I would like to thank you wholeheartedly for your participation in what has been a successful conference in Catania. The conference, alongside the one we held last year in Venice, has been amongst the biggest MENA related events to ever take place in Italy.
There have been more than 230 speakers presenting their work and multiple occasions to meet and exchange ideas about the state of the field. Italian researchers have mingled with scholars from all over the world, reminding us of the reasons behind our continuous commitment.
A particular thank you goes of course to everyone who worked to organize the conference: first and foremost our Catania colleagues in addition to the ever redoubtable Secretariat and the Board.
We now look forward to the election of a new President and a new Board, which will take place in January in Florence. The number of SeSaMO members has more than doubled and the society stands on a surer financial footing. We are moving fast in the direction of further internationalization and socialization in the global epistemic community.
The doctoral school with the Nordic Society for Middle Eastern Studies, numerous panels organized at WOCMES and other initiatives bode well for the future of area studies in Italy regardless of the many challenges we face in our daily work.
We have just published a call for candidatures for the Presidency and the four-members Board.
The election will take place on the occasion of the next SeSaMO General Assembly, hosted by the University of Florence on Monday January 16, 2017. A workshop featuring Professor Oliver Roy will be convened on the same day of the General Assembly.
Active participation by its members in the workings of SeSaMO is the ultimate guarantee of a lively and active scholarly enterprise.
I am grateful to all of you for your participation and I hope that you will continue to play a role in our initiatives.