Here is the official statement by our friend Nadia El-Awady about the decision of moving the World Conference of Science Journalists from Cairo to Doha, published on the website of the WFSJ
Cairo has been witness to very exciting times in the past few weeks and Egypt has now started the inspiring but demanding process of birthing a new democracy.
This will take time and a lot of vigilance and hard work on the part of the Egyptian people.
The organizers of the World Conference of Science Journalists 2011 had to come to the very difficult decision of relocating the conference. We realize that many science journalists were looking forward to visiting a new and exciting Cairo and that so many were hoping to visit Tahrir Square that was just down the road from our conference venue. There were too many uncertainties, unfortunately, and we felt our priority needed to be providing a stable and safe environment to hold a successful conference.
The boards of the Arab Science Journalists Association, the National Association of Science Writers (US), the World Federation of Science Journalists and the WCSJ2011 steering committee met internally and with each other to discuss the situation.
The situation was assessed and discussions revolved around the best way to preserve the conference and to keep it in the Arab world. While we went through these discussions, we received many offers of support. One of them came as an offer from the Qatar Foundation who invited us to move the conference to Doha while honoring the Egyptian spirit of the WCSJ2011. We looked at all our options and we came to the unanimous decision to accept the kind invitation by the Qatar Foundation to move the conference to Doha, Qatar.
So it is my pleasure to announce that the WCSJ2011 will be held on its same dates of June 27 to 29, 2011 in Doha, Qatar with generous support from the WCSJ2011 Leading Sponsor, the Qatar Foundation.
The conference program will remain the same although with some changes to suit the exciting revolutionary times in the Arab world, how they have been affected by social media and what kinds of impacts we expect to see on science and science journalism.
Our leading sponsor in Doha, the Qatar Foundation, will be pulling together an exciting list of fieldtrips on June 30 so conference participants can explore what is happening in terms of research and development in this rapidly growing country.
We sincerely appreciate your patience with us over the past few weeks while our Egyptian staff were busy liberating their country. We have received so many encouraging words of support from science journalists all over the world and those words were deeply appreciated.
We are now working on updating the information on the conference website so that conference participants can proceed with their registrations and reservations. We hope you will have all the information you need to make your plans within the next few days.
We look forward to seeing you all very soon in Doha!
And an Egyptian Revolutionary!