During the Gi4DM 2011 (GeoInformation for Disaster Management) May 3 – 8 in Antalya, Turkey a mini-symposium “Natural Hazards and Disaster Risks in the Middle East Region” was held. This symposium was a part of the ENHANS project. It provided an opportunity to discuss and analyze major topics related to extreme natural events and disaster risk management in the Middle East region and to present new methodologies and technologies suitable for hazard and risk analysis and disaster management. Kuniyoshi Takeuchi, who is currently an IRDR Scientific Committee Vice Chair was one of the conveners. Dr Jane E. Rovins provided the IRDR presentation to emphasize the importance of trans-disciplinary collaboration in disaster risk research.