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The AUASS's Ninth Conference

17-19 Nov 2009
Khartoum- Bordj El-Fateh Hotel


The Ninth AUASS Conference on Astronomy and Space Sciences took place at Khartoum in Sudan. The Bordj El-Fateh hotel which was also hosting the Algerian soccer team was close to the meeting point between the 2 branches of the Nile. A rich program of lectures and activities took place in presence not only of the various Arab delegations but also of few dozens of students of the Astronomy department at the Omdurman Islamic University.

The Pictures !
See also the page: Our Trip to the land of Meroe ...

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Most of the pictures are clickable

First segment: Constantine -Tunis by road. Then leaving Tunis towards Libya. Here the North - South coastal stretch: a string of touristic complexes, for the better and for the worse. See Monastir from the air.

Reaching Tripoli in mid day. The center city area is visible with its high rising buildings and the harbor at right .

During most of the trip, we were in good company with fans of the Algerian soccer team flocking to Sudan to boost the team moral after the Cairo incidents which mostly deprived it from a clear victory in the World Cup qualification.

Leaving Tripoli airport, a greening countryside... Here some olive tree fields spread wide across.

Reaching Khartoum at night: The 2 Niles and al-Jazirah. Our Hotel, Burj Al-Fateh, was on the white Nile next to an imposing bridge.
Zooming on Burj Al-Fateh location. Zooming more
Yet more. And finally.

Here the Burj Al-Fateh at night, a sleek architectural masterpiece of steel and glass looking like an giant illuminated egg. It happened to be the hotel where the Algerian soccer team with its official delegation and the players were staying there too.

The conference room at the ground floor of the Burj Al-Fateh Hotel.

The official opening in presence of their excellencies, the Ministers of Education, the Minister of the Universities and Technology, as well as Dr.Sharafeddin Ali Tahar president of the Conference at the extreme left, Dr.Hamid Naimiy, president of the AUASS (in the middle), and the representative of the Isesco (between the last two).

Many people were in attendance beside the various Arab delegations. In the back, one can see the Sirius astronomy exhibition.

We noticed in particular a strong participation of the students of the astronomy department from the Omdurman Islamic University, many of them being female.

Four evening meetings of the AUASS executive board as well as of the General Assembly were held during the Conference. Strategic planning for the AUASS was discussed, bylaws were amended, and elections of the various positions of the executive board took place. It was also decided to restart Al-Kawn, the review of AUASS, and to revamp its Internet site.

Dr. Barghouti during his keynote lecture. .

An astronomical expo was set up by our Association in the back of the main lecture hall.

Standing with students from Omdurman Islamic University in front of the Sirius exhibition.

... and next to Khasawna, the new General Secretary of the AUASS.

The Astronomical Club at the astronomy Department also had a large display of realisations and optical scopes.

The two laureates who were honored during the Conference: Dr Imad el Barghouti from Al-Quds University in the occupied West Bank, and Dr.Muawia Shaddad from Khartoum University (Right). The first for his internationally recognized work on upper atmospheric plasma physics, and the second for his study of the 2008TC3 asteroid and the collecting campaign of its fragments in the Nubian desert over which it disintegrated.

Hani Dalee (with a tie) and Sana'a Abdo from the JAS were honored for their training session on Meteor observation during the Conference, and the night sighting of the Orionids meteor shower they animated on the 17th from Sudan.

Sirius got honored by the AUASS with a special trophy for its international prize during the "100 Hours of Astronomy", handed to them by the representative of the Sudanese Minister of Universities. Were also honored Dr.Sharafeddin Ali the Conference Director, Fareed Lafta from Irak holding a world record for having jumped on the Everest and hopefully the next Arab astronaut, Khalil Konsul the former General Secretary of the AUASS....

Here Mohamed Ousseiri, the president of the very active SAAA giving a special prize to Dr.Sharafeddin Ali: an authentic Damascene hand carved astrolabe.

Here J.M. from Sirius standing next to Dr.Shaddad and some meteoritic samples they collected from the Almahata Sitta 15 (The sixth station in Arabic) mother fragment in Ouadi Halfa, Nuba. See a close up of a fragment and notice the blackened side due to atmospheric burning.

2008TC3, the first asteroid detected in space before it strike the Earth and become meteorites Here the long-lasting persistent train from the impact. It is estimated that the explosion was some 1kt in strength and only a small fraction reached the ground. Later analysis determined that the achondrite meteorite is made of urelite, a rare kind of rock.

Combing the desert for the meteoritic fragments.

Lining up before the start. All in all some 280 fragments were collected amounting to some 4kg.
Some finding... Here Shaddad with Peter Jenniskens of the SETI Institute, at Mountain View, California.

Group picture of the participants

The Balade on the Nile and other Sudanese peregrinations...

Fabulous sunset on the Nile.

Striking ray patterns along with cloud shadows projecting itself on another cloud layer.

.Collective picture of the AUASS executive Bureau. In the second row, Dr Naimiy, the AUASS president and the four vice presidents.

Seen on this picture is the junction between the Blue and the White Niles. Its a dark line stretching across the river. Click to zoom.

The bridge from the Burj El-Fateh Hostel

The almost completed Almogran Towers towards the West.

Dr Azzeddine Youcef from Khartoum University with Dr.Shidhani from Oman Universityand Marwan Shwaiki from the JAS working as a planetarium headmaster in Oman, enjoying the cruise.

A special dinner on the honnor of the AUASS conference was offered by the president of Khartoum University. Yet, it was the night of the Algeria-Egypt soccer game, and the whole of Khartoum was tuned to the game. At times during dinner were fusing the hurrahs of the supporters ... which mostly were in the Algerian camp.

A visit was organized to the Omdurman souk, a vast dusty, noisy market, yet so colorful and so plainly human.

Hani Dhali from the JAS negotiating with dates merchants.

Strolling through the Omdurman markets.

Here Dr.Mashhoor Al-Wardat from the Jordanian Astronomical Society in the old Souq.

Here, Omar Fikry from the Alexandria Library in company with Abda Areishi from Jezzan in Saudi Arabia.

The return was on an Antonov military flight since due to an unfortunate "concours de circonstances", the Afriqiya Airways flight to Tripoli left without us. The confort was not garanteed as you can see from the so called "seats".

Like for the inbound flight, the return took place in a festive atmosphere from the euphory of the supporters after the Algerian soccer team's victory.

Our Trip to the land of the Meroetic Kingdom...

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Last update:20/ 10/ 2009
All rights reserved © Sirius 2009

WebmasterAziza Kharouaa  
Translation: Faiza Bennouar
Original design : C. Mouatsi