DSC_0324On October 2nd the 2nd TESOL Arabia SIG Conference was hosted at Middlesex University Dubai. The theme was New Beginnings to reflect that this was the first combined event of the year for the SIGs. The event gave the 9 SIGs (special interest groups) of TESOL Arabia a chance to showcase their activities by setting up booths and providing presenters towards the programme, which included more than 20 sessions given by academics and teachers from across the UAE and Oman. The very successful TESOL Arabia Toastmasters’ Club provided a showcase of their activities and, in addition, 4 members from one of the new affiliate organizations in Tunisia presented via Skype. This allowed TESOL Arabia to include its growing number of affiliates in its UAE-based events via the wonders of technology. The main organizing team of Mick King, Christine Coombe, Sahbi Hidri, Mohamed Azaza, Jim Buckingham and Hafeez Rehman were ably assisted by many other members of TAEXCO and the SIGs making this a genuine team effort. The delegates, who numbered around one hundred, included many non-members. They had a truly rewarding experience. The support of strategic partner, Middlesex University Dubai, also helped to make it a great day. It is hoped that these New Beginnings will lead to a fruitful year of professional development for TESOL Arabia members and non-members both in the UAE and beyond.