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KFAS Honors Al-Hamad and Al-Ojairi with Highest Award

Jul 14, 2020

 In recognition of their distinguished scientific and intellectual contributions and remarkable services to Kuwait

The Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences, with the blessing of His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the Amir of the State of Kuwait and Chairman of KFAS Board of Directors has announced its decision to grant the "The Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences Appreciation Award" jointly to His Excellency Mr. Abdlatif Yousef Al-Hamad and his Excellency Dr. Saleh Mohammed Al-Ojairi.

This award is a recognition and appreciation of their Excellences’ distinguished scientific and intellectual contributions as well as the acclaimed services they have generously offered inside the State of Kuwait as well as regionally and globally.

KFAS Board of Directors launched this award in 1998 to honour prominent personalities who have contributed to the progress of the scientific and intellectual society and provided great services to the State of Kuwait, based on the nomination from the Foundation's Board of Directors.

The Foundation declared that granting this award to such distinguished personalities comes in recognition of the pioneering role they have played in many fields and of their great and valuable services.

His Excellency Mr. Abdlatif Yousef Al-Hamad, born in 1937, is one of most prominent intellectual, economic and development figures in Kuwait and the world. As one of the acclaimed economists who has contributed in building the modern State of Kuwait in various fields, his efforts and the role he played in the field of economic development locally, regionally and globally have clearly had a key impact in enhancing Kuwait's economic position in all parts of the world.

 While leading national institutions, including the Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development and the Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development since 1985, Mr. Al-Hamad focused his efforts on promoting development in the Arab countries and harnessing the capabilities of the fund to develop the productive capabilities of the Arab countries in addition to encouraging scientific research and technological progress. Part of his great achievements was the establishment of long-term partnerships between the Fund and the international development institutions. He was also the Minister of Finance and Minister of Planning in the State of Kuwait from 1981 to 1983.

During his career, His Excellency Mr. Al-Hamad held several positions including member of the Board of Trustees of many universities and higher education institutions in the Arab world, Europe, America and Asia. He was also member of the advisory committees in a number of international financial institutions in various parts of the world including the World Bank. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of The Al-Sumait Prize for African Development, which is an initiative launched by The Amir of the State of Kuwait, His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah in 2013 during the Arab-African Summit. This award honours individuals or institutions who made significant advances in the fields of food security, health and education in Africa through their work or research.

KFAS’s announcement indicated that His Excellency Dr. Saleh Mohammed Al-Ojairi, born 1920, is one of Kuwait's most prominent cultural and scientific figures. He was the first to introduce the interest in the field of astronomy in Kuwait. He had established a small private astronomical observatory and had imported an astronomical dome from the United States in 1973. He has become well known in Kuwait and the region for developing annual calendars since 1944. Dr. Al-Ojairi has also received the first honorary doctorate from the College of Science at the Kuwait University in 1981.

Dr. Al-Ojairi has also established the “Center of Astronomy and Meteorology” in the Scientific Center, which was officially inaugurated in April 15, 1986 under the patronage, presence and support of His Highness the late Amir of the State of Kuwait and Chairman of KFAS Board of Directors Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, may God rest his soul. The late Amir believed in the importance of astronomy and his presence witnessed his support to Dr. Al-Ojairi and his recognition of his role in encouraging the dissemination of sciences and building a generation of scientists.

"The Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences Appreciation Award" is an exceptional award for which the Foundation’s Board of Directors nominate the candidates. The award has been granted so far to only three people: Dr. Fouad Zakariyya from Egypt, and Dr. Ghazi Al-Qasabi from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia who were jointly granted the award in 1998 and Dr. Abdul Rahman Al Sumait, who received the award in 2012.