AOTrauma Middle East

Although the teaching activities of the AO Foundation in the Middle East region started in 1979, the AOTrauma Middle East (AOTME) was officially announced as a region in 2010.

Early beginnings

The first AOTME Regional Board was chaired by Prof Mamoun Kremli. During his two terms of chairmanship, the number of member countries hosting AO activities increased from six to 18.

Dr Wael Taha became the first AOTME Education Commission Chair. Through his term, the number of local and regional courses saw a remarkable increase. Faculty Education Programs were also introduced. The Middle East faculty began marking its presence as international faculty at the AO Foundation Davos Courses. In 2009, Prof Hazem A Azeem became the first faculty from the region to co-chair a course in Davos. In 2010 and 2012, he went on to chair the AOTrauma Course—Basic Principles at the Davos Courses. In the meantime, Prof Hassan Sharifi headed the clinical fellowships.

The first AOTME Research Committee (AOTMERC) chaired by Prof Hazem A Azeem took on the responsibility of promoting research activities within the region. Despite budget limitations and the lack of awareness about research activities, the AOTMERC organized the first research forum in Dubai in March 2011, and hosted 'Research Road Map—from idea to publication' in 2012.

Research fellows were also sent to the AO Research Institute Davos (ARI) and to the AO Clinical Investigation and Documentation (AOCID).

The first AOTME Community Development Commission was chaired by Dr Kamel Afifi. During his tenure, the membership reached its peak in 2013, registering 566 members from the region.

Moving ahead

A new AOTME Regional Board was elected in 2012. Chaired by Prof Hazem Abdel Azeem, the Board is composed of Dr Mahmoud Odat as the Regional Education Committee Chair Dr Sohail Bajammal as the Research Committee Chair, and Prof Muhammad Abdul Wajid as the Community Development Committee Chair.

In 2014 a number of 36 educational activities such as AOT courses and symposia are planned within the Middle East region while 40 clinical fellowships from the region were approved for 2014.  

At the AO Foundation Board of Trustees, the Middle East has been allocated three seats on an individual countries basis (Egypt, Bahrain and KSA). 

True to the saying “All glory comes from daring to begin”—Eugene F Ware (1841-1911), AOTME has taken its first step towards success.