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The international Centre for Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East (SESAME), created under the auspices of UNESCO, came into existence as an intergovernmental organization (IGO) on 15 April 2004. It is located in Allan (Jordan).

Iran became a member of SESAME in August 2007. Current members of SESAME are Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Pakistan, the Palestinian Authority and Turkey. Observer countries are France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Kuwait, Portugal, Russian Federation, Sweden, U.K. and U.S.A. In addition Japan and the United Arab Emirates, deeply involved in the early stages of the project, are in the process of confirming their status in the Center.

SESAME will provide the region of the Middle East with a world-class laboratory for basic research and numerous applications. There are now more than 50 operating synchrotron sources around the world, but this will be the first in the Middle East and the Mediterranean. SESAME has identified five scientific directions for its programme: physical science, biological and medical sciences, environmental sciences, industrial applications, and archaeology.

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