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International Astronomical Center

Administrative Board Members

(February 2015 - Present)
  1. Mr. Mohammad Odeh: Chairman.
  2. Dr. Hayman Metwally: Chair of Scientific Committee.
  3. Prof. Jalal Addin Khanji: Chair of Education Committee.
  4. Ms. Basma Dhiab: Secretary and Chair of Media Committee.
  5. Prof. Hasan Basurah: Member.
  6. Dr. Suleiman Baraka: Member.
  7. Mr. Saleh Al-Saab: Member.
  8. Prof. Mashhoor Al-Wardat: Member.
  9. Dr. Muawia Shaddad: Member.
  10. Dr. Ammar Sakaji: Member.

Who is Who in The Administrative Board

Prof. Jalal Addin Khanji:
  • Ph.D. in Physical Sciences - University of Grenoble France – major in Engineering 1975.
  • Former professor at the Faculty of Engineering - University of Aleppo - 1975.
  • Career Engineer advisor (Engineers Union) -1995.
  • Certificate of Merit for the first engineers (Engineers Union) -1999.
  • Member of the Audit Committee studies for the restoration and rehabilitation of the Great Umayyad Mosque in Aleppo, 2001.
  • Former scientific adviser to the House of Islamic monuments (Kuwait National Museum) - 2002.
  • Former engineering consultant in the General Organization for Housing Welfare Department of Planning - Kuwait 2004.
  • Founding member of the Arab Union for Astronomy and Space Sciences (AUASS) in 1998.
  • Member of the Crescents and Mawaqeet Committee in the Arab Union for Astronomy and Space Sciences (AUASS).
  • Member of the Committee in the Directorate of Forensic astronomy endowments of Aleppo, which is responsible for monitoring the new moons and determining timelines.
  • Member of ICOP since 1997.
  • Consultant in forensic astronomy to the Syrian Ministry of Awqaf ( endowment )- 2000.
  • Consultant in forensic astronomy to the Kuwaiti Ministry of Awqaf ( endowment )- 2003.
  • Lecturer forensic astronomy courses for preachers and imams in the Kuwait Ministry of Awqaf ( endowment )- 2004.
  • Participated in many conferences, local and international astronomical research and forensic studies in astronomy.
Dr. Hayman Metwally:
  • Education Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Space Dynamic, 2005, Faculty of Science, Cairo University, Egypt.
  • Master of Science (M.Sc.), Space Dynamic, 2001, Faculty of Science, Cairo University, Egypt.
  • Preparatory year for Master degree, Space Dynamic, 1998, Faculty of Science, Cairo University, Egypt.
  • Bachelor of science (B.Sc.), Astronomy, 1995, Faculty of Science, Cairo University, Egypt.
  • Ph.D. Study Title of Thesis: ”Luni-Solar resonance Attraction on earth's satellites”.
  • M.Sc. Study Title of Thesis: ”Attainable Coverage area from any Spacecraft”.
  • Assistant Proffessor in Astronomy & meteorology Department – faculty of science-Cairo University. (Space Dynamic).
  • Member of Technical Advisory team of Academy of scientific Research and technology (ASRT).
  • A member Of Space Science Center- Cairo University.
  • Supervisor for a few Msc. Thesis in Space Science.
  • Space Science Programme Coordinator (Space Dynamic-Optical Observation Lab- Mathematical methods-Perturbation Techniques- Programming Techniques-Mission analysis-Artificial Satellite Theory- Geodesy Satellite - Celestial Mechanics) For Undergraduate and Postgraduate.
  • Member of Quality Assurance Team Project QAAPII www.qaap.net
  • Member of Quality Assurance and Accreditation Center-Cairo University.
  • Head of unit of Training and technical support (www.qaac.cu.edu.eg) from 15th Jan 2008 to 1st Feb 2009.
  • Member of Quality Assurance Unit Faculty of Science-Cairo University.(QAU).
  • Peer reviewer in Bentham publications "Open Astronomy Journal"
  • Peer reviewer in the National Quality Assurance and Accreditation Committee (NQAAC), Ministry of Higher Education, Egypt.
  • Trainer in The National Authority for Quality Assurance and Accreditation of Education (NAQAAE) (Strategic plan for high education institutes).
  • Peer reviewer in The National Authority for Quality Assurance and Accreditation of Education (NAQAAE) (For Education & High Education)
  • The Cairo University Coordinator with NAQAAE.
Dr. Suleiman Baraka:
  • Ph.D. Astrophysics and Space Physics, Université Pierre et Marie Curie (Paris VI).
  • UNESCO chair in Astronomy, Astrophysics and Space Sciences, Al Aqsa University, Palestine.
  • Worked in NASA Langley Research Center.
Prof. Hasan Basurah:
  • Head of Department of Astronomy, Faculty of Sciences, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
Prof. Mashhoor Al-Wardat:

  • Education:
    • B.Sc. in Physics, Yarmouk University Irbid, Jordan, June 1992
    • M.Sc. in Astronomy, Institute of Astronomy and Space Sciences, Mafraq, Jordan, July 1997
    • Ph.D. in Astrophysics, Special Astrophysical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Nizhnij Arkhyz K-Ch Russia 369167, Feb. 2004
    • Post-Doc. Astrophysics, Department of theoretical physics of Cosmo/ University of Granada/ Spain, 10 Feb. -10 Nov. 2008
    • Title of M.Sc. dissertation New physical and geometrical elements of a few x-ray binary stars.
    • Title of Ph.D. dissertation Interferometry and spectrophotometry of solar type binary stars.

  • Academic and Teaching Experiences:
    • Professor; Department of physics/ Al al-Bayt University/ Mafraq, Jordan; 13th Sep. 2015 up to date.
    • Professor; Department of Applied Physics, University of Sharjah, P.O.Box: 27272 Shj. U.A.E 31st Aug. 2014 to 31st Aug. 2015
    • Professor; Department of physics/ Al-Hussein Bin Talal University/ Jordan; 24th Jun. 2014 to 5th Sep. 2015
    • Associate professor; Department of physics/ Al-Hussein Bin Talal University/ Jordan; 9th Sep. 2012 to 23rd June 2014
    • Associate professor (Sabbatical); Department of physics/ Yarmouk University/ Jordan; 23rd Jan. 2011 to 8th Sep. 2012
    • Visiting Astronomer; Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics-Munich/ Germany; 25th May 2011 to 22nd Aug. 2011.
    • Associate professor; Department of physics/ Al-Hussein Bin Talal University/ Jordan; 24th June 2010 to 23rd Jan. 2011
    • Assistant professor; Department of physics/ Al-Hussein Bin Talal University/ Jordan; 11th Sep. 2005 to 23rd June 2010.
    • Post-Doc.; Department of theoretical physics of Cosmo/ University of Granada/ Spain;10th Feb. 2008 to 20th Sep. 2008.
    • Full time lecturer; Department of physics/ Al-Hussein Bin Talal University/ Jordan; 20th Feb 2005 to 10th Sep 2005.
    • Teacher; Secondary Schools (Ministry of Education/ United Arab Emirates); 17th Sep. 2004 to 29th Jan. 2005.
    • Research Assistant; Special Astrophysical Observatory of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Russian Federation; 15th Mar. 2001 to 5th Dec. 2003.
    • Visiting Astronomer; Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy-Bonn/ Germany; 14th Jun 2000 to 24th Aug. 2000.
    • Teacher; Secondary Schools (Ministry of Education/ Jordan); 3rd Nov. 1992 to 14th Mar. 2001.

  • Administrative Experiences:
    • Dean, Faculty of Science/ Al-Hussein Bin Talal University/ Jordan
    • Chairman, Dep. of Physics, Faculty of Science/ Al-Hussein Bin Talal University/ Jordan
Dr. Muawia Shaddad:
  • Astronomer, University of Khartoum.
  • Member, Physics Department of the Faculty of Sciences, University of Khartoum.
  • LOC Chair, Physics Department, Faculty of Sciences, University of Khartoum.
Dr. Ammar Sakaji:
  • Professor of theoretical and mathematical physics.
  • Faculty member (lecturer and senior lecturer) at the physics department at Zarqa Private University and Hashemite University, Jordan.
  • Visiting professor at Ajman University, UAE.
  • Faculty member at Naval College.
  • Author or co-author of dozens of articles on Theoretical and Mathematical Physics.
  • Editor or co-editor of several books and projects.
  • Editor of EJTP, member of (IAMP), (INQAAHE), Jordan Physics Society, American Institute of Physics, and member of Majorana Prize Committee.
Mr. Saleh Al-Saab:
  • B.Sc. in Astronomy from King Saud in Riadh,1980.
  • Worked at King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST) as a (Research Scientist) and director of the crescent’s observatories and then president of the astronomy department, then supervisor of the National Center for Astronomy.
  • Participated in the site testing processes for the astronomical observations.
  • Participated in the construction and equipping of the astronomical observatory and crescent’s observatories.
  • Participated in many courses, seminars and scientific conferences, in Saudi Arabia and abroad.
  • He has many posts in the dissemination of astronomical awareness through a variety of newspaper articles, educational pamphlets, radio and television interviews.
  • He has good experience in Crescent’s observation using the different types and generations of telescopes and has many innovative ideas in this area.
  • He was nominated to work in the scientific division in king Abdulaziz and his companions foundation for the gifted (2000-2004).
  • Participated in several programs and astronomy projects in KACST.
  • Participated in many discussions with the official committee of the crescent and it’s observation with the legitimacy and administrative bodies, including Shura council and the Supreme Judical Council, and some universities.
Ms. Basma Dhiab:
  • B.Sc in physics from the University of Jordan , 1990.
  • Teacher of general science and physics , and a coordinator for the teachers of science in a secondary school in Amman - Jordan ..
  • Member of the Jordanian Astronomical Society ( JAS ) since 1996 , and was the secretary during the period 2001_2003 .
  • Vice - president ( JAS) since March 2011.
  • Member of AUASS.
  • Head of the Astro_ Clubs committee of the Jordanian Astronomical Society ( JAS ) and coordinator of the annual astro clubs festival .
  • Coordinator of the Jordanian Astronomical Society ( JAS ) forum .
  • Member of the Media Committee of JAS .
  • Participated in the conferences which were held by ICOP, AUASS, SAS and JAS in Jordan.
Mr. Mohammad Odeh:
  • B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from Jordan University of Science and Technology, 2002.
  • Head of the Crescents Observation and Mawaqeet Committee of the Jordanian Astronomical Society (JAS) during the period (1995 - 2009).
  • Member of the Official Jordanian Committee in charge of declaring the beginning of Ramadan and Eid.
  • Member of the Official Jordanian Committee in charge of Prayer Times Calculations.
  • In charge of calculating the official Prayer Times and Hejric Calendar in Jordan.
  • Author of a new crescent visibility criterion (Odeh Criteria), which was published in the refereed journal “Experimental Astronomy”, 18, 39-64, 2004.
  • Author of Astronomy Software “Accurate Times” which calculates prayer times, crescent visibility and other astronomical application in Islam.
  • Writing several articles about crescent visibility and prayer times in Arabic and English magazines, such as an observation report published in The Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada in February 2005.
  • Co-edited a volume of proceedings from an international conference on Islamic astronomy (2007).
  • Participate in several astronomical conferences dedicated for crescent visibility and prayer times calculations.
  • Received several official initiations to visit the officials in some Islamic countries or the Muslim delegations, such as an invitation from the Ministry of Islamic Affairs in Morocco, invitation from Muslim World League in Saudi, invitation from officials in Lebanon to discuss Prayer Times in Lebanon, and other invitations to attend conferences in different countries.

Previous Administrative Boards

Note: Previous administrative boards were for ICOP only.

(June 2012 - February 2015)
  1. Mr. Mohammad Odeh (Chairman).
  2. Prof. Jalal Addin Khanji (Vice-President and Chair of Education Committee).
  3. Dr. Hayman Metwally (Chair of Scientific Committee).
  4. Ms. Basma Dhiab (Secretary and Chair of Media Committee).
  5. Mr. Saleh Al-Saab (Member).
  6. Dr. Sabih Al-Sadaai (Member).
  7. Mr. Qamar Uddin (Member).

(2010 - May 2012)
  1. Mr. Mohammad Odeh (Chairman).
  2. Prof. Nidhal Guessoum (Vice-Chairman and Chair of Scientific Committee).
  3. Prof. Jalal Addin Khanji (Chair of Education Committee).
  4. Ms. Basma Dhiab (Chair of Media Committee).
  5. Mr. Hasan Hariri (Member)
  6. Mr. Saleh Al-Saab (Member).
  7. Mr. Qamar Uddin (Member).

(2007 - 2010)
  1. Mr. Mohammad Odeh (Chairman).
  2. Prof. Nidhal Guessoum (Vice-Chairman and Chair of Education Committee).
  3. Dr. Saleh Al-Shidhani (Secretary).
  4. Mr. Hasan Hariri (Treasurer).
  5. Dr. Ilias Fernini (Chair of Scientific Committee).
  6. Ms. Basma Dhiab (Chair of Media Committee).
  7. Prof. Jalal Addin Khanji (Member).

Previous Administrative Board Members

Dr. Sabih Al-Sadaai:
  • B.Sc. Physics, Basrah University, 1975, Iraq.
  • M.Sc. Physics, Warwick University, 1981, U.K.
  • Ph.D. Astrophysics, Manchester University, 1983, U.K.
  • Associate Professor Astronomer & Scientific Lab.
  • A founding Member of the Arab Union for Astronomy and Space Science.
  • Member of the World Federation of Space Science and Astronomy.
  • Member of the Arab Society for Physicists .
  • Member of the Astronomical Society of Oman.
  • Three years of laboratory teaching in physics, Included General Physics, Optics , Electricity and Magnetism.
  • Sixteen years (after Ph.D. degree) Undergraduates & Postgraduate teaching in physics & Astronomy & Astrophysics and Meteorology.
  • Research Assistant 1975 - 1978, Physics Dept. Basrah University, Iraq.
  • Postgraduate Student 1978 - 1983 United Kingdom (UK).
  • Assistant Professor 1983 - 1983, Physics Dept - Basrah University/Iraq.
  • Scientific Researcher and Lecturer 1983 - 1990 Scientific Research Council-Baghdad/Iraq.
  • Assistant Professor 1990 - 1991, Physics Dept - Baghdad University/Iraq.
  • Associate Professor 1991- 1994, Physics Dept - Baghdad University/Iraq.
  • Representative of Professors in University Board 1992 - 1994 Baghdad University/Iraq.
  • Associate Professor 1994 - 1999, Physics Dept - Sana'a University/Yemen.
  • Laboratories and Curricula Expert 1999 - 2010, Ministry of Education/Sultanate of Oman.
  • Astronomical Expert and Media Officer 2007 Council of Scientific Research/Sultanate of Oman.
  • Supervising a Number of Masters and Doctoral Theses.
  • Member of the Curricula Committee (Science for 9th grade and physics for 10th - 12th grade) at the Directorate General of Curricula –Ministry of Education/Sultanate of Oman.
  • External Assessor in Caledonian Collage of Engineering - Science Dept. 2005- 2010.
  • Participant in Number of Local and Global Scientific Conferences and Seminars (25 Conferences).
  • Publisher of a Number of Scientific Research in Scientific Periodicals and Magazines Worldwide (17 Searches).
  • Publisher of a Number of Cultural and Scientific Articles in Newspapers and Magazines (more than 1500 Articles).
  • Author of a Book on Islamic Satellite Project to Monitor Crescent and Standardize and Stabilize the Hegira Calendar/Ministry of Awqaf and Religious Affairs - the Sultanate of Oman (Limited Circulation).
  • Author of a Book Fundamentals of Astronomy 2012 Sultanate of Oman.
  • Author of a Guide Book on Laboratory Equipment and Instruments 2005 Sultanate of Oman.
  • Scientific Editor, Al-Watan Newspaper, Muscat, Sultanate of Oman, 2000 - 2010.
  • Contributor to the Establishment of the Planetarium Petroleum Development Oman Through the Provision of Scientific Advice and Technical.
Mr. Qamar Uddin:1986 Science and Engineering graduate from an UK university and is a member of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET). He has a keen interest in astronomy and is a member of York Astronomical Society (UK). He has participated in a number of Radio/TV shows and has given many presentations on moon sighting. He has been an active member of Islamic Crescent Observation Project (ICOP) for over 10 years and is a founding member of the UK section (ICOUK).
Prof. Nidhal Guessoum:
Algerian astrophysicist; he received his higher education partly in Algeria (B. Sc. in Theoretical Physics in 1982) and partly in the States (M. Sc. in 1984 and Ph. D. in Astrophysics in 1988 from the University of California, San Diego; post-doctoral research associateship at the NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center). In addition to his two decades of teaching at several universities, he has been an active researcher on the international scene in the field of gamma-ray astrophysics: published about 50 papers on high-energy astrophysics; attended over 30 international conferences; received many invitations as visiting professor or guest researcher, received several research grants and awards. In parallel to his formal academic activities, Nidhal Guessoum has for many years been very active in the area of popularization of science and the interface between science and religion. He has co-authored 2 books, one on “The Crescent Visibility and Islamic Calendar” problem (1st edition, Dar al-Umma, Algiers, 1993; 2nd edition, Dar at-Taliaa, Beirut, 1997), and the other entitled “The Story of the Universe: from Early Conceptions to the Big Bang” (1st edition, Dar al-Maarifa, Algiers, 1998; 2nd edition, 2002; 3rd edition, Dar al-Multaqa, Beirut, 2006); he has also co-edited a volume of proceedings from an international conference on Islamic astronomy (2007). Finally, he has published dozens of general science articles in various magazines: about 40 in Arabic, many in highly-respected and/or refereed publications such as the Arab Journal of Science (Tunis), Al-Majalla al-Falakiyya (Italy), Alam al-Fikr (Kuwait), Dirassat Arabiyya (Lebanon), Turjuman (Morocco), Al-Arabi (Kuwait), etc.; a dozen in English, in magazines like Mercury (the publication of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific), African Skies / Cieux Africains (the publication of the Working Group on Space Sciences in Africa), eLearn Magazine, and Algerian Scientist; another dozen in French, in magazines like La Recherche (the premiere science and research magazine in France) and others (e.g. Etudes Orientales, PhiloScience).
Dr. Saleh Al-Shidhani:
Graduate of the physics department of Sultan Qaboos University (SQU) in 1992. Worked as a demonstrator (TA) for 1 year before going to for an MSc in Astronomy. Completed MSc. in 1996 from the Astronomy Centre; University of Sussex with a thesis titled "Mapping the Universe with galaxy redshift surveys" and returned back to SQU as a lecturer before leaving again for PhD. In September 2003 defended a thesis titled "The Cosmos Explorer" from the School of Science and Technology, University of Sussex, UK. Since then working in the Physics Dept. as an assistant professor, and have been there since then. Teaching Physics and Astronomy at SQU for 7 years, teaching the following General Physics courses: Phys1091, Phys2101, Phys2102, and Phys2105. Also teaching Introductory Astronomy courses Phys2901 and Phys3901 (Universe's Mysteries), in additional to Experimental Physics and Project courses namely Phys3005, Phys3006, Phys5016 and Phys5500. In addition to the regular lectures teaching many tutorials, observations and labs. Current teaching duties include teaching Introductory Astronomy and Universe's Mysteries courses. Interdisciplinary research interests cover several areas of interest such as:
  • Cosmic Microwave Background and Simulation of Large Scale Structure of the Universe.
  • Astronomy/Physics Education and AI.
  • Scientific Miracles of the Holy Quran.
  • Atmospheric Seeing Condition and Moon Sighting (with focus on Visibility on the Sultanate).
  • Web-based Virtual Classroom (WebCT at SQU).
  • XRD, ESM and Mossbauer Studies of Meteorites.
Dr. Ilias Fernini:
  • Astronomy and Physics Professor in United Arab Emirates University in Al-Ain city (Abu-Dhabi).
Mr. Hasan Hariri:
Founder of Dubai Astronomy Group, Pioneer in Astronomy Edutainment, Established many Astronomy Activities, Participated actively in most of regional Astronomy events, multi talent personality, Owner of IT Establishment and Professional IT Consultant, other hobbies : GIS, Electronic, Geology and Meteorology, Pursuing his dream since 1977 till it become his passion.

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