El Jadida, Morocco, May 2004

[logo]About 130 crystallographers from North Africa and Europe gathered in May, 2004 for the 2nd Moroccan School of Crystallography, at the Faculty of Sciences campus of the U. Chouaib Doukkali of El Jadida. The IUCr was represented by its president, W. Duax. Organized by the U. of El Jadida and the Moroccan Crystallographic Assn (AMC) with the financial support of the IUCr, this 2nd school offered an opportunity for all Moroccan crystallographyers and their foreign colleagues to get together and discuss their recent achievements. It was also a great opportunity for students to attend a high level conference and to discover different research areas of crystallography studied in Morocco and others countries, and to interact directly with teachers and researchers.

There were 15 lectures on various topics. The opening lecture on 'Crystallography and Nobel Prizes' was delivered by W. Duax (USA). Basic notions of crystallography as direct and reciprocal lattices and symmetry in crystals were presented by L. El Ammari and A. Thalal (Morocco). An application of the symmetry to Islamic art was given by E. Makovicky (Denmark).

A session was devoted to structural resolution. D. Avignant, E. Hlil, and P. Martinetto (France) presented structural studies of single crystals and powders. Complementary methods of structure solution using electron and neutron diffraction were given by R. Portier and M. Ann (Fance).

A. Durif (France) discussed the fundamentals of structural crystallography in the elaboration of the classification of phosphorus anions. We recall that Morocco is a great phosphate and phosphoric acid producer and a large number of crystallographers are leading research in this field. M. Pierrot and C. Lecomte (France) presented respectively crystallography of proteins and photocrystallography of organic molecular materials. Using the Monte Carlo method to index powder patterns and solve structures was discussed by A. Le Bail (France). He also indicated how to access the public data bases and lab archives online. L. El Ammari, M. Saadi (Morocco) and E. Hlil (France) organized a practical session at which the students solved several structures by themselves.

One morning was reserved for the sponsors of the School to present new Rx instruments. The school finished with the bi-annual meeting of the members of the Moroccan Crystallographic Assn (MCA). The president and the treasurer presented the results of the activities of the last two years and the financial state of the association.

On behalf of the MCA, I would like to thank the IUCr for taking an interest in our periodic crystallographic meeting and its financial support.

Abdelmalek Thalal