The skyscrapers lines of Seattle, the city of Austin in the booming state of Texas, Denver with its grandiose mountain panorama in view and the New World French style town of Montréal have hosted one after the other the IEEE Symposia on EMC over many years.

The IEEE and its EMC Society, becoming a worldwide organization, it was natural to travel to other continents for one of its annual symposia. The choice was for the most new-old country that could exist, Israel, with its booming 21st century silicon and computer industry and its six thousand years of history.

When landing at the Lod airport, the first image of Israel is that of a line of skyscrapers along the Mediterranean beach of Tel Aviv. Tel Aviv, the city of dynamic and innovative start ups, the city of young people who enjoy music and dancing each weekend, the town of innovative artistic movements, Tel Aviv, one of the most young cities of this young and also old state which is Israel. Where today there is the line of hotels, dancing bars, and elegant restaurants, only 80 years ago, there was nothing but sand dunes and a few palm trees. It is a city of pioneers and of deciders.

At only 60 kilometers (40 miles), you can look at the six thousand years of history of Jerusalem.

Looking from the Mount of Olives or from the Mount Scopus at Jerusalem in the sunset, the color of the Old City walls and of all the houses is that of honey. And in such a moment the Hebrew name of Ierushalaim comes to me with its mild intonation to better reflect the beauty of and the spiritual significance of this unique town. There is a deep spiritual attachment for the whole of humanity to this place, which has a significance for each of the three monotheist religions of the world.

At the EMCS Standards Open House, Michel Ianoz is shown at left in the front row. Also attending are Bill Radasky and Panayiotis P. Lemos (from left), Aysam Akses (second from left, back row) and Dr. Heyno Garbe (second from right, back row).

These were our plans, to invite the colleagues from our EMC community from all over the world in this unique Land to these unique places, where the future joins history.

Politics decided, however, in another way and imposed upon us a different issue.

The choice of the new place was quite appropriate.

It has been said that Istanbul, built on two continents, is the city which makes the bridge between Europe and Asia. The two impressive bridges, which are not less beautiful than the Golden Gate Bridge and the extension of the city on the Asian continent, have stressed this unique feature.


An old song of the fifties said:

"Istanbul's not Constantinople
Even all New York was asking it today
Why they changed it I can't say
Istanbul's not Constantinople……."

Yes, today, Istanbul after having been Byzantium and Constantinople is a modern city, but history has left its traces all over the town. For one thousand years, Byzantium has tried to maintain the tradition of the old Roman Empire against East and West. Not only Arab, Turkish and Viking armies have tried to conquer this mythical town, but also the shameful so-called fourth crusade resulted in the occupation of Constantinople for nearly 100 years by the western knights.

Blending the old and the new on the Bosphorus.

From its time of glory, the Byzantine Empire has left to humanity a few incredible treasures. The first is Aya Sophia, in which the genius of an architect from the 6th century has given life to one of the most impressively constructed volumes not supported by columns. There are other huge monuments in the world, but no one gives this impression of spiritual elevation in a human construction. The other one is the Kahrye, the church-museum in which the splendid mosaics from the 12th century are a magnificent testimony of the human veneration for God.

The historic St. Sophia in Istanbul was first built as a church by Emperor Constantine, and then later re-built by Emperor Justinianus in the 6th century. In the 15th century, the church was transformed into a mosque after the Ottomans captured the city. They added the minarets and mausoleums. St. Sophia is now a museum and was a highlight of the Symposium Tour.

When the Turkish Empire established its capital in this town, a new era began and new splendid monuments were built. One needs only to go and spend a few moments of peace in the twilight passing through the stained-glass windows of the Suleymane mosque, or to enjoy the splendid blue light in the Sultan Akhmed mosque.

And, like in Jerusalem, the sun reveals the city's splendor. The view of Istanbul in the light of the early morning, with the sun reflected in the moving waves of the Bosphorus, or the Topkapi Palace illuminated by the sunset, are moments of bliss which one can never forget. EMC



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