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The Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) Holds its 2017 Prize Ceremony

Dec 18, 2017

News Detail

With the attendance of His Highness the Deputy Amir and Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, on behalf of the patron of the ceremony His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, Amir of the State of Kuwait may God protect him, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS), the Foundation held on Wednesday its annual event to honor the Kuwaiti and Arab scholars and researchers who have won various prizes in 2017, as well as the African Women's Education Forum (FAWE) which have won this year’s Al-Sumait Prize for African Development in the field of education. 

The ceremony was attended by His Excellency Mr. Marzooq Ali Al-Ghanim, the speaker of Parliament, and H.H. the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah, as well as number of ministers, officials and diplomats and members of the scientific and research community in Kuwait.

In his speech during the occasion the Director-General of KFAS, Dr. Adnan Shihab-Eldin delivered a speech on the occasion, said:

“I stand before you today, representing KFAS, which works relentlessly under the guidance of HH the Amir of the State of Kuwait, as a sail of light and a vessel for hope from Kuwait to the world, and from the world to Kuwait”, adding “I congratulate the laureates of the 2017 KFAS Prizes, the torch-bearers of knowledge and scientific leadership from Kuwait and Arab world and the laureates of the Al-Sumait Prize for African Development in the field of Education, a prize which was initiated by H.H. the Amir of the State of Kuwait, as an embodiment of Kuwait’s sense of humanity, and which KFAS is honored to administer”.

In his speech Mr. Shihab-Eldin also stressed that “Our celebration of the pioneers of scientific research in Kuwait and wherever Arab researchers work, and all scientists who work for the advancement of humanity, is not merely an honoring of individuals, but is a clear message we send to our youth - men and women - that Kuwait is, and must continue to be a haven for light and knowledge, and that Kuwait's future depends on their faith in that pioneering role.”

He also emphasized: “We don't compromise our noble mission, which is ingrained in all KFAS programs: that the future is for those who bear the torch of science and knowledge, and that KFAS' role is to catalyze, motivate, and enable, as far as our means can possibly reach.”

Mr. Shihab-Eldin also talked about KFAS’ future endeavors under the second five-year strategic plan, saying that it revolves around three key objectives: to contribute to the advocacy of a scientific culture, to support national research capacity-building and channel it toward priorities of development, and to contribute to creating an incubating environment for innovation both in individuals and corporations. 

The Director General also gave some insights on KFAS’ future concentration saying: “It is evident that the global trend to turn away from traditional energy sources defines our mission for the coming years, which is to encourage research, development, and innovation in fields of the greatest impact on economic diversification and a sustainable knowledge-based economy, including optimal utilization of renewable energy, and rendering eco-friendly utilization of the abundant oil reserves.”

Adding: “In this regard, KFAS works with the brightest minds inside and outside Kuwait to explore and define these fields, in collaboration with legislators and decision makers, the private sector with its globally competitive administrative capabilities, and Kuwait's scientific research institutions.”

For his part, Dr. Maroun Awad pointed in a speech on behalf of the Foundation's Prizes winners to Kuwait’s support for science through various initiatives, including the KFAS’ Prize for scientific innovation locally, regionally and internationally. He highlighted the diversity of the fields covered by the prize which include: Basic Sciences, Applied Sciences, Economics and Social Sciences, Arts and Literature, Arab and Islamic Scientific Heritage, and the Al-Sumait Prize for African Development, noting that it “truly reflects the human sense inherent in the Kuwaiti society”.

Following the introductions, H.H. the Deputy Amir and Crown Prince proceeded to honor the winners of the Kuwait Prize, and the Scientific Production Award, and the Al-Sumait Prize for African Development 2017, and they were:

First: Scientific Production Prize

Established in 1988 in an initiative by His Highness the late Amir of the State of Kuwait Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah - May God rest his soul – to encourage research intensity in Kuwait by recognizing distinguished Kuwaitis holding a PhD who are accomplished producers of scientific papers. The prize, which amounts to KD 10,000, has grown over time to include 6 fields annually.

  1. Natural Sciences and Mathematics

The prize went to Dr. Talal Fhaid Humoud Al-Azmi.

Dr. Al-Azmi received his PhD degree in chemistry in 2002 from the University of South Florida. He published 23 research papers in scientific journals, three chapters in books and participated in 7 international conferences.

  1. Engineering and Science

The prize went to Dr. Majid Mohammed Fhaid Al-Dehani.

Dr. Al-Dehani received his Ph.D. in 2002 in Industrial Engineering and Systems from the University of Southern California, USA. He has published 25 papers in scientific journals and participated in 7 international conferences. He also published more than 34 research papers that were presented at scientific conferences.

  1. Medicine and Medical Sciences

The prize went to Dr. Raed Abdulla Hussain Al-Roughani.

Dr. Al-Roughani received his Ph.D. in neuroscience in 2008 from the Royal Canadian College in Canada. He has published 72 scientific research papers and has participated in over 68 international conferences. He specializes in multiple sclerosis and his research line is clearly focused on mechanisms of the disease and treatment. His research has been recognized at the global level and has had a clear impact on the medical arena.

  1. Social and Human Sciences

The prize went to Dr. Fayez Mancher Awadh Al-Dhafiri.

Dr. Fayez received his Ph.D. in education technology in 2000 from the University of North Texas, United States of America. He published 25 scientific papers in refereed journals and has presented 9 research papers at scientific conferences, three of which were international.

  1. Administrative Sciences and Economics

The prize went to Dr. Mishary Mohammed Sulaiman Al-Freih.

Dr. Al-Freih received his Ph.D. in Accounting in 2010 from Queen's Land University, Australia. He published 30 scientific researches in refereed journals and 2 books on financial accounting.

Second: The Kuwait Prize

Aimed at recognizing the lifetime achievements of Arab scientists across the globe, this prestigious prize was introduced in 1979. The Kuwait prize has witnessed a surge of applications from Arab researchers everywhere, and is   awarded in five fields, four of which are announced annually for Arabs (Basic Sciences, Applied Sciences, Economics and Social Sciences, Art and literature), and the fifth field, which is Arabic and Islamic Scientific Heritage,  is announced every third year for all nationalities. For each field, the prize amounts to K.D. 40,000 (forty thousand Kuwaiti Dinars).

  1. In the field of Fundamental Science – Chemistry

The prize went to Professor Omar Mousa Abdulfatah Yaghi - The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

Professor Yaghi received his PhD in chemistry from the University of Illinois Urbana, USA in 1990.  He currently occupies the J. and N. Tretter Chair Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, USA.

Professor Yaghi published 240 papers in scientific journals, 26 of which in the prestigious “Nature” and “Science" journals, and received 44 patents from the United States of America.  Professor Omar Yaghi ranked second in the world on the citation of his research in the field of chemistry, where his research was cited more than 100,000 times, and received a rate of 110 in the global (H-index) used to measure the extent to which his published research has been cited.

He is credited with being the driving force in developing the novel field of Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs), also known as reticular chemistry.

  1. Applied Sciences - Applied Medical & Applied Allied Health Sciences

The prize was split between:

Professor Mohamed Amin Alaa-eddin Arnaout – Lebanon

Professor Arnaout received his Ph.D. in medicine in 1974 from the American University in Beirut - Lebanon.

He is a Professor and Director at the Department of Nephrology, Massachusetts Hospital, Boston and Professor of Medicine, Faculty of Medicine at Harvard University, United States of America.

Professor Arnaout published 186 papers in scientific journals such as Science, New England Journal of Medicine and others. He wrote 15 chapters in various books in his field of specialization. His research has been cited more than 19,926 times, and has rated 66 in the Global (H-Index).

He is considered a pioneer in nephrology.  His research has focused on the classification of integrin and integrin receptors, which play a pivotal role in cells correlation.

Professor Shaker Ahmed Mohamed Mousa – Arab Republic of Egypt

Professor Mousa received his Ph.D. in neurobiology in 1983 from Ohio University, USA.

He is a professor of Pharmacology, Director of the Drug Research Center and Vice President of the Faculty of Pharmacy and Science Health in Albany, New York, USA.

Professor Moussa published more than 500 papers in scientific journals and has more than 300 patents. His research was cited more than 12,695 times, and he obtained a 64.5 rate in the Global (H-Index).

His research focused on the use of nanoparticles to deliver medicine to diseased organs, providing new therapeutic and diagnostic methods for many diseases.

  1. Economic and Social Sciences – Education

The prize went to Professor Soma Bishara Boujouda – Lebanon.

Professor Boujouda received his Ph.D. in education and a specialization in science education from the University of Cincinnati, Ohio, United States, 1988.

He is the Director of the Education and Learning Center, and the Center for Science and Mathematics Education at the American University in Beirut, Lebanon.

Professor Bojouda published 90 papers including: 28 individual papers and 62 research papers in scientific journals. He has written 3 books and translated one. His research has been cited more than 3,800 times and he received a rate of 26 in the global (H-Index).

Professor Bujouda's research focused on scientific issues in the teaching of science and mathematics, the development of basic education in the Arab world, and preparing and training the teacher.

  1. Arts and Literature - Comparative Literature and Literary Translations

The prize went to Professor Nabil Ibrahim Matar – Lebanon.

Professor Matar received his Ph.D. in English Literature in 1976 from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom. He is a professor of English Literature at the University of Minnesota, United States.

He published 112 papers in scientific journals and 13 books issued by scientific and academic institutions. His research was cited more than 158 times and he received an average of 8 in the (H-Index).

Professor Matar's research focused on using the modern comparative methodology. That is why the purely literary factor in his writings stands out, as well as the religious, political, economic, social, geographic and historical factors.

  1. Arab and Islamic Scientific Heritage – Science and Mathematics (Basic and Applied)

The prize went to Professor Maroun Boulos Khalil Awad – Lebanon.

Professor Awad received his Ph.D. in Arabic Philosophy and Islamic Civilization from University of Paris, France, 2001. Director of research at the National Institute for Research in Paris, France.

Professor Aouad published more than 15 papers in scientifc journals and authored and translated various books. The research and books of Professor Awad focus on public speaking through research and investigation, especially in logic. Two of his books focused on the extent of intersection between philosophy and fundamental sciences in the Arab and Islamic civilization.  His first book, “The Legacy and the Manuscripts of Ibn Rushd”, was published in three volumes.  His second book, the “Book of Speech of Albi Hajjaj Ibn Tamlos”, the  Andalusian physician and philosopher.

Third: Al-Sumait Prize for African Development in the Field of Education

The prize went to the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) based in Nairobi, Kenya in appreciation of its efforts that span the African continent forming a network across 33 countries to promote girls’ and women’s education in sub-Saharan Africa. FAWE is a unique form of collaboration among African elites, national authorities, local communities and international organizations. It works with a wide range of organizations, governmental and nongovernmental, to achieve equity and equality in education through targeted programs.

It has contributed significantly to the major change in attitudes and practice towards girls’ education in Africa this century, influencing governments to reform policies that hinder girls’ access.

FAWE achievements include establishing specific partnerships through memoranda of understanding with 14 ministries; achieving the mainstreaming of gender-responsive practices in national education policies in 17 countries; empowering youth, particularly girls, to identify and address gender concerns; developing the Gender-Responsive School or Centre of Excellence model in 10 countries; initiated the Gender-Responsive Pedagogy teacher training model in 12 countries; and helped demystify science, mathematics and technology for girls improving their participation and performance in 14 countries.

About Abdul Rahman Al-Sumait Prize for African Development:

The Al-Sumait Prize for African Development is an initiative by The Amir of the State of Kuwait, His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, which was announced at the “Third African Arab Summit” hosted by the State of Kuwait in November 2013 in honor of the late Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sumait’s dedication. This prize is an annual award by the State of Kuwait for the advancement of economic, social, human resources, and infrastructure in the African continent and is awarded annually to an individual or organization with a distinguished achievement in one of the three fields: food security, health, and education.  The awarded projects should help African nations to overcome poverty, hunger, lack of potable water, injustice or to improve health care, literacy and the allocation of economic resources.  The prize is administered by the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences and the prize’s board of trustees, on behalf of the State of Kuwait, at an annual sum of $1,000,000 (one million US dollars).

To know more about the prizes, please visit: