The Middle East Spine Society (MESPine) was founded in 2011. It is a scientific and educational association with worldwide members. The main objectives of the society are to study the science and art of spine surgery and to improve our knowledge for the causes, prevention and cure of the diseases in human beings in the field of spine surgery. By promoting the advancement and dissemination of spine surgery through the publication of the theory and application of spine surgery, the exchange of knowledge, and both cooperation between the members and with related academic socieites in the Middle East region and worldwide, MESpine aimed to gain strong leadership and high professionalism.
MESpine aimed to organize congresses, as well as many symposia, courses and hands-on workshops annually. MESpine will also provide scholarships for young spine surgeons, which will allow the applicants to become proficient in the management of patients with spinal disorders. Below you will find a short history of the society.
The decision to found the society has been given during the 1st Middle East Neurosurgical Symposia in Istanbul, Turkey between April 8-10, 2010. President of the Turkish Neurosurgical Society Dr.Ethem Beşkonaklı has organized a “Delegate Meeting and Lunch” on 10th April at 12.30 in Sky Restaurant, Plaza Hotel, Istanbul. This administrative meeting had 29 delegates from 13 countries. Turkish Neurosurgical Society had proposed to found a spine society for the Middle East region and it was generally accepted. The names of the delegates and countries are below:
Algeria: Abderrahmane Sıdı Said
Egypt: Mohamed Hafez Ramadan, Mohamed El-Fiki, Mohamed Mohi Eldin, Mustafa Kotb
Indonesia: Renindra Ananda Aman, Setyo Widi Nugrono
Jordan: Nasri Khoury, Nidal Alrousan, Mahmoud Z. Karmi
Kuwait: Yousef Al Alwadi
Lebanon: Khaled Bou Khaled, Emile Bou Habib
Libya: Hesham Ben Khayal, Ahmed Duma
Morocco: Abdessamad Elouahabi
Saudi Arabia: Mohammed Taher Joharji, Khalaf R. Almoutaery
Sudan: Abubakr Darrag Salim, Abdelhameid A Mohamed, Fatih Bashir El Malik
Syria: Abdul Gafar Kiwan, Abdel Whahed Ghajar
Turkey: Mehmet Zileli, Ethem Beşkonaklı, İhsan Solaroğlu, Murad Bavbek
Yemen: Amin Alkamaly, Kassem Saleh Alasbahi
2011, January 26. Foundation and First General Assembly
Foundation of the society and first administrative meeting have been established during the 2nd Middle East Neurosurgical Symposia, in Pyramids Park Hotel, Cairo, Egypt, between 26-27 January 2011. The meeting president was Dr. Hossam El-Hussieny, the meeting had a title “Challenges of Modern Spine Surgery in the Middle East” and it was with collaboration of the Spine Section of Egyptian Society of Neurological Surgeons. The first General Assembly of the Middle East Spine Society was on 26th January 2011, during which first executive committee was established. Symposia ended at 27th January 2011. It was an interesting time since on 28th January, thousands of protesters have gathered against the regime in Tahrir Square of Cairo. The society has been founded just before the revolution in Egypt.
The first executive committee was elected constituting 9 members: Mehmet Zileli (President), Abdulghafar Kiwan (Vise President), Abd-Elhafiz Shehab-Eldien (Secretary), Nasri J.Sami Khoury (Treasurer), Mohamed Mohi Eldin, Ihsan Solaroglu, AbuBakr Darrag Salim, Setyo Widi Nugroho, Aberrahman Sidi Said (members).
Photo after first general assembly of the society on 27th January 2011. Left to right: Abdulghafar Kiwan, Nasri J.Sami Khoury, Abd-Elhafiz Shehab-Eldien, Setyo Widi Nugroho, Mehmet Zileli, Aberrahman Sidi Said.
2011, December 7-9, First Congress of MESpine
“First Middle East Spine Congress” was organized in Istanbul, Turkey between 7-9 December 2011. It was a 1.5 day meeting with 151 participants (Turkey 50, Iran 38, Egypt 35, Iraq 4, other countries 21). There were 14 invited speakers, 125 presentations (48 oral and 77 poster). We had 4 panel discussions: Panel 1: Surgical options in multilevel lumbar spinal stenosis, Panel 2: Surgical options for recurrent lumbar disc herniation, Panel 3: Surgical options for multilevel cervical spondylotic myelopathy, Panel 4: Surgery for thoracolumbar fractures. Besides, a premeeting course with the topic “Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery” was organized.
2012, June 8-11, contribution to Algerian Neurosurgery
During 27th National congress of Algerian Neurosurgery, and 5th Congress of Maghrebian Neurosurgical Societies, between 8-11 June 2012, in Algeria, President of the meeting Dr.Abderrahman Siddi Said has asked the contribution of the Middle East Spine Society. We organized two panels: Panel 1-Thoracolumbar Spine Trauma: Indications and Surgical Options, Panel 2-Lumbar degenerative disc disease: Surgical indications and options.
2013, May 16-19, Second Congress of MESpine
Second congress of the MESpine was held in Sheraton Hotel, Çeşme, Izmir, Turkey between 16-19 May, 2013.
2015, May 12-14, Third Congress of MESpine
3rd Meeting of the Middle East Spine Society was held in Cairo, Egypt between May 12-14, 2015. The meeting president was Professor Abdel Hafiz Shehab Eldien.
2015, October 9-11, First Istanbul Spine Masters
In 2015 executive committee decided to organize an annual advanced spine course. The name of the course would be Istanbul Spine Masters. It was supported by the Koc University School of Medicine. Meeting venue was Barbaros Point Hotel, Istanbul.
2016, July 26-29, CAANS Meeting
Continental Association of African Neurosurgical Societies (CAANS) have organized a meeting in Cape, Town, South Africa with a motto “Africa Rising”. MESpine was an affiliated society to this meeting and organized three interactive panels: 1-Management of spinal tumors, 2-Thoracolumbar trauma, 3-Spinal infections.
2016, September 29-October 2, Second Istanbul Spine Masters and ISMISS Turkey Joint Meeting
2nd Meeeting of Istanbul Spine Masters was organized as a joint meeting with ISMISS Turkey.
2017, May 10-13, Fourth Congress of MESpine
3rd Meeting of MESpine was organized in Rabat, Morocco. The meeting president was Najia Elabbadi.
The society has been registered to Egypt. First president is Mehmet Zileli (2011-2015), second president is Abdel Hafiz Shehab Eldien (2015-2017), and new president is Salman Sharif. President elect is Mohamed Mohi Eldin. The first meeting of the society was in 2011, and it continues to organize a meeting every two years. It also gives support to local meetings and continental meetings. Society tries to improve spine education in the region. Advanced Spine Course is an example of that. There is also a yahoo group called MESS-Members@yahoogroups.com to discuss cases and problems of spine surgery. Asian Spine Journal (https://asianspinejournal.org/ ) is the official journal of the society.
The society is still in its childhood and need support of all spine surgeons in the region. Our future projects are to implement multicenter studies, a common database and registry, and fellowship programs to train young surgeons. I am sure we will reach those aims in the near future.
Mehmet Zileli, M.D
Founding President of the MESpine