from NAMES Executive Team
Ten years ago, the idea of a North Africa and Middle
East Science Centers Network was incepted at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina,
home of the Planetarium Science Center, the first Egyptian and one of the
very first entities of its kind in the region. Before the year 2006 had
lapsed, NAMES was officially launched thanks to the conviction and
commitment of five founding members from Egypt, Kuwait, Tunisia, Turkey,
and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
It has been a long and challenging path; yet, ten
years later, NAMES is an internationally recognized and acclaimed Network
with a solid member base that is growing proportionately to the growth of
the field in the region. NAMES had four successful biennial conferences
in four different countries; twice in North Africa, once in the Arabian
Gulf, and once in Turkey. Moreover, marking its fifth anniversary, NAMES
was the co-host of the 6th Science Centers World Congress in Cape Town,
South Arica, in 2011. Since 2012, NAMES is the Promoting Partner of the
Euro-Mediterranean and Middle East Summer School for Science
NAMES fifth biennial conference, marking the
Network’s Ten Years Anniversary, takes place next month in Amman, Jordan.
It is on that occasion that we launch our new brand, website, and e-newsletter,
which are just the first steps on the road to better visibility, more
benefits and services to our members and partners.
NAMES Executive Team is excited about the next phase;
sadly though, our tenth year has witnessed the shocking and devastating
loss of one of NAMES pillars, Mr. Mijbil Almutawa. The late Vice Chairman
and CEO of The Scientific Center of Kuwait, Mr. Almutawa was one of NAMES
five founding members, NAMES 2nd President (2010-14), and a constant
source of support and power to the budding network. Much of NAMES success
throughout its ten years of life is thanks to Mr. Almutawa’s investment
in and dedication to the network and its mission.
In honor of Mr. Almutawa’s legacy, NAMES Executive
Team dedicates this first issue of the Network’s new official
e-newsletter, marking the Network’s new phase, to the commemoration of
this great man’s unequivocal presence.