On 27 October 2015, the Ambassador of the United States of America to Jordan, Alice G. Wells, toured SESAME in a 45-minute visit tailor-made for her. She was accompanied by the US Embassy Regional Environment, Science, Technology, and Health Officer for the Middle East and North Africa, Elizabeth Hattingh, and by Yara Abu Laban from the Regional Environment, Science, Technology & Health Office at the Embassy.
During the visit she was shown the control room, and from the control engineer she saw at first hand how SESAME’s accelerators and beamlines are to be controlled from one point, while from an IT engineer in the server room she got an insight into the computing facilities and how they will support research at SESAME. From the radiation safety officer she was given an overview of the safety features already in place to prevent exposure to radiation. In the booster tunnel, an accelerator physicist explained how the machine accelerates electrons to produce synchrotron radiation, and in a tour round the storage ring tunnel she was given information on preparations being made for the installation there in the forthcoming weeks of the girders and dipoles that are already on site.
The Ambassador was also shown round the Infrared (IR) laboratory where a Fourier Transform Infrared microscope, which will be adapted to SESAME’s ‘day-one’ IR beamline, has been in use for more than a year thanks to which the first scientific results are now coming out of SESAME. This includes a joint study of breast cancer by Fatemeh Elmi of the University of Mazandaran, Iran, with Randa Mansour and Nisreen Dahshan, two PhD students in the Faculty of Pharmacy, at the University of Jordan.
The Director of SESAME, Khaled Toukan, who accompanied Ambassador Wells throughout her visit, filled her in on the history, structure and goals of SESAME, as well as its importance for the region. He thanked her for her country’s support and expressed the hope to see this cooperation increased. The USA is one of the 16 Observers of SESAME and it has been a fervent supporter of the project ever since its inception in 1999.