|January 21, 2005|
PRINCE SULTAN IBN ABDUL AZIZ ANNOUNCES THE WINNING OF IDB'S PRESIDENT AND AL-HARIRI CHARITABLE FOUNDATION OF KING FAISAL INTERNATIONAL PRIZE FOR THE SERVICE OF ISLAM.
THE SECOND DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER: THERE ARE HALF A MILLION FEMALE STUDENTS AT SAUDI INSTITUTES AND UNIVERSITIES FOR WHOM EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES SHOULD BE OPENED ACCORDING TO THE ISLAMIC TEACHINGS.
IRAN DOES NOT THINK OF THREATENING THE GCC STATES AND THEY ARE CAPABLE OF DEFENDING THEMSELVES.
Prince Sultan Ibn Abdul Aziz, the Second Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defence and Aviation and Inspector General, announced the winners of the King Faisal International Prize for the Service of Islam for the year 2005.
Dr Ahmad Mohammed Ali, the President of Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and Al-Hariri Charitable Foundation shared equally the award of this year's King Faisal International Prize to the Service of Islam.
At a press conference held by Prince Sultan following presiding over King Faisal International Prize for the Service of Islam Selection Committee meeting in Riyadh, he highlighted the significant role played by Dr Ahmad Mohammed Ali and the IDB in the service of Islam and Muslims.
He also lauded the important role being played by Al-Hariri Charitable Foundation, and said it had undertaken the training of 38,000 students, including 400 students at the masters' level and 300 at the doctorates' level.
On the other hand, Prince Sultan hailed the achievements attained by Saudi security men, and hoped that members of the deviant group would repent and opt for the proper path.
Prince Sultan voiced support to measures that had been undertaken by Prince Naif Ibn Abdul Aziz, the Interior Minister, and the security men to ensure law and order in the country.
He slammed the quarters that try to defame the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which has been dedicating its efforts in the service of Islam and Muslims.
Meanwhile, Prince Sultan praised Iran and described it as a friendly country of the member states of the Arab Gulf Cooperation Council(GCC), and said "I don't think that Iran is planning to harm the GCC states. "Anyway, the GCC states are capable of defending themselves against any aggression."
On the Iraqi issue, Prince Sultan said the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia doesn't interfere in the domestic affairs of others.
He hoped that Iraq would be capable of efficiently shouldering its responsibilities, and reiterated the readiness of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to provide Iraq with all possible assistance.
When asked about the security situation in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Prince Sultan said the recent incidents in the country were not more than bubbles, and added 'I do believe that the Kingdom is one of the most secured and stable countries.
Prince Sultan confirmed that the Saudis who might return to their country from Iraq would not be harmed unless they try to undermine the country's security.
'The country is open for any Saudi who decides to return to it', he said.
Asked if there were plans for training Iraqi soldiers in the Kingdom, Prince Sultan said 'the Iraqi soldiers are not in need of training in the Kingdom because they have good capabilities and commands. "But, if at all, they are in need of training, then the Kingdom will be ready to shoulder its responsibility in this respect after the stabilization of the situation in Iraq."
Prince Sultan highlighted the existing fraternal relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and said the two countries are keen on the service of Arabs and Muslims.
On the phenomenon of unemployment, Prince Sultan made it clear that this phenomenon is not confined to the Kingdom, but it is also prevailing in all developing and developed countries.
He noted that the Saudi Leadership is keen on combating unemployment through opening colleges and vocational institutes, and said since last year about 60 colleges and institutes were opened in the country.
Prince Sultan underlined the importance of the employment of the Saudi women in the light of the Islamic teachings, and said for the time being there are about 500,000 female students at colleges, institutes and universities.
He noted that the Shoura (consultative) council will be re-formed at the end of about four months in the light of the directives of the wise Saudi Leadership.
Prince Sultan said the Kingdom is going ahead on the path of the proper reform.
Asked about the employment of Saudi women at the Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAA), Prince Sultan said unfortunately some had misunderstood his earlier statement on this issue when he had opened SAA's Academy.
"When I was asked about the replacement of stewardesses by Saudi ones, I said we hope to employ the Saudi women, but to be accompanied by their legal guardians (Mahram) in the light of the Islamic teachings, and added 'but when such a development will take place, it will be decided by the Saudi people'.
On the other hand, Prince Sultan hailed the separation surgery conducted on the Polish Siamese twins and said "this is something to be pride of; and it stands as a witness for the big strides we have made in the medical spheres."
Dr. Ahmed Mohamed Ali (Saudi Arabia),was awarded the Prize in recognition of his achievements in the field of Islamic banking. As president of the Islamic Development Bank since its inception thirty years ago, he has not only consolidated the conformity of banking transactions with Islamic Laws but has also set an example of successful and modern Islamic banking. His endeavours to strengthen economic ties between Islamic countries coupled with his strong support of research and training in the field of Islamic economics bear witness to his unrelenting commitment to the Service of Islam and Muslims.
Al-Hariri Foundation, a leading philanthropic institution in Lebanon, is renowned for its commitment to education and culture. So far, it has supported college education for nearly 30,000 male and female students, in addition to 835 Ph.D. candidates. It has also built schools and colleges throughout Lebanon and, in its efforts to preserve Islamic architecture, refurbished ancient mosques in that country and is also actively involved in the construction of new ones.
In addition, it fostered numerous social and health care centres and facilities for the elderly and the disabled, particularly in the aftermath of the Lebanese civil war, and contributed generously to educational efforts and relief operations in other Arab and Muslim Countries.
King Faisal International Prize has ranked among the world's pre-eminent scientific and humanitarian awards for nearly two decades. This premier award is given by King Faisal Foundation, a large-scale philanthropic organization based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Since the prizes for Arabic Literature, Islamic Studies and Service to Islam were first awarded in 1979 and Science and Medicine were introduced in 1982 and 1983 respectively, there have been 124 laureates from 33 countries.
King Faisal International Prize recognizes leading scientists and academics for their contributions to humanity and prominent individuals whose service to Islam has benefited large numbers of people. Three KFIP laureates have gone on the won the Nobel Prize. Dr Yahya Mahmoud ibn Junaid, the 1998 winner for Islamic Studies, has recently been appointed as Secretary-General of King Faisal Centre for Research and Islamic Studies, the cultural arm of King Faisal Foundation. Dr Junaid is renowned for his outstanding studies such as this, combined with a rigorous selection process, which have earned the King Faisal International Prize international acclaim.
Nominations for each Prize are accepted from relevant institutions and organizations from around the world. Individuals or political parties are not eligible to recommend candidates. Independent experts examine all works in two elimination rounds and forward the works of the finalists to autonomous specialist selection committees which convene at the headquarters of the King Faisal International Prize in Riyadh in order to make the final selections.
The Prizes are awarded during a ceremony in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, under the auspices of the King of Saudi Arabia. Each of the five Prize categories consist of:
ö-A certificate, hand-written in Diwani calligraphy, summarizing the laureate's work;
-A commemorative 24-carat, 200-gram gold medal, uniquely cast for each Prize;
-A cash endowment of SR750,000 (US$200,000). Co-winners in any category share the monetary grant.
By drawing attention to important issues and rewarding outstanding individuals who have made these issues a priority in their careers, it is hoped that the direct and indirect effects of the Prize will be far reaching.