(MENAFN - Arab News) Prince Sultan bin Salman, the first Muslim and first Saudi in space, recalled recently how the new conference logo first originated with the 1989 ASE Congress hosted in Riyadh, just four years after his historic flight into space.
With Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, Prince Sultan developed the illustration that served as a logo for the event poster.
The painting depicts the traditional desert Arab in the natural environment he inhabits - the island Earth in the vastness of space - relying on his camel, his Saluki hunting dog, the date palm and contemplating the heavens as a source of spiritual guidance, inspiration and navigation.
The image represents the natural unity that binds humanity to its surroundings.
The Kingdom has come a long way since then, and the 25th ASE Congress logo is designed to reflect that.
Prince Sultan's memorable flight into space aboard the space shuttle Discovery paid dividends well beyond the launch of ARAB SAT and the scientific achievements of that flight. The results are achievements that the Kingdom can be proud of as its youths are now up to date with the latest technologies, follow the latest scientific and space achievements on multiple information processing and communication platforms, confirming that the knowledge-based society is not coming to the Kingdom, it is actually already here and on its way to driving further achievements and empowerment for its people.
The 2012 logo attempts to capture the new spirit in the Kingdom from the early days when the people of Saudi Arabia observed space from the desert lands, to the present where Saudis observe their land from space.
The comfort and knowledge of enabling technologies such as satellites, space shuttles, and other space platforms, is ever expanding in the Kingdom and among its scientists.
The trail blaze of actual STS 51 G image at takeoff behind the astronaut's shoulder is a reminder of the historic launch of STS51 G and its lasting impact on the Kingdom, Arab and the Muslim world. Riyadh the center of decision-making then, and home of the 25th Congress, is highlighted by a bright light emanating from the Kingdom.
Youth represents a large segment of Saudi society, and the adoption of digital technologies and the wide use of the World Wide Web to learn and communicate is second nature to Saudi youth. These are symbolized with the binary code zeros and ones, while the Web is incorporated with the iconic "@" sign.
The logo incorporates the symbols of this era and the Kingdom's vibrant evolving society as it transforms itself into a world class, knowledge-based society.