Amir pa­tron­izes, at­tends 2016 KFAS award cer­e­mony

Sup­port­ing sci­en­tific re­search in Kuwait, Arab World

Kuwait Times - - LOCAL -

KUWAIT: With pa­tron­age and at­ten­dance of His High­ness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ah­mad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the Kuwait Foun­da­tion for Ad­vance­ment of Science (KFAS) held its 2016 award cer­e­mony at Bayan Palace yes­ter­day.

The awards in­clude the Kuwait Prize awarded to Kuwaiti and Arab re­searchers, the Sci­en­tific Pro­duc­tion Prize awarded to Kuwaiti re­searchers, and An­war Al-Nouri Prize, of­fered for Best PhD the­sis in Ed­u­ca­tion in the Arab World. The Kuwait Prize, es­tab­lished in 1979, is con­sis­tent with the KFAS ob­jec­tives, ful­fill­ing its mis­sion to sup­port sci­en­tific re­search in var­i­ous branches seek­ing to mo­ti­vate Arab sci­en­tists and re­searchers.

Kuwait Prize

The 2016 Kuwait Prize was awarded in three cat­e­gories. The first cat­e­gory’s prize, on ba­sic sci­ences in physics, was awarded to Dr Ge­orge Tan­ios Helou (Le­banese), Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of the In­frared Pro­cess­ing and Anal­y­sis Cen­ter, and Re­search Pro­fes­sor of Physics at the Univer­sity of Cal­tech in Pasadena, Cal­i­for­nia, USA. Prize in the sec­ond cat­e­gory, Ap­plied Sci­ences in food and Agri­cul­ture, was awarded to Dr Su­fian Ab­dul Salam Kamoun (Tu­nisian), Pro­fes­sor of Bi­ol­ogy at West Anglia Univer­sity, and a se­nior fel­low at the Sains­bury Lab­o­ra­tory, John Innes Cen­tre in the UK.

As for the third cat­e­gory of the Kuwait Prize, Arts and Lit­er­a­ture, the prize was equally shared by Prof. Dr Ni­had Mo­ham­mad Sal­iha (Egyp­tian) and Dr Afif Ah­mad Rafiq Bah­nasi (Syr­ian). Sal­iha is a pro­fes­sor of drama and crit­i­cism at the Higher In­sti­tute of Art Crit­i­cism at Egypt’s Art Acad­emy, for her dis­tinc­tion in the Egyp­tian, Arab and in­ter­na­tional the­ater move­ment and her cre­ativ­ity in us­ing post­mod­ernism art crit­i­cism cur­ric­ula.

Co-Win­ner Bah­nasi is a re­tired pro­fes­sor at the Univer­sity of Da­m­as­cus. Dr Afif was awarded the prize for his in-depth stud­ies in deal­ing with the unique aes­thetic as­pects of Arab her­itage and the con­tem­po­rary Arab real­ity, par­tic­u­larly, his in­ter­est in Is­lamic and Arab art. The fourth cat­e­gory of the Kuwait prize, Eco­nom­ics and So­cial Sci­ences in Bank­ing and Fi­nance, was with­held this year.

Sci­en­tific Pro­duc­tion

As for the 2016 Sci­en­tific Pro­duc­tion Prize, es­tab­lished in 1988, KFAS of­fered it in four re­searchers in four cat­e­gories. Prize of the first cat­e­gory, Phys­i­cal Sci­ences and Math­e­mat­ics, went to Dr Hal­ima Ali Mo­hammed Al-Kandari, As­so­ciate Pro­fes­sor, Col­lege of Health Sci­ences, En­vi­ron­men­tal Health De­part­ment, at the Pub­lic Author­ity for Ap­plied Ed­u­ca­tion and Train­ing.

The sec­ond cat­e­gory, En­gi­neer­ing Sci­ences, was awarded to Pro­fes­sor Issa Mo­hammed Issa Safran, De­part­ment of Petroleum En­gi­neer­ing, Fac­ulty of En­gi­neer­ing and Petroleum at Kuwait Univer­sity. The third cat­e­gory prize, Med­i­cal Science and Al­lied Health Sci­ences, was awarded to Pro­fes­sor Walid Ibrahim Al Herz, De­part­ment of Pe­di­atrics, and Fac­ulty of Medicine at Kuwait Univer­sity.

Win­ner of the fourth cat­e­gory prize, So­cial Sci­ences and Hu­man­i­ties, was Pro­fes­sor Ab­dul­lah Abed Ali Alqatem, De­part­ment of Ara­bic Lan­guage and Lit­er­a­ture, Fac­ulty of Arts at Kuwait Univer­sity in the cat­e­gory of So­cial sci­ences and hu­man­i­ties. The Sci­en­tific Pro­duc­tion Prize in Bi­o­log­i­cal Sci­ences, and Ad­min­is­tra­tive and Eco­nom­ics, was with­held this year.

Key role

The An­war Al-Nouri Prize, has been launched only this year, in recog­ni­tion of the key role played by the late An­war Al-Nouri in ed­u­ca­tion both at home and on the Arab level, as well as the ser­vices he of­fered to KFAS as a mem­ber of the board of di­rec­tors.

Win­ner of the first place, Dr Amira Hus­sein Traish (Pales­tinian), was awarded her PhD in 2014 from the Bri­tish Univer­sity in Dubai, UAE, for 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. Dr Traish is cur­rently a Co­or­di­na­tor of the English lan­guage Cen­ter, Fac­ulty of Arts and Hu­man­i­ties and So­cial Sci­ences at the Univer­sity of Shar­jah.

The sec­ond place has been equally shared by Dr Nasser Saud Ab­dul Aziz Al Rais (Saudi Ara­bia), and Dr Dalal Samir Rizkallah (Le­banese). Rais earned his PhD in 2015 from the Col­lege of Ed­u­ca­tion at King Saud Univer­sity for his dis­ser­ta­tion ti­tled: School ac­cred­i­ta­tion in pub­lic schools in the King­dom of Saudi Ara­bia). He is cur­rently an As­sis­tant Pro­fes­sor at the Dean­ship of the Foun­da­tion Year and Elec­tive Stud­ies, De­part­ment of Selfde­vel­op­ment at the Univer­sity of Dam­mam, Saudi Ara­bia.

Co-win­ner Rizkallah re­ceived her PhD in 2015 from the In­sti­tute of Ad­vanced Stud­ies of Arts and Hu­man­i­ties at the Le­banese Univer­sity for her dis­ser­ta­tion ti­tled: The De­vel­op­ment of Col­lab­o­ra­tive Self-As­sess­ment Stan­dards and Pro­ce­dures in Vo­ca­tional Ed­u­ca­tion Set­tings. Dr Riskallah is cur­rently the Prin­ci­pal of the An­toine Sis­ters School in Hazmieh, Le­banon.

Warm wel­come

On ar­rival at the venue, His High­ness the Amir, who is also KFAS Chair­man, was warmly wel­comed by Di­rec­tor Gen­eral Dr Ad­nan She­habed­dine and board mem­bers. His High­ness the Amir was briefed on the KFAS and the Das­man Di­a­betes In­sti­tute achieve­ments and projects.

At­tend­ing the cer­e­mony were His High­ness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ah­mad AlJaber Al-Sabah, Sheikh Jaber Al-Ab­dul­lah AlJaber Al-Sabah, Sheikh Faisal Al-Saud AlMo­ham­mad Al-Sabah, His High­ness Sheikh Nasser Al-Mo­ham­mad Al-Ah­mad Al-Sabah, His High­ness the Prime Min­is­ter Sheikh Jaber AlMubarak Al-Ha­mad Al-Sabah and Deputy Min­is­ter of the Amiri Di­wan Af­fairs Sheikh Ali Jar­rah Al-Sabah, to­gether with gov­er­nors and se­nior state of­fi­cials as well as mil­i­tary, po­lice and Kuwait Na­tional Guard (KNG) com­man­ders. The cer­e­mony in­cluded a doc­u­men­tary on KFAS’ ma­jor achieve­ments.

Ad­dress­ing the cer­e­mony, She­habed­dine em­pha­sized His High­ness the Amir’s keen­ness on hon­or­ing sci­en­tists and re­searchers out of a strong be­lief in the es­sen­tial role of science for es­tab­lish­ing a re­nais­sance with sus­tain­able econ­omy.

He added that on the side­lines of the 4th Africa-Arab Sum­mit re­cently held in Mal­abo, Equa­to­rial Guinea, His High­ness the Amir hon­ored win­ners of Al-Su­mait Prize for African De­vel­op­ment for health and food se­cu­rity.

40th an­niver­sary

She­habed­dine noted that yes­ter­day’s award cer­e­mony co­in­cided with KFAS 40th an­niver­sary, say­ing that the great sci­en­tific strong­hold was es­tab­lished by an Amiri De­cree in 1976. It was then sup­ported by an ini­tia­tive led by the Kuwait Cham­ber of Com­merce and In­dus­try (KCCI) for the pri­vate sec­tor firms to con­trib­ute to the fi­nanc­ing of KFAS re­search projects as part of their so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity. The cer­e­mony also co­in­cided with the ful­fill­ment of the last year of the in­sti­tu­tion’s five-year strat­egy plan, he said.

In Novem­ber, KFAS com­pleted prepa­ra­tion of its new five-year strate­gic plan, based on a world level as­sess­ment of the per­for­mance of its pro­grams and sta­tus over the past two years, as well as on an in­de­pen­dent ques­tion­naire that cov­ered ma­jor com­pa­nies and ben­e­fi­cia­ries, he said.

The new plan, com­ing the form of pro­grams cov­er­ing three main piv­ots; en­hanc­ing sci­en­tific aware­ness among the pub­lic in co­op­er­a­tion with the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion for boost­ing the dis­sem­i­na­tion of sci­en­tific cul­ture through the e-me­dia tar­get­ing young peo­ple.

It also aims to build re­search ca­pa­bil­i­ties for de­vel­op­ing ef­fec­tive so­lu­tions for the ob­sta­cles to sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment, in ad­di­tion to car­ry­ing on with the of­fi­cial sci­en­tific bod­ies to in­crease the share of sci­en­tific re­search in state bud­get to one per­cent, at least, the KFAS di­rec­tor said. The plan will also seek to achieve a rise in spend­ing on the pro­grams on bol­ster­ing the role of the pri­vate sec­tor.

She­habed­dine noted that co­or­di­na­tion with the Supreme Coun­cil for Plan­ning and De­vel­op­ment (GSSCPD) led to com­pris­ing sev­eral of the KFAS project in the de­vel­op­ment plan to be car­ried out with sci­en­tific bod­ies such the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion and the Kuwait Petroleum Cor­po­ra­tion (KPC). In con­clu­sion, She­habed­dine highly ap­pre­ci­ated His High­ness the Amir’s direc­tives and pa­tron­age of the an­nual cer­e­mony. He also con­grat­u­lated the win­ners of the KFAS 2016 awards.

De­vel­op­ing science

Speak­ing on part of the award win­ners, Dr Helou, thanked His High­ness the Amir Sheikh Sabah for at­tend­ing and pa­tron­iz­ing the event which aimed at de­vel­op­ing science in Kuwait and the Arab re­gion. Helou said that science was an on­go­ing quest for per­fec­tion and find­ing an­swers for ques­tions be­wil­der­ing hu­man be­ings, adding that the Arab and Is­lamic civ­i­liza­tion was keen on the sci­en­tific de­vel­op­ment of mankind and with­out such ded­i­ca­tion, Europe and the world would not have reached the age of en­light­en­ment. The hon­oree thank KFAS for al­ways sup­port­ing sci­en­tists in the re­gion and around the globe, say­ing that such en­cour­age­ment will al­ways push for more sci­en­tific ad­vance­ment in the fu­ture.

His High­ness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ah­mad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and top state of­fi­cials at­tend the cer­e­mony.

His High­ness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ah­mad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah poses for a group photo with KFAS of­fi­cials.

— Amiri Di­wan pho­tos

KUWAIT: His High­ness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ah­mad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah poses for a group photo with 2016 KFAS award win­ners.

His High­ness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ah­mad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah waves as he en­ters the venue.

KFAS Board Mem­ber Dr Faiza Al-Kharafi wel­comes His High­ness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ah­mad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

His High­ness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ah­mad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah hon­ors win­ners of the 2016 KFAS awards.

KFAS’ Di­rec­tor Gen­eral Dr Ad­nan She­habed­dine presents a me­mento to His High­ness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ah­mad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah.

Dr Ge­orge Tan­ios Helou, win­ner of the 2016 Kuwait Prize in the ba­sic sci­ences in physics’ cat­e­gory de­liv­ers his speech.

KFAS’ Di­rec­tor Gen­eral Dr Ad­nan She­habed­dine de­liv­ers his speech.

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