|February 18, 2000|
THE WINNERS ARE: AL-AZHAR AND HIGH ACHIEVERS IN THE FIELDS OF ISLAMIC STUDIES, STUDIES IN ANCIENT ARAB LITERAY CRITIQUE, MEDICINE AND BIOLOGY.
Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, the governor of Assir region and Director General of Riyadh based King Faisal Foundation and who is also head of the commission of King Faisal International Prize, announced here on Tuesday evening names of the winners of the four branches of the prestigious prize for 200.
The branches of the prize include, the Islamic studies, the Arabic literature, Medicine and Sciences. The prize's committee decided in the last Holy month of Ramadan to award the prize in the field of service to Islam to Cairo based Al-Azhar.
Addressing a press conference, Prince Khaled Al-Faisal expressed appreciation for the great support being extended to King Faisal Foundation by Saudi officials.
Prince Khaled pointed out that King Faisal International Prize (KFIP) is not confined to the individuals, but it is also awarded to the institutions.
He noted that the prize was awarded to Cairo based Al-Azhar. Prince Khaled outlined the positive contribution of KFIP to the development of cultural and scientific movement and said a number of holders of KFIP were also awarded Nobel Prize.
KFIP has earned a good reputation at the world level, he said and added the authorities that nominate persons for KFIP are scientific and cultural institutions.
Prince Khaled Al-Faisal noted that the project of the Al-Faisaliya tower, currently under implementation by King Faisal Foundation is an investment project which aims at doubling the expenditures of the Foundation in all charitable spheres, he highlighted the positive contribution of the prize to the service of knowledge and scientific research and said the number of nominees for the prize has been steadily increasing, which shows its popularity and recognition throughout the world.
Prince Khaled expressed appreciation for the efforts exerted by the prize's committee and said "the objectives of the prize are to reward excellence and to encourage research that benefits the mankind," and added "the outstanding contribution made by this year's winners are sure to have meaningful consequences for may people."
Meanwhile. KFIP's Secretary General Dr. Abdullah Al Otheimin said the prize's committee had decided to award the prize in the field of the service of Islam to Cairo-based Al-Azhar in recognition of its significant role in preservation of the Arab and Islamic heritage, confrontation of the westernisation trend and spreading of Islam and Arabic language. The prize for service to Islam was awarded to Al-Azhar institution in Cairo.
The prize for Islamic studies was awarded to Professor Mohammed Mohar Ali, from Bangladesh. He is the author of the book "The history of Muslims in Bengal". This four volume book, written in English is characterized by its originality, depth and objectivity.
The prize for Arabic literature was shared by Professor Abdullah Al-Tayeb from Sudan and Dr. Ezzedine Ismail Abdul Ghani form Egypt.
Professor Abdullah Al Tayeb's 5 volume book on the composition and appreciation of Arab poetry is regarded a classic both in its contents and novel approach. For decades this book has been a major reference for the scholars.
Professor Ezzedine is a prominent literary critic who insightfully associates modern literary concepts with classical views. He has been capable of making valuable contributions to diverse contemporary literary schools.
Professor Cynthia Jane Kenyon, an American from the University of California, San Francisco, was awarded the prize for medicine.
Her highly original research was on aging in her research she noted that the aging process is controlled hormonally through the Insulin receptor system.
The important outcome of Kenyon's research is that aging is now amenable to the possibility of hormone-based, therapeutic intervention.
The prize for science (biology) was jointly shared between professor Edward Osborne Wilson, an American from Harvard University and Dr John Craig Venter an American from the Institute of Genomic Research.
Professor Wilson in one of the most outstanding biologist of the century. He has been a pioneer of major scientific disciplines, the field of sociobiology which seeks to elucidate the genetic basis of human and animal behaviour, the study of species within ecosystems, and the conservation of the biological diversity of species.
Dr Venter has established Noble techniques for the rapid identification of genes and the vast economical sequencing of entire genomes.
These approaches have already revealed the complete genetic make-up of several species of micro-organisms, including agnets of human disease.
Dr Venter's work had significantly contributed to the elucidation of the human genome.
The function was attended by a number of princes, officials, accredited ambassadors to the Kingdom, literary men, thinkers and journalists.