Amir patronizes, attends 2016 KFAS award ceremony
Supporting scientific research in Kuwait, Arab World
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.