Inter Islamic Network on Space Science & Technology (ISNET), in collaboration with Pakistan Space & Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) and OIC Standing Committee on Scientific & Technological Cooperation (COMSTECH) held a seminar on Bridging the Gap through Satellite Technology from 18 – 21 October 2010 in Cairo, Egypt. National Authority for Remote Sensing & Space Sciences (NARSS) hosted the event and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) provided sponsorship and financial support.
The event started with an inauguration ceremony presided by Prof Dr Ayman El Desouky Ibrahim, Chairman NARSS. Mr Ahmed Bilal, the new President of ISNET addressed the gathering. Mr Aftab Zaidi Director Administration COMSTECH presented a message from Prof Dr Attaur Rahman Coordinator General of COMSTECH. The inauguration ceremony was followed by a Keynote address by Mr Arshad H Siraj, Executive Director, ISNET who outlined the importance of the seminar’s theme.
In the following two full days as well as the first quarter of the third day scientists, researchers and high officials from a number of OIC countries including Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Jordan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Syria, Sudan and Tunisia presented noteworthy papers. Apart from scientific papers that outlined the various uses of Satellite technology that have contributed to accelerated development, nine country papers were presented during the seminar, which dwelled on the on the status of space technology and applications in the member countries. More than sixty participants including academicians and students from the local universities as well as pertinent local officials attended the event. The event was also covered by local newspapers and TV channels.
The main highlight of the event however was a lecture by Prof Dr Farouk El-Baz a prominent Egyptian-American scientist, Director of Center for Remote Sensing, Boston University USA. Dr El-Baz’s lecture titled ‘Radar Data Uses for Groundwater Exploration in Arid lands’ gave details of how Radar data has been, and can be, used in identifying underground water in the deserts of the African and Arab regions.
On the third day of the event participants of the Seminar were taken for a visit of NARSS Headquarters in Cairo. The foreign delegates much appreciated the research and development work being undertaken at NARSS.
The event concluded with a feedback and recommendations session where participants expressed their views about the event and suggested ideas for further cooperation between member countries.