Meeting report

Recent advances in X-ray powder diffraction

Assiut, Egypt, November 2004

[ESCA logo]This is the 9th Workshop and School organized by the Egyptian Society of Crystallography and Application (ESCA) and the National Committee of Crystallography .The workshop is the 9th in number but is the 2nd in Powder Diffraction. The first Powder Diffraction Workshop about Rietveld methods was held in Cairo in the National Research Center in 1990. Among the lecturers was Prof. Rietveld himself and Prof. Young the developer of the method at that time. The workshop was sponsored by the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology, Assiut U, and the IUCr.

[Group photo]About 63 participants attended; most from universities and institutions in Egypt and the others from eight different countries (five from Arab Countries, one from India and two from Europe). The program focused on the recent advances in ab-initio structure and microstructures analysis using different programs. The lectures were given by highly specialized eminent lecturers (C. Giacovazzo, A. Le Bail, R.Von Dreele, J, Schneider, R. Shirley and A.w-Aladine). 14 posters were presented. The IUCr grant and the money which was specified for the organization were given to seven post graduate students as follow: one from India, two from Europe, one from Yemen, one from Syria and two from Morocco. Fifteen other grants were given to M.sc Egyptian students

Two main social activities took place; a three hour boat ride on the river Nile where everyone enjoyed the good weather, the green lands cultivated with crops and palm trees on one side of the river and different styles of buildings on the other side. Another trip was arranged to see the Virgin Mary Cave with its beautiful church inside and a convent on top. The Cave is of special interest because it was used by the Virgin Mary and Child to hide from the Romans. Another walking trip was made to the University’s Olympic City.

The closing ceremony was started by the president of Assiut U.. He thanked the lecturers for the good work they did and for being guests of the Assiut U. and he wished for them and the participants an enjoyable stay in Egypt. He ended his talk by presenting the University Arm (Shield) to each lecturer. Farid Ramadan Ahmed Poster prize was given to the best poster among the Egyptians. The ESCA Poster Prize was given to two Europeans. The closing Ceremony ended with a round table discussion concerning topics for future meetings.

Karimat El Sayed