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KFAS hosts its 2018 awards ceremony under the patronage of His Highness the Amir

Dec 11, 2018

Under the patronage and attendance of His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science (KFAS) hosted today its annual awards ceremony, in addition to the Al-Sumait Prize for African Development. The ceremony was also attended by His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, His Excellency the Speaker of the National Assembly Marzouq Ali Al-Ghanim, His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah and the ministers and senior officials of the State of Kuwait.

The ceremony began with the national anthem and reciting verses of the Holy Quran. This was followed by a speech by the Director General of KFAS, Dr. Adnan A. Shihab Eldin, in which he said that since the Kuwait Prize was launched in 1979, this scientific annual ceremony has become the beacon that brings together pioneering researchers and scientists, both from Kuwait and abroad. This diverse group is honored by the State of Kuwait for their great achievements, which have had a profound impact on the development of their societies and in developing innovative solutions to the challenges we face. He then gave his sincere congratulations to all the winners of the Kuwait, Scientific Production, Al-Nouri and Al-Sumait prizes.

Shihab Eldin described how appreciating science and honoring scientists is not new or unusual for Kuwait, which has throughout its history always been an oasis of noble values and ethics, a port for knowledge, a cradle for scientists and skilled professionals and welcoming to cultural enlightenment. The subsequent generations followed the steps of their ancestors, making their country a haven for scientists where they enjoy support and encouragement under the wise leadership and good government of the Amir.

The Director General explained that KFAS, which was established in 1976 under the wise leadership of Kuwait and the leaders of the enlightened private sector, became a leading scientific lighthouse, thanks to the care and continuous guidance of His Highness the Amir who is also the Chairman of KFAS Board of Directors. The foundation plays a vital role in stimulating a scientific culture, paying special attention to supporting young people, developing their abilities, honing their skills and encouraging them to achieve a scientific education that complies with the requirements of the age, as well as adopting a solid national foundation for science, technology and innovation in order to contribute to the development and prosperity of the country.

Based on this strategy, the foundation seeks to strengthen cooperation with a number of governmental institutions to serve Kuwait's scientific research and development priorities, paying particular attention to supporting and encouraging youth, enhancing the private sector's capabilities to improve the knowledge economy and optimizing the use of renewable energy, Shihab Eldin added.

He said that this annual event is one of the foundation’s standout achievements, celebrating Kuwaiti researchers who have won the Scientific Production Prize and Arab scientists who have won the Kuwait Prize and Al-Nouri Prize for Education, in addition to scholars and international research institutes that have won the Al-Sumait Prize for African Development.

He pointed out that the world is currently witnessing a so-called Fourth Industrial Revolution, which includes amazing horizons of development in science and technology which will affect all areas of life, especially health, economy and education, and will create many jobs in all sectors but which requires specialized knowledge and excellent training.

He concluded by saying that all these rapid developments require us to work to strengthen the role of science in the development of societies, addressing the challenges and reducing difficulties wherever they arise. Today, the foundation's ceremony reinforces this trend and solidifies its core mission of stimulating and developing human capabilities through initiatives that contribute to building a solid foundation for science, technology and innovation, and to promote the suitable cultural environment for this endeavor.

During the ceremony, KFAS showed a short film that included the most important recent achievements, as well as a brief presentation on the works of the winners of the Kuwait Prize, the Scientific Production Award and the Al-Nouri Prize, as well as Al-Sumait Prize for African Development.

His Highness the Amir honored the winners of the KFAS Prizes and the Al-Sumait Prize for African Development. The foundation also presented a memorable gift to His Highness the Amir by planting 400 evergreen willow seedlings, expressing the foundation's mission to promote sustainable development in the country, preserve the environment and conserve its resources.

Winners of the Al-Nouri Award, the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences (KFAS) Awards, and the Al-Sumait Award for 2018

First: Winner of the Anwar Al-Nouri Prize for Best Doctorate Dissertation in the Arab world:

Awarded to Dr. Dalia Ahmed Mostafa (Egypt) for her thesis "The Construction of Masculinity through Mothers’ Socialization of Children in Egyptian Society: A Socio-Anthropological Study." She is an independent researcher and translator.

KFAS oversees the Anwar Al-Nouri Award, launched in 2016 with funding from Anwar Al-Nouri Philanthropic Trust, in appreciation of the great role played by the late benefactor in the field of education in the State of Kuwait and the Arab world, for more than 50 years, and in recognition of his efforts in serving the foundation as a former member of its Board of Directors.

Second: Winners of the Scientific Production Prize

Four winners took the award this year in four different fields.

1- Natural Sciences and Mathematics

Awarded to Dr. Tareq M. Alrefae, Associate Professor in the Physics Department at the Faculty of Science, Kuwait University. He has published 17 research papers in scientific journals and participated in 12 international conferences.

2- Engineering Sciences

Awarded to Dr. Khaled J. Al-Fadhala, Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Faculty of Engineering and Petroleum, Kuwait University. He has published 28 research papers in scientific journals and participated in 19 international conferences.

3- Medical and Allied Health Sciences

Awarded to Dr. Salman Khalifah Al-Sabah, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Medicine, Kuwait University and a General Surgery Consultant, al-Amiri Hospital. He has published 47 papers in scientific journals and participated in 90 international conferences.

4- Social and Human Sciences

Awarded to Professor Abdullah Mohammed Al-Hajeri, Head of the History Department, Kuwait University. He has published 17 papers in refereed journals and participated in five regional and international conferences.

The Scientific Production Award was established in 1988 in recognition of His Highness the Amir's initiative to honor Kuwaitis who hold PhD degrees in various fields of knowledge, aiming to encourage young Kuwaiti scientists and researchers to continue their research aimed at serving the community.

Third: Winner of the Kuwait Prize

The Kuwait Prize was given this year in four fields.

1- Fundamental Sciences (Biological Sciences)

Jointly awarded; the first winner is Professor Hilal Ahmed Lashuel (Yemen) of the Brain Mind Institute at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, Switzerland. He was awarded the prize for his research in the identification of structural deformities of protein bases, which results in physiological and pathological symptoms of neuralgia-related disorders such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and Huntington’s.

The second winner is Dr. Mohammed H. ElSayegh (Lebanon). Professor of Surgery (Organ Transplantation), Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Vice President for Scientific Research at the American University of Beirut. He is a prominent scientist in the field of organ transplantation worldwide, as well as his excellence in research on urology.

2- Applied Sciences (Clean and Sustainable Energy Technologies)

Jointly awarded; the first winner is Professor Zakya H. Kafafi (Egypt), Adjunct Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Lehigh University, PA, United States. She was awarded the prize for her research on the use of organic solar cells to generate clean and sustainable energy and improve the performance and stability of these cells.

The second winner is Professor Husam N. Alshareef (Palestine), Professor of Material Science and Engineering at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia. He was awarded the prize for his research in the field of energy storage and innovation for energy storage devices, including batteries and capacitors.

3- Economics and Social Sciences (Economy)

Jointly awarded; the first winner is Professor Imad A. Moosa (Iraq) Professor of Finance and Economics at Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia. He was awarded the prize for his research and books in the areas of exchange rates, monetary policy, stock markets and the effects of environmental policies.

The second winner is Professor Badi H. Baltagi (Lebanon), Distinguished Professor of Economics and Senior Research Associate at the Center for Policy Research at the Maxwell School, Syracuse University, United States. He was awarded the prize for his outstanding research in the field of economic theory and econometrics and the theory of panel data, while his research and books have a huge impact in terms of scientific reference, making him one of the most important contributors in the field econometrics.

4- Art and Literature (Studies of Arabic Language and Literature)

Awarded to Professor Muhsin Jassim al-Musawi (Iraq), Professor of Arabic Literature at Columbia University, United States. He was awarded the prize for his research in the field of critical studies, especially in English. He also emphasized the presence of Arab cultural, intellectual and creative history in the field of postcolonial theory.

The Kuwait Prize was established in 1979 in line with Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences’ aim to support scientific research in its various branches and to encourage Arab scientists and researchers.

Fourth: The Al-Sumait Prize for African Development

This year’s prize was awarded to two researchers and a research institute.

The first half of the prize was given to:

Professor Salim S. Abdool Karim (South Africa), Director of the AIDS Research Center and Deputy Director of Research at the University of KwaZulu, South Africa, and Professor at Columbia University in the United States. He was awarded the prize for his research on the treatment and prevention of HIV / AIDS.

The second half of the prize was jointly awarded to:

Professor Sheila K. West (USA), Professor of Ophthalmology and Vice President of the Wilmer Institute of Ophthalmology at Johns Hopkins University, Maryland, USA. She was awarded the prize for her significant contribution to the fight against blindness among children and adults in Africa.

The Rakai Health Sciences Program (Uganda) an independent non-profit research center based in Rakai, Republic of Uganda. The center was awarded the prize for its role in improving public health in Africa through the fight against HIV / AIDS and sexually transmitted diseases.

The Al-Sumait Prize for African Development, valued at US $1 million, is presented annually to individuals or institutions in one of the three areas of the award: food security, health or education. It is the result of an initiative by His Highness the Amir of Kuwait in honor of the legacy of the late Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sumait, a Kuwaiti doctor who dedicated his life to addressing the health, education and food security challenges facing the African continent. The Board of Trustees of the Prize, which is composed of international and local dignitaries, oversees all prize procedures. The Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences offers all forms of logistical and administrative support for the award.