Our Next Conference


NAMES Biennial Conferences  are a most valuable opportunity for members of the budding science communication community within the North Africa and Middle East region to come together to share experiences, challenges, and solutions; to network and mingle with members of the greater and more diversified global science communication community with its decades-worth of collective experience and knowledge.

Contribution/Participation in NAMES Biennial Conferences is  open to science communicators and those interested in science communication from all walks of life and  from all over the world:

  • CEOs and Leaders of Existing Science Centers and Museums;
  • Leaders of Emerging Science Centers and Museums;
  • Program Developers, Exhibits’ Designers, Curators, Monitoring and Evaluation Officers, Fundraising and Development Staff and other professionals in the field;
  • Decision Makers  and Creative Thinkers; 
  • Free lance Experts and Consultants in the field;
  • Researchers and  Scientists; and,
  • Representatives of International Science Centers and Museums.

Our next conference, NAMES 2018, is scheduled to take place sometime between October and December 2018. NAMES Executive Team is currently in the phase of reviewing Hosting Proposals to decide which NAMES Member will host our next conference, as well as exact dates, theme and sub-themes. The Call of Hosting Proposals is open until Sunday, 16 April; don’t miss out if your NAMES member institution is interested and capable of hosting NAMES 6th Biennial Conference and General Assembly Meeting (GAM) according to the attached Hosting Guidelines and Procedures.

Our projects
EMME 2017

The 3rd edition of the Euro-Mediterranean and Middle East (EMME) Summer School of Science Communication, EMME 2017, is scheduled to be hosted by Città della Scienza, Naples, Italy, 10–15 September 2017. EMME Steering Committee is currently busy working on the development of an exciting and innovative program for the new edition that will be give more focus to science center and museum management, as well as marketing and fundraising.

Registration for EMME 2017 is due to open in April 2017; stay alert for our Registration Opening Notification.

Meanwhile, check out “From Our Partners” to learn about the EMME 2017 Host’s new exhibition Corporea.

Mark Your Calendar
21-22 March 2017
Open Science Conference 2017
8-9 April 2017
Monastir Science Palace Science Festival
12-13 April 2017
PSC Science Festivity
24 April 2017
Science Communication: Online and media writing
15-17 June 2017
Ecsite 2017 Conference
Letter from
NAMES Executive Director

Dear Colleagues,

It  is my utmost honor to address you today as NAMES Executive Director, having worked with my dear mentor, whose support and guidance are as always of the essence,  Ms. Hoda Elmikaty, Deputy Director of Bibliotheca Alexandrina, on the initiation of NAMES more than ten years ago. I have since served as NAMES Secretary, working on the Network’s development with Ms. Elmiktay, as well as  a diverse group of highly esteemed colleagues from across the NAMES region.

Before I go into the details of our challenges, strengths, and future plans, I must first give due tribute to two significant figures that, not only helped establish and reinforce NAMES, but have also been true sources of inspiration and support to me. The first is the dear late Mr. Mijbil Almutawa; his charisma and determination rooted NAMES both regionally and internationally; his acuity and fortitude sharpened my resolve. The second is the truly inspirational Ms. Sawsan Dalaq; her clarity and conviction of vision motivates me to end ; thanks to her, NAMES has bloomed into maturity and steps strongly into its second decade.

My gratitude is by no means extended to my revered leaders alone, but to everyone I have ever worked with along the way and, therefore, learnt from; more especially to valuable coworkers, without whom one may not fully succeed. In my case, great acknowledgement is due to my valued colleague, Ms. Rehab Elawamry. For five years, she has grown with the Network, to whom she is fully devoted; she has been a critical aid on all levels and, step by step, her role is expanding; to me, she is the future of NAMES.

It has been a long and challenging journey from the very beginning. Science Centers had already existed worldwide for decades when they first started to emerge in North Africa and the Middle East with the dawn of the millennium. Only three Science Centers in the NAMES region opened to the public between 2000 and 2002; The Scientific Center of Kuwait, Tunis Science City, and the Planetarium Science Center at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.

Click to read the complete letter


Ms. Maissa Azab Appointed NAMES Executive Director

Having served as NAMES Secretary since the Network’s inception in January 2006, Ms. Maissa Azab has been named NAMES Executive Director by NAMES Board of Directors effective 1 March 2017.

For more than ten years, Ms. Azab has been in charge of all administrative aspects relating to the establishment, sustainability, and promotion of NAMES. As Head of the Secretariat Office, she has been responsible for the organization of NAMES five biennial conferences thus far, the latest of which witnessed the celebration of the Network’s 10 Years Anniversary.

In the next phase, Ms. Azab will continue to work closely and more deeply with NAMES President and Board of Directors on consolidating the Network’s achievements thus far, expanding its reach through more members and more collaborative activities, and enhancing the Network’s impact throughout the region.


Mr. AbdulAziz AlHegelan Elected New Member of NAMES Board of Directors

We are delighted to announce the election of Mr. Abdulaziz AlHegelan, Executive Director of Mishkat Interactive Center, Saudi Arabia, to become Member of NAMES Board of Directors.

Mr. AlHegelan has a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. After less than four years from joining Mishkat Interactive Center, and while he is still in his twenties, AlHegelan has recently been appointed its Executive Director, managing all of its functions and making sure all objectives are achieved. In addition to his role in Mishkat, he works as a Business Development Specialist and serves as consultant for some educational and science oriented organizations.

It is worth mentioning that all other six members of NAMES Board of Directors have been reelected during NAMES 5th General Assembly Meeting last October for another term on the Board.


EGYPT: Science City International Competition

In light of its mission, the Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA) has endorsed a “Science City” project by organizing an open, one stage international architectural competition for the comprehensive master plan and conceptual design. The new complex will be established on the western edge of Cairo, in the heart of the 6 October City .

The competition was launched under the auspices of the International Union of Architects (UIA); submissions from 446 contestants were received. The BA constructed a world-class exhibition area for judges to evaluate the projects, as well as public visits to learn from the latest architecture projects displayed. Headed by Dr. Ismail Serageldin, Director of the BA, the judging committee included renowned international figures and architects.

The first prize winner, whose project will be executed, is Weston Williamson+Partners of the UK. The winning design is characterized by a sense of universality and can be executed in different constructional phases. The Science City aims to establish a scientific center that  aspires to stimulate people’s curiosity and sense of exploration, and promote scientific and technological education through unconventional exhibitions and educational activities.


From our Partners

Corporea: A Journey into the Human Body

From the infinitely little secrets of the human body, to the huge mysteries of the universe, Corporea actually takes us on two journeys. The first takes us into the perfect machine that is our body, while the second enables us to travel through space; in both journeys, we experiment, have fun, and learn.

After four years of its destruction in a massive fire, once again Città della Scienza in Naples, Italy, regains its leading role in combining knowledge, education, and entertainment, opening Corporea, the first European interactive museum dedicated to the human body, and Planetario 3D, the largest and most advanced planetarium in Italy.

Corporea comprises 14 thematic islands, featuring 100 exhibits, as well as large installations and interactive stations, linking the past to the future in a single thread. It showcases beautiful archaeological and historical findings, and introduces the new frontier of digital manufacturing. Visitors will navigate the most complex mechanisms that regulate life; ours! It is a unique experience to follow in three languages: Italian, English, and Chinese.

For additional information:
Città della Scienza, Naples, Italy
www.cittadellascienza.it - international@cittadellascienza.it


Emirates Energy Award 2017

The Dubai Supreme Council of Energy is pleased to announce the launch of the 3rd cycle of the “Emirates Energy Award 2017”, this year under the slogan “Innovative Solutions for Clean Energy”. The Award is organized every two years under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.

The Emirates Energy Award aims to support effective, as well as efficient Projects & Programs on sustainable economic growth, and to reduce carbon emissions through energy conservation and promotion of the usage of clean energy, in addition to promoting education, capacity building, and scientific research.

Deadline for receiving nominations and applications is 1 April 2017. For more information, please visit the following website: www.emiratesenergyaward.com

­NAMES Secretariat Office
Bibliotheca Alexandrina, P.O. Box 138, Chatby, Alexandria 21526, EGYPT
Tel.: +(203) 4839999; Ext.: 2723

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