|January 21, 2005|
PRINCE KHALID AL-FAISAL ANNOUNCES IN A PRESS CONFERENCE THE NAMES OF THE WINNERS OF KING FAISAL INTERNATIONAL PRIZE THIS YEAR.
PRINCE AL-FAISAL CONFIRMS IN THE CONFERENCE THAT AL-FAISAL UNIVERSITY IS THE FOUNDATION'S MOST IMPORTANT FUTURE PROJECT.
THE WINNERS ARE SCIENTISTS FROM US, BRITAIN, AUSTRIA AND THE PRIZE FOR SERVICE TO ISLAM GOES TO SAUDI ARABIA AND LEBANON.
In a press conference held by Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, Director of King Faisal Foundation, the winners of the 1425H - 2005G King Faisal International Prize announced.
The Prize for Service to Islam has been awarded jointly to H.E. Dr. Ahmed Mohamed Ali (Saudi Arabia), and the Al-Hariri Foundation of Lebanon.
Dr. Ahmed MohammedAli is 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.
Dr. Ahmad Muhammad Ali, president of the Jeddah-based Islamic Development Bank, and the Al-Hariri Foundation of Lebanon have been jointly awarded the 2005 King Faisal International Prize for Service to Islam.
Professor Carole Hillenbrand of the University of Edinburgh won the Prize for Islamic Studies.
The Prize for Arabic Language and Literature was withheld as none of the entries qualified for the prestigious award.
In the other categories, the Prize for Science went jointly to Professors Federico Capasso and Frank Wilczek (both from the US) and Anton Zeilinger (Austria).
Professors Sir Richard Doll and Sir Richard Peto were declared the joint winners of the Prize for Medicine.
Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, Director of the King Faisal Foundation, announced the names of the winners at a glittering ceremony held at the Al-Khozama Centre. It was attended by princes, Cabinet members, diplomats and senior government officials.
Each winner of the award will receive a cash endowment of SR750,000 ($200,000), a certificate outlining the laureate's work and a commemorative 22-carat gold medallion.
Dr. Ahmad Muhammad Ali was awarded the prize in recognition of his achievements in the field of Islamic banking. As president of the IDB since its inception 30 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.
Lebanon's Al-Hariri Foundation was recognized for its commitment to education and culture. So far, it has supported college education of nearly 30,000 male and female students.
It has also built schools and colleges throughout Lebanon and, in its efforts to preserve Islamic architecture, refurbished ancient mosques in that country.
Professor Carole Hillenbrand was cited in recognition of her pioneering research in the field of Islamic studies, specifically her revolutionary approach to the largely one-sided subject of the Crusades.
The citation said she has sought to clarify several misconceptions shrouding them, thereby making it possible for history to be viewed from a more balanced and impartial perspective.
In the category of the Prize for Medicine Sir Richard Doll and Sir Richard Peto of the Clinical Trial Service Unit (CTSU) at Oxford University, were honoured for their pioneering epidemiologic research that has unequivocally established the link between tobacco and various diseases, such as vascular diseases and cancers.
"Indeed, so great has been the impact of their studies that several national health policies have been modified as a result of these findings.
The World Health Organization (WHO) itself changed its position on smoking which culminated in a demonstrable decline in deaths related to cancer and atherosclerotic vascular diseases in several developed countries," the citation notes.
In the science category, Professors Federico Capasso, Frank Wilczek (USA) and Anton Zeilinger (Austria) shared the prize for their distinguished contributions in their respective fields.
The topics for the 2006 King Faisal International Prize were also announced at the event. They are: Science (Mathematics); Medicine (Biology of Vascular Inflammation); Arabic Language and Literature (The Arabic Language in Modern Linguistics); Islamic Studies (The Origins of Islamic Jurisprudence).
The Prize for Islamic Studies (Muslims' Defense of their Homeland During the 5th and 6th Centuries A.H.) has been awarded to Professor Carole Hillenbrand (UK), Professor of Islamic History at the University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom, in recognition of her unique pioneering research of this year's prize topic.
Professor Hillenbrand's revolutionary approach to the largely one-sided subject of The Crusades has sought to redress several of the misconceptions shrouding them. Employing objectivity, preciseness and clarity of thinking, she has located several original texts, written in different languages and previously un-translated, in support of her refreshing examination of the many stereotypes that have pervaded western literature on this subject.
"The Crusades: Islamic Perspectives", the culmination of her relentless endeavours, has been the first work of its kind to address this era through Muslim eyes, thereby making it possible for history to be viewed from a more balanced and impartial perspective.
The Prize for Arabic Language and Literature (Arabic Prose in the 4th and 5th Centuries A.H.: its genres, authors and books) is withheld this year due to the fact that the works presented were unqualified for the awarding of the Prize.
The Prize for Medicine (Topic: Tobacco Risks on Human Health) is awarded to Professors Sir Richard Doll and Sir Richard Peto of the Clinical Trial Service Unit (CTSU) at Oxford University, UK.
They were awarded for their pioneering and profoundly valuable epidemiologic research that has unequivocally established the link between tobacco and various diseases, such as vascular diseases and cancers, and has, in addition, served to propagate further research elucidating the molecular mechanisms of tobacco mediated cellular damage and DNA mutations.
Indeed, so great has the impact of their studies been that several national health policies have been modified as a result of these findings.
The WHO itself changed its position on smoking which culminated in a demonstrable decline in deaths related to cancer and atherosclerotic vascular diseases in several developed countries. Such significant benefits have transcended to large populations of developing countries as well, proffering an immeasurable contribution to mankind.
The prize for Science (Physics) has been awarded jointly to Professors Federico Capasso (USA), Frank Wilczek (USA) and Anton Zeilinger (Austria)
Professor Capasso of Harvard University is one of the most creative and influential physicists in the world having achieved international recognition through his design and demonstration of the Quantum Cascade Laser.
This revolutionary approach, perhaps the most important development in laser physics during the last decade, signifies an imaginative breakthrough in this field enabling a remarkable contribution of excellent solid-state science and laser physics with new solid-state technology.
Professor Wilczek, a broadly accomplished and creative theoretical physicist, at MIT, has made a whole host of important contributions to several arenas.
The most important of these has been the elucidation of Quantum Chromo dynamics as the correct model for the Strong Force, one of the four known forces in nature.
This masterpiece, alongside his other seminal achievements, elevates him to the ranks of the world's most prominent scientists.
With contributions ranging from epistemological and foundational research to the forefront of modern quantum technology, Professor Anton Zeilinger of the University of Vienna, has served and advanced mankind in both the cultural and technological domains.
His impressive body of work includes that of applying the laws of quantum mechanics for the teleportation of the properties of a particle, heralded as a scientific milestone.
In addition to this, he has successfully identified Quantum Cryptography as the only current method guaranteeing the confidentiality of a transmitted message as governed by natural laws.
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:
-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.