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On 18 May 2012
The Museum at the Lowest Place on Earth at Safi in Jordan officially opened its doors.

May 2012
The HSNES Library opened at 12 Haronda Street in Chalkis on Evia Island in Greece.

On 20 February 2012
Dr Stefania Chlouveraki, HSNES Deputy-Chairperson signed a protocol to participate in the project Tesserae: Mosaics of Mediterranean. A Cultural path for cross- border cooperation and local development that will be submitted to Priority 4: "Promotion of cultural dialogue and local governance" and Measure 4.3: Improvement of the governance processes at local level of the programme ENPICBC MED / 2nd Call for Standard proposals, a project coordinated by the European Centre of Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Monuments.

On 5 February 2012
Dr Konstantinos D. Politis, HSNES Chairperson signed a Letter of Intent to participate as the scientific supervisor (Associate Partner) in the research project entitled Archaeology in the Holy Land: History of a 'Medieval' frontier. From Petra to Shawbak to the Mediterranean, between Crusader seasons and Ayyubid re-foundation. This was submitted under the call for proposals PRIN 2010-2011 managed by the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (Ministero dell'Università, ell'Istruzione e della Ricerca). Other partner participants are Università di Firenze (Lead participant), University of Florence, University of Pisa, University of Catania, University of Genoa, University of Messina and the National Council of Research - ITABC Rome.

Ra’s al-Hadd. Oman
The Ministry of Tourism of Oman have asked HSNES to continue work at Ra’s al-Hadd based on their 2006 proposal which included a site museum, building conservation as well as excavations within the courtyard of the medieval fort at Ra’s al-Hadd begun in 2005.

EU research grant
The Greek Ministry of Education has awarded HSNES Chairperson, Konstantinos D. Politis, a 3-year EU research grant to conduct a study on The Origins of the Sugar Industry and the Transmission of Ancient Greek and Medieval Arab Science and Technology from the Near East to Europe. The outcome will be a specialised web-page, international conference, exhibition and book on the topic.

New book on Syria
A new book is being finalised entitled SYRIA: BIRTHPLACE OF CULTURE in which HSNES Chairperson, Konstantinos D. Politis, has authored chapters on the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine periods. The colour-illustrated large-format book will be published by Stacey International (London) later this year. It will be available for sale via the HSNES website.

Niarchos Foundation
HSNES has proposed a programme to train and employ five recent Greek First-Degree holders for two years in Greece and Jordan. Those interested should contact HSNES.

As of 1st April 2012, Dr Hafed Walda has been appointed Director-General of Antiquities and Tourism of Libya. He has already met with HSNES Chairperson, Dr Konstantinos D. Politis and also communicated with HSNES Deputy Chairperson, Dr Stefania Chlouveraki about inviting a Greek team of archaeologists and conservators to work in Libya.

New Appointments

Aristotelis G. Sakelariou, MA (HSNES Member)
Deputy-Director of Collections, National Museum of Qatar.

Georgios A. Papaioannou, Ph.D (HSNES General-Secretary)
Museum and Information & Communication Technologies specialist Ionian University Kerkyra

Chrysanthos Kannelopoulos, Ph.D (former HSNES Deputy Chairperson)
Architect-Archaeologist University of Athens

Georgios C. Liakopoulos, Ph.D (HSNES Member)
Historian-Ottomanist University of Athens Dept. of Turkish & Modern Asian Studies

Past Events

From 14 February to 2 March 2006,
HSNES executive committee members Drs K. Politis, S. Chlouveraki and D. Karadimas conduct a lecture series at Damascus University on ancient mosaics, their preservation and the ancient Greek language for the Syrian Mosaic Documentation Training Programme. This will be followed by a second series of lectures from 11-30 March by Drs Amr Al-Azm, Maamoun Abdelkarim and Taghrid Shaaban on cultural heritage management, the ‘Dead Cities' and mosaic decorations and motifs. IT specialist, Mr Vicken Abajian will then conduct an IT training course from 1–11 April. This programme is funded by the European Centre for Byzantine and Post-Byzantine Monuments (EKBMM).

On 23 March 2006,
Fr Michele Piccirillo of the Franciscan Biblical Institute in Jerusalem lectures on Recent Discoveries of Mosaic Pavements in Jordan: Mt Nebo, Madaba and Kastron Mefa'a at the Institute of Greek and Roman Antiquity (KEPA) of the National Hellenic Research Foundation 22 Vassilis Konstantinou avenue, Athens.

Dr Joshua Muravchik,
Adjunct Professor of the Institute of World Politics lectures on American Policy in the Middle East at the Institute of International Relations (3-5 Hill street in Plaka) of Panteion University, Athens at 12.00 noon on 16 February 2006.

On 23 January 2006,
Mr Georgios C. Liakopoulos (PhD student at Royal Holloway University of London) delivered at the University of Athens a lecture entitled ‘The Evolution of the Ottoman Funerary Inscriptions; A Study of Stelae from Greece’. The talk encompassed much of Mr Liakopoulos' research on the Ottoman tombstones of Imathia, Pella, Larissa, Chalkis and Messenia Prefectures and was embellished with rich visual material. For more information email: G.Liakopoulos@rhul.ac.uk

King Abdullah of Jordan makes historic visit to Greece

His Majesty King Abdullah II of Jordan and his wife Her Majesty Queen Rania made an official state visit to Greece on 21-22 December 2005. This was the first time a Jordanian monarch made such a visit. Their Majesties were received by the President of Greece HE Mr Karolos Papoulias as well as Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, opposition leaders and the Rt. Hon. Mrs Dora Bakoyanni, then Mayor of Athens.

HM King Abdullah II was awarded the Golden Medal of Athens and signed an agreement of cooperation between the two countries. HM Queen Rania inaugurated a five-year scholarship programme for 14 Jordanian graduate students at the Athens Information Technical University (AIT) commencing in spring 2006.

Syrian Mosaic Programme at 9th ICCM in Tunisia

From 29 November to 3 December 2005 Drs K. D. Politis and A. Al-Azm presented progress reports on the ‘Syrian Mosaic Documentation Training Programme' the 9 th International Conference on the Conservation of Mosaics (ICCM) at Hammamat, Tunisia. A purposely-designed poster of the project was displayed during the conference
Pdf File Poster - 2.8Kb

Byzantium Early Islam

The project's sub-title is "Integrated multi-disciplinary approach for a better knowledge and safeguard of Byzantine and Islamic cultural heritage". The 2.1 million Euro project will help provide further training for heritage specialists. Modern technology will be applied to research and the production of inventories. Print and electronic publications will raise awareness of cultural heritage among the general public, especially young people. The project will run for 3 years, and is co-ordinated by the Hellenic Society for the Protection of the Environment and Cultural Heritage in Thessaloniki. Academic and cultural institutions in Israel, the Palestinian Territories, Cyprus, Greece, and Italy are involved.

Greece, Palestine: ‘Gateway to self-employment'

One of two Greek Prodecom partners, Kessa Dimitra, obtained an 18-month funding from the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as a direct result of the Prodecom leverage action. The project concerns 5 women's cooperatives in West Bank, Gaza strip, Lebanon and Jordan. It aims at empowering the self-employment of Palestinian women-refugees, as well as of women who live in secluded rural areas of intervention areas.

The Ra's al-Hadd (Oman) Project

The first field season of the Greek Archaeological Expedition to Ra's al-Hadd in Oman, took place in December 2004 and January 2005 under HSNES sponsorship in collaboration with the Aristotelian University of Thessalonica and the University of Macedonia with the approval of the Omani Department of Antiquities

Other Near Eastern news

Dr Emmanuel Papoutsakis was appointed lecturer in Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University in September 2003. He teaches courses in Syriac and Classical Armenian languages and literatures. Dr Papoutsakis' research interest is in the golden age of Syriac literature (fourth-seventh cent.), particularly of the 6 th century Byzantine poet Romanos. For more information email epapouts@princeton.edu

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