My daughter spent a high school year as
an exchange student in Cairo with an Egyptian family she came to
know as “Mom and Dad" — and enjoyed, for the first time ever, a
sister and a brother! She traveled all over the city (at all hours
day and night) and was at much less risk than she had been doing
the same in Denver.
Her letters and pictures sent home of this fascinating
city, incredible culture and warmly embracing people made me look
forward to the time when I could enjoy it for myself.
Now Cairo is my number one destination objective
On September 11, AAPG President-Elect Daniel L. Smith,
Executive Director Rick Fritz, AAPG convention staff member Dana
Free and I were in San Antonio at the SEG annual meeting with Walt
Lynn, SEG president, and our counterparts from Cairo. Our planning
and discussions came to a halt with the horrifying news of that
Each one of us was in an emotional state, and not
willing to make any decisions in that condition.
Weeks later, after careful thought, all four societies
involved in Cairo meeting discussions decided to forge ahead with
the plans we had started for a joint conference in Cairo.
AAPG enjoys a partnership with SEG, the Egyptian
Petroleum Exploration Society and the Egyptian Geophysical Society.
The EAGE is joining the meeting as a technical program contributor.
We all carefully re-planned the Cairo meeting to
minimize our financial risk, including budgeting for fewer attendees
and more security. AAPG and partners found ways to mitigate and
share financial risk and to strengthen ever-present security plans.
Why would we stay committed to a meeting in North
- AAPG has a great number of members and corporate friends in
Europe that live and work in North Africa. They are committed
to and involved in Africa and the Middle East. They are dedicated
to developing membership and geoscience programs.
- We have members and corporate friends in Houston that explore
and develop in Africa.
- AAPG has members all over Africa — and especially in Cairo
— who have worked tirelessly and selflessly toward this meeting
for two years.
Companies and members alike that are involved continue
to offer their full support and enthusiasm for AAPG's next international
meeting. They are assisting with our sponsorship and with the outstanding
The field trip committee never missed a beat — they
are providing us with choices that will knock your socks off! And
the cultural program is the envy of any region.
Samir Abdelmoaty (BP), who has chaired the arrangement
committee for two previous meetings in Cairo, brings a treasure
of experience and advice to our organizing committee, which includes
David Blanchard (Ocean Energy) and Mike Cochran (Anadarko).
Our AAPG African regional president, Bayo Akinpelu,
promises a wealth of West African papers and participants, and AAPG's
Middle East regional president, Mahmoud Abdul-Baqi, has developed
amazing support and technical program ideas.
The European Region has participated from the beginning,
too, especially through the efforts of Wolfgang Schollnberger and
our European regional president, David Roberts.
Companies like BP, TotalFinaElf, ChevronTexaco, Shell,
Agip, Anadarko, OceanEnergy, Apache, British Gas, Halliburton …
and so many others (Hey! even Priority Oil & Gas!) have stayed
committed to this meeting.
Conference Chairman Moustafa El Ayouty,
one of the pioneers of Egypt's petroleum industry, has an excellent
team assembled, and also enjoys the support of the Petroleum Ministry
Working with this team in Cairo has been a pleasure
The next best thing will be spending October 27-30
there — and I'll add on some days for two of these amazing field
Hope you will join me!