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The international Centre for Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME), created under the auspices of UNESCO, came into existence as an intergovernmental organization (IGO) on 15 April 2004. It is located in Allan (Jordan).  


Iran became a member of SESAME in August 2007.

Current members of SESAME are Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Pakistan, the Palestinian Authority and Turkey. Observer countries are France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Kuwait, Portugal, Russian Federation, Sweden, U.K. and U.S.A. In addition Japan and the United Arab Emirates, deeply involved in the early stages of the project, are in the process of confirming their status in the Center.


SESAME will provide the region of the Middle East with a world-class laboratory for basic research and numerous applications. There are now more than 50 operating synchrotron sources around the world, but this will be the first in the Middle East and the Mediterranean. SESAME has identified five scientific directions for its programme:  physical science, biological and medical sciences, environmental sciences, industrial applications, and archaeology


The above photo is of His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan and UNESCO's Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura at the 6 January 2003 ground-breaking ceremony of the building that hosts the SESAME Centre, Al-Balqa' Applied University, Jordan. The Building will be completed in 2008.

For further information from UNESCO on SESAME contact:


Not to be used: science, SESAME, synchrotron-light, international centre, research, laboratory
Not to be used: Middle East


News2007 SESAME Update 08-02-2007 3:00 pm UNESCO
An IAEA/SESAME Memorandum of Cooperation was ratified at the ninth meeting of the SESAME Council which took place in Petra, Jordan, 6-7 December 2006 and was opened by Professor Herwig Schopper, President of the Council.
News2006 Update on SESAME 09-05-2006 2:25 pm UNESCO
The Center now has a Director, a Technical Director, a part-time Scientific Director and part-time Administrative Director, as well as a small accelerator group based in Amman.
NewsSESAME membership moves forward 09-05-2006 1:00 pm UNESCO
Both membership and the number of observers to SESAME have progressed since 15 April 2004 when the SESAME came into existence as an intergovernmental organization (IGO).
NewsSESAME: Brief Description and Status Report (April 7, 2005) 04-07-2005 9:00 am SESAME website
Eighteen scientists and engineers from the Middle East have spent 2 years working on accelerator projects in European laboratories. Several of them have now joined the SESAME technical staff team and others are expected to do so in the future.


ArticlesHistory of "Opening SESAME" in the Middle East
The SESAME (Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East) Centre was established at the beginning of the 21st century, under the auspices of UNESCO and along the CERN.model. From the beginning, SESAME was to provide a first-class, fully competitive source for synchrotron light and a multitude of research and development possibilities.

© 2007 - UNESCO