986), Qatar (October, 1986), Jordan I (June, 1987), Jordan II (October, 1988), Saudi Arabia III (October, 1993), Saudi Arabia IV (February, 1999), Lebanon III (February, 2004).
It is important to recognize the February and June issues of 1983 that were dedicated to the experiences of the American University of Beirut – Medical Center staff during the tragic Lebanese war. These two issues also inaugurated the new cover design that uses the name of the journal and its symbol the poppy flower depicted in the colors of the Lebanese national flag. Furthermore, to celebrate the arrival of the third millennium (Year 2000), a special issue on the history of anesthesia in the Middle East was published (Vol. 15, No.4, February 2000).
The Middle East Journal of Anesthesiology gained a posture of excellence as evidenced by the “Book Review”, which appeared in the journal Anesthesia & Analgesia (Volume 63, p. 704-708, 1984) in which Dr. Nicholas Green, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Anesthesiology at Yale University School of Medicine, USA while describing MEJA wrote “…this journal has consistently proven to be one of the most interesting and educationally rewarding of the 30 or so regional journals about anesthesiology published throughout the world…”.