On 21st June, 2021, the British Ambassador to Jordan, H.E. Ms. Bridget Brind visited SESAME. She was accompanied by her Embassy team, and by Ms. Muna Zaqsaw, Newton-Khalidi Fund Manager.
The Ambassador and her suite were welcomed by the SESAME Director, Dr. Khaled Toukan, and SESAME Directors. A presentation was given by Dr. Toukan on the importance of the science being carried out at SESAME and the significant role the Facility was playing in science and technology in the Middle East and neighboring countries.
While presenting SESAME as a facility that was hosting researchers and users with diverse cultural, political, and religious backgrounds, Dr. Toukan highlighted the exceptionally pivotal role played by UK in the development of SESAME’s scientific and technical activities. Not only had the Facility benefited from the generous donation of equipment by institutes in the UK, but it had also been the recipient of training opportunities. The most important of these was the Rutherford Fellowship Training Programme organized by SESAME's sister Laboratory Diamond through which a total of 34 training fellowships were granted, thus further reinforcing SESAME’s human capacity.
Dr. Toukan also highlighted the scientific papers on numerous achievements in many different fields of knowledge that had already been published in international peer-reviewed scientific journals by the users of SESAME.
SESAME’s beamline scientists, Gihan Kamel and Latif Khan, each gave a presentation on the many applications possible with their respective beamlines, namely the IR (Infrared) spectromicroscopy and XAFS/XRF (X-ray Absorption Fine Structure/X-ray Fluorescence) spectroscopy beamlines , and how experiments using SESAME may boost scientific research in the region.
Ambassador Brind’s reference to the British Government’s recently-published Integrated Review of the UK’s defense, development and foreign policy that underscored the importance of science and innovation in the UK’s cooperation with international partners gave rise to an interesting open discussion about this, and how the benefits of scientific cooperation were exemplified by the international character of SESAME, which included contributions by the UK.
The Ambassador and her suite were taken on a tour of the Centre during which they were shown the beamline facilities by the Scientific Director, Dr. Andrea Lausi, and informed of the many scientific applications being carried out at SESAME.