The Arab world consists of twenty-three countries, twelve of which are located in the west of Asia (MiddleEast) and the remaining eleven, in Africa. I will limit my talk to the practice of neurosurgery in the Asian Arabcountries. Neurosurgery in the African Arab countries will be considered in a separate talk given by Dr ElKhamlichi. With a total population of about 100 millions, the majority of the peoples in the Asian Middle Eastern countriesare Muslims and Arabic is the official language. Their geographic location, in the center of the world and at thecross roads of civilization, has had a great impact on their culture and development. As the lands in which threemajor religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) originated, religion constitutes an important part of everyday life.Following World War II most of these countries became part of the British or French empires and only regained the independence in the second half of the last century. Thus, in many respects, they are young countries with an average age of around 50 years. Neurosurgery began to be practiced in the Middle Eastern Arabic countries in the second half of the last century, following the end of colonization and, although begun relatively late, development was rapid and internationally recognized standards were quickly achieved in many regions. Great efforts were made by senior neurosurgeons to initiate and advance neurosurgery services so that, at the present time modern neurosurgical centers maybe found in most areas. However, political instability, shortages and an uneven distribution of neurosurgeons aresome of the main problems facing neurosurgery in the Arabic countries. To secure the future of good neurosurgical practice and increase its accessibility we will need further development with increasing numbers of neurosurgeons,neurosurgical units, and training programs.
A brief history of the development of neurosurgery in India is presented. References to neurosurgery can befound in the ancient Indian medical texts. Neurosurgery emerged as an independent speciality in India since the 1940's evolving with the independence of the country. The development of neurosurgery in various parts of thecountry is outlined. The Neurological Society of India is the national society for neuroscientists. Neurology India isthe official journal of the society. Pioneering contributions have been made by Indian neurosurgeons. The presentstate of neurosurgery and neurosurgical training in India has been enumerated.