Second Deputy Premier patronizes handing over ceremony of King Faisal International Prize 2011

Prince Naif: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques and Crown Prince’s sponsorship of prize embodies rational leadership in honoring science, scientists

Prince Khalid Al-Faisal: My homeland is the cradle of the Quranic revelation, dawn of the message of peace

10th international conference on scientific signs in Quran, Sunnah concluded

On behalf of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Second Deputy Premier and Minister of Interior, graced the handing over ceremony of King Faisal International Prize for 2011 to the winners in its 33rd session.

Upon arrival at the venue, Prince Naif bin Abdulaziz was received by Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Riyadh region; Prince Khalid Al-Faisal bin Abdulaziz, Governor of Makkah region and the Director General of King Faisal Charitable Foundation, who is also Chairman of Commission of King Faisal International Prize; Prince Turki Al-Faisal bin Abdulaziz, President of Board of Directors of King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies; Prince Bandar bin Saud bin Khalid, Deputy Director General of King Faisal Charitable Foundation and Dr. Abdullah Al-Saleh Al-Uthaymeen, Secretary General of King Faisal Charitable Foundation.

Then, Prince Naif shook hands with winners of the prize for this year.

Afterwards, the ceremony prepared for this occasion began with recitation of verses of the Holy Quran.

Prince Khalid Al-Faisal delivered a speech in which he hailed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which, he said, is based on Islam. He also praised the stands of the people of the country.

Then, Dr. Al-Uthaymeen delivered a speech in which he welcomed the audience.

Afterwards, he announced the names of the winners:

The King Faisal International Prize for Service to Islam for the year 1432H - 2011G has been awarded to: His Excellency Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Former Prime Minister of Malaysia, for his distinguished services to Islam in his country and the Islamic world. His accomplishments include:

1. Strengthening bilateral and multilateral cooperation through his active leadership of the League of Southeast Asian Countries, and of both the Non-Alliance Movement and the World Islamic Conference during Malaysia's chairmanship of these international organizations during the period from 2003G to 2008G.

2. Reinforcing Malaysian economic development and competitiveness through expansion of modern agriculture and high-tech industries, investment in human resources development and strong support for general and high education.

3. Encouraging Islamic religious studies and incepting private religious schools as part of the Malaysian basic education system.

4. Supporting Islamic legal administration and strengthening alms, endowments and Hajj institutions in Malaysia.

5. Establishing the International Institute for Higher Islamic Studies, a non-political institution for widening the scope of Islamic thought.

The Prize for Islamic Studies (Socioeconomic Aspects in the Islamic World through 10th - 13th Century Hijri (16th - 19th Century Gregorian)) for the year 1432H - 2011G has been awarded jointly to: Professor Halil Ibrahim Inalcik (Turkey) of Bilkent University and Professor Muhammad Adnan Bakhit Al-Sheyyab (Jordan) of the University of Jordan, Amman.

Professor Halil Inalcik is awarded the Prize for his seminal book: 'An Economic and Social History of the Ottoman Empire: 1300-1600' Part I, which represents the pinnacle of his research over six decades, and establishes his entirely new school of thought independent by the centrist, European approach to studying Ottoman history. Professor Inalcik's inferences were based on reliable, original and highly documented sources and have influenced many scholars of economic and social aspects of Ottoman history.

Professor Muhammad Adnan Bakhit Al-Sheyyab of Jordan is awarded the Prize for his 3-volume book: “Studies into the History of Bilad ash-Sham (today’s Palestine, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon)” which deals with profoundly important aspects of the economic and social history of those countries.

Bakhit al-Sheyyab's studies derive from different sources including documents of Ottoman archives and records of Sharia courts and churches, as well as conventional sources.

The author applied statistical and graphical methods and obtained new and influential information, thereby founding a new Arabic school in this field.

The King Faisal International Prize for Medicine (Stem Cell Therapy) for the year 1432H - 2011G has been awarded jointly to: Professor James Alexander Thomson (USA), Director of Regenerative Biology at Morgridge Institute for Research, and Professor at the Department of Anatomy in the University of Wisconsin, USA, and Professor Shinya Yamanaka (Japan), Senior Investigator in stem cell biology of the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, Director of the Center for Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Research and Application (CiRA), and Professor at Kyoto University, Japan, and the University of California in San Francisco, USA, for their pioneering and seminal stem cell research.

Professor James Thomson is the Director of Regenerative Biology at Morgridge Institute for Research and Professor at the University of Wisconsin. Having succeeded in isolating stem cells from non-human primates in 1995 and from human embryos in 1998, he made - in 2007 - the groundbreaking discovery that induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS) could be generated from human somatic cells. This important breakthrough has revitalized interest in stem cell biology, with many laboratories re-investigating the possible use of these cells in the modeling and treatment of human diseases.

Professor Shinya Yamanaka is Senior Investigator in stem cell biology of the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases, Director of the Center for Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Research and Application (CiRA) and professor at Kyoto University, Japan and the University of California in San Francisco, USA. Professor Yamanaka achieved a major breakthrough in 2006 when he was able to generate induced pluripotent stem cells from mouse adult fibroblasts. In 2007, he succeeded, independently of Professor Thomson, in reprogramming human adult skin cells into iPS cells.

The King Faisal International Prize for Science (Chemistry) for the year 1432H - 2011G has been awarded jointly to:

Professor George McClelland Whitesides (USA).

Professor Richard Neil Zare (USA).

Professor Whitesides of Harvard University has revolutionized the field of self assembly using molecular scale synthesis to control the macroscopic properties of surfaces. This and his work on soft lithography, where he developed practical methods to mold complex patterns on surfaces, is characterized by its relevance to diverse fields such as molecular electronics, material science and biology. Professor Whitesides has recognized and developed connections between nanoscience and biological systems, leading to new paradigms for drug design, which may enable new and inexpensive approaches to bioscience and medical diagnostics.

Professor Zare of Stanford University is recognized for his fundamental contribution to the understanding of molecular dynamics and chemical reactions. He developed the extremely sensitive technique of laser induced fluorescence and pioneered its application in many fields ranging from analytical chemistry and molecular biology to astrophysics (composition of interstellar media).

Prince Naif handed prizes to the winners.

On the occasion, Prince Naif delivered a speech in which he highlighted the significance of the prize and the kingdom's support for science and research.

Meanwhile, the activities of 10th International Conference on Scientific Signs in Quran and Sunnah were concluded this week as organized by the International Commission on Scientific Signs in the Quran and the Sunnah in collaboration with the Center for Islamic Studies (ISAM).

The conference discussed several topics including medicine, astronomy, space, earth, seas, and humanitarian sciences.