Thursday, December 28, 2006

Middle East Research Center: Iranians upset over Egyptian visa denial

Iranians are upset over the failure of 35 Iranian scientists to obtain Egyptian visas for a recent meeting in Alexandria of researchers hoping to work on the Synchrotron Light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME) project. Eight countries are now members of this consortium - an interesting mix of countries: Jordan, Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Pakistan, Palestine and Turkey (yes...this is really the list). The Iranian parliament is expected to vote sometime next year on a proposal to formally join the project in which its scientists have participated since 2001. So...Middle East peace will be achieved through a Synchrotron - at least its a new idea. But this visa issue may influence Iran's decision to join-in. According to Science (Dec 15, 2006), some miscommunication on both sides about timings was responsible for visa denials.

The synchrotron machine is donated by Germany and will be located at a site 19 miles outside Amman, Jordan. It is expected to start working in 2010 and is intended as both a platform for research and a model for research cooperation. You can find more info. about SESAME here

This building, located 19 miles outside of amman, Jordan, will house the SESAME particle accelerator.

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