Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME)

SESAME - The Story

The idea of an international synchrotron light source in the Middle East was first proposed in 1997 by Herman Winick of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (Stanford University, USA) and Gustaf-Adolf Voss of the German Synchrotron (Deutsches Elktronen Synchrotron) during two seminars organized in 1997 in Italy and in 1998 in Sweden by Tord Ekelof with the CERN-based Middle East Scientific Co-operation group headed by Sergio Fubini Germany had just decided to decommission its facility, BESSY 1, since a newer one was being built in Berlin. At the request of Sergio Fubini and Herwig Schopper, the German government agreed to donate the components to SESAME, provided the dismantling was taken care of by the latter. The plan was brought to the attention of Federico Mayor, then Director-General of UNESCO, who called a meeting at the Organization's Headquaters in Paris in July 1999 of delegates from the Middle East and other regions.

The outcome of the meeting was the launching of the project and the setting-up of an International Interim Council under the Chairmanship of Herwig Schopper. Jordan, which has been selected to host the center, is providing the land as well as funds for the construction of the building. The groundbreaking ceremony was held in January 2003 and construction work began the following July. The component parts of BESSY 1 have been shipped from Germany to Jordan. In May 2002, the Executive Board of UNESCO unanimously approved the establishment of the center under the auspices of the Organization.

UNESCO is the depository of the SESAME Statutes. In January 2003, the Center's creation was formally sealed following an exchange of correspondence between Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, and UNESCO's Member States. Immediately after the ground-breaking ceremony in January 2003, the first meeting of the permanent Council - replacing the International Interim Council - took place. At this first meeting, the centre's statutes were approved and the President (Herwig Schopper from Germany) and two Vice-Presidents (Khaled Toukan from Jordan and Dincer Ülkü from Turkey) of SESAME were elected. The idea of an international synchrotron light source in the Middle East was first proposed in 1997 by Herman Winick of the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (Stanford University, USA) and Gustaf-Adolf Voss of the German Synchrotron (Deutsches Elktronen Synchrotron) during two seminars organized in 1997 in Italy and in 1998 in Sweden by Tord Ekelof with the CERN-based Middle East Scientific Co-operation group headed by Sergio Fubini Germany had just decided to decommission its facility, BESSY 1, since a newer one was being built in Berlin.

At the request of Sergio Fubini and Herwig Schopper, the German government agreed to donate the components to SESAME, provided the dismantling was taken care of by the latter. The plan was brought to the attention of Federico Mayor, then Director-General of UNESCO, who called a meeting at the Organization's Headquaters in Paris in July 1999 of delegates from the Middle East and other regions. The outcome of the meeting was the launching of the project and the setting-up of an International Interim Council under the Chairmanship of Herwig Schopper. Jordan, which has been selected to host the center, is providing the land as well as funds for the construction of the building. The groundbreaking ceremony was held in January 2003 and construction work began the following July. The component parts of BESSY 1 have been shipped from Germany to Jordan. In May 2002, the Executive Board of UNESCO unanimously approved the establishment of the center under the auspices of the Organization. UNESCO is the depository of the SESAME Statutes.

In January 2003, the Center's creation was formally sealed following an exchange of correspondence between Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, and UNESCO's Member States. Immediately after the ground-breaking ceremony in January 2003, the first meeting of the permanent Council - replacing the International Interim Council - took place. At this first meeting, the centre's statutes were approved and the President (Herwig Schopper from Germany) and two Vice-Presidents (Khaled Toukan from Jordan and Dincer Ülkü from Turkey) of SESEAME were elected.

Scientific Programme for SESAME Members (National Committee)



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