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Under the patronage of His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Kuwait Foundation for Advancement of Sciences honors the winners of 2016 Prizes

Dec 22, 2016

News Detail

Under the honorable patronage of His Highness the Amir of the State of Kuwait, the Kuwait Foundation for Advancement of Sciences has recognized and honored at Bayan Palace, an elite  constellation of Kuwaiti and Arab scientists and researchers who won the Foundation prizes for the year 2016 and Anwar Al-Nouri prize for best Ph.D. thesis in education in the Arab world, which is provided by the Foundation for the first time at the initiative, support and funding of Anwar Al-Nouri Philanthropic Trust .

The ceremony held at Bayan Palace was attended by His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the Speaker of the National Assembly HE Mr. Marzouq Ali Al-Ghanim and His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah. Many ministers, officials, diplomats, and members of the scientific community in Kuwait, also attended this event.

The Director-General of the Kuwait Foundation for Advancement of Sciences, Dr. Adnan Shihab-Eldin, delivered the following speech:

KFAS DG - Dr. Adnan Shihab-Eldin speech

Speeches of the winners:

Dr. George Helou delivered a speech on behalf of the winners in which he praised the support provided by the State of Kuwait in enhancing science and knowledge, in encouraging scientific research and contributions, and in strengthening the role of scientific and research institutions.

Dr. Helou reiterated in his speech: "Science and education are key to the future of every country and at all times. The importance of scientific culture has increased because the acceleration of technology is infinite. Kuwait has realized, early enough, this importance and established and supported scientific and research institutions, in particular, the Kuwait University, the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research, and the Kuwait Foundation for Advancement of Sciences. Today, the Kuwait prize represents a high honor sought by prominent Kuwaiti and Arab researchers and scientists wherever they are. "

The ceremony featured a video about an overview of the journey of the Foundation, its history, and the research of the winners of the 2016 prizes, as well as their resumes.

Winners of Kuwait prize 2016

The Kuwait Prize was launched in 1979 in line with the objectives of the Kuwait Foundation for Advancement of Sciences, and to achieve its targets in supporting various branches of scientific research, and to encourage Arab scientists and researchers. The winners of the 2016 prize were:

First: the Basic Sciences Category - Physics

Professor George Tanious Helou (lebanese)

Earned his Ph.D. in Astrophysics and Radio Science in 1980 from Cornell University in the USA. He is the Executive Director of the Infrared Processing and Analysis Center (IPAC) and Research Professor of Physics at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, California.

Professor Helou published over 250 scientific research papers and articles in refereed professional journals resulting in over 26,895 citations. He received a rate of 80 in the global H-Index that measures the impact of publications.

Prof. Helou has contributed in many space missions of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the European Space Agency (ESA), especially in Spitzer and Herschel infrared satellites, that notably contributed in the development of the science of astronomy using infrared radiations.

Second: Applied Science Category – Food and Agriculture

Professor Sophien Abdul Salam Kamoun (Tunisian)

Earned his Ph.D. degree in genetics in 1991 from California University (Davis), USA, and is currently Professor of Biology at the University of East Anglia and a Senior Scientist at the Sainsbury Laboratory, John Innes Center, UK.

Professor Kamoun published 186 scientific research papers in international journals, and 15 chapters in different books in the field of molecular plant pathology. Throughout his career, Prof. Kamoun has been acclaimed as a world-leading researcher in the field of plant pathology. His work basically focused on epidemiology of potato diseases, and in the successful production of microbial resistant species.

His research received 12,730 citations, and a rate of 63 in the global H-Index that measures the impact of publications.


Prize is shared by

Prof. Nihad Mohammed Saliha  (Egyptian)

Earned her Ph.D. in Drama in 1984 from the University of Exeter, UK. And is currently professor of drama and criticism at the Higher Institute of Art Criticism, at the Arts Academy in Egypt.

Professor Nihad Saliha published a number of unique research papers in refereed journals, and authored and translated a number of published books and independent chapters in various books. She is known for her unique activities in the Egyptian, the Arab, and the international theater movement and her creativity in using postmodernism art criticism curricula and an array of interests in theater scene.

Professor Nihad Saliha received the state award in Arts from the Egyptian Ministry of Culture in 2013, the prize of best book in the field of theater criticism at the Cairo International Book Fair in 1999.


Professor Afif Ahmad Rafiq Bahnasi (Syrian)

Professor Bahnasi earned his Ph.D. in the History of Arts and Architecture in 1964 from University of Paris – Sorbonne, France. He is Professor of History, Arts, and Architecture at the University of Damascus in Syria. He published over 70 internationally famous books, many of which were translated to foreign languages and contributed in authoring international encyclopedias.

Prof. Bahnasi’s work is characterized by his in-depth studies dealing with the unique aesthetic aspects of Arab heritage and the contemporary Arab reality, particularly, his interest in Islamic and Arab arts, such as (Islamic aesthetic impact in modern era, Arab aesthetic decoration, Arab Arts and Calligraphy, and the search for the roots of philosophy, arts and fiction in Islamic heritage).

Prof. Bahnasi received numerous honors and medals from leaders and heads of Arab states in recognition of his scientific work and contributions.

Winners of The Scientific Production Prize for 2016:

The Scientific Production Prize was established in 1988 at the initiative of the Amir of the State of Kuwait to honor outstanding Kuwaiti Ph.D. holders in different fields. It aims at encouraging leading scientists and researchers to pursue their research geared to serve Kuwait.

First: Physical sciencesand Mathematics Category

Dr. Halima Ali Mohammed Al-Kandari

Earned her Ph.D. in physical chemistry in 2005 from Kuwait University.

Dr. Halima is Associate Professor, College of Health Sciences, Environmental Health Department, at the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training.   

Dr. Halima Al-Kandari published over 20 research papers in refereed journals and 38 research and reviews in scientific conferences.

Second: Engineering Sciences Category

Dr.  Issa Mohammed Issa Safran

Earned his Ph.D. in Petroleum Engineering in 2003 from the University of Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA.

Dr. Issa Safran is Associate Professor at the Department of Petroleum Engineering, Faculty of Engineering and Petroleum, Kuwait University.

Dr. Issa published over 20 research papers in refereed journals and 25 research papers in refereed scientific conferences.

 Third: Medical and Allied Health SciencesCategory

Dr. Walid Ibrahim Al Herz

Earned his Medical degree in Pediatrics in 2000 from Miami Children Hospital.

 Dr. Al Herz is associate professor at the Department of Pediatrics, Faculty of Medicine at Kuwait University

Dr. Walid published 58 research papers in scientific refereed journals and authored two books in 2013 and 2014.

Fourth:  Social and Humanities Category

Dr.  Abdullah Abed Ali Alqatem

Earned his Ph.D. in Arab Literature in 1992 from University of Utah, USA.

Dr. Alqatem is Assistant Professor at the Department of Arabic Language and Literature, Faculty of Arts at Kuwait University.

Dr. Abdullah published 25 scientific research papers in refereed journals and authored 15 books. He contributes to local daily newspapers.


Anwar Al-Nouri prize is funded by Anwar Al-Nouri Philanthropic Trust and administered by the Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences. The prize is in recognition of the significant role played by the late Mr. Anwar Al-Nouri in the field of education at the national level in the State of Kuwait and the Arab world, as well as his service to KFAS as a member of its Board of Directors. 

First Place:

Dr. Amira Hussein Tareesh (Palastenian)

Earned her Ph.D. in 2014 from the British University in Dubai, UAE

Dr. Tareesh is currently a Coordinator of the Introductory Program in the English language Center, Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the University of Sharjah.

Her dissertation titled: “Comparative analysis of competence grades of students in universities of the United Arab Emirates: The effectiveness of using mother tongue in teaching reading in a second language” won her first place.

 Second Place shared between:

  • Nasser Saud Abdul Aziz Al Rais (Saudi Arabia)

Earned his Ph.D. in 2015 from the College of Education at King Saud University.

Dr. Al-Rais is currently an Assistant Professor at the Deanship of the Foundation Year and Elective Studies, Department of Self-development at the University of Dammam, Saudi Arabia.

His winning dissertation is titled: “School accreditation in public schools in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”.

  • Dalal Samir Rizkallah (Lebanese)

Earned her Ph.D. in 2015 from the Institute of Advanced Studies of Arts and Humanities at the Lebanese University.

Dr. Riskallah is currently the Director of Primary and Intermediary levels in Antonine Sisters Secondary School in Hazmieh, Lebanon.

Her winning dissertation is titled: “The Development of Collaborative Self-Assessment Standards and Procedures in Vocational Education Settings:  A model worth experimenting in the Lebanese school reality”.

Winners Booklet 2016

Prize Ceremony 2016 photos

Press Conference 2016 photos