Dubai: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai, on Monday awarded the prestigious Great Arab Minds Awards 2023 to the six winners in various categories.
Each category awardee will receive Dh1 million each to fund their research and development and other privileges, including administrative offices for the program’s fellows at the Museum of the Future.
Sheikh Mohammed noted that the Arab region is the cradle of human civilization. “If humans (the Arab people) work hard, they can revive a great civilization. I am sure that the Arab people have a lot of potential to create a great civilization,” he stated.
Sheikh Mohammed also announced the launch of a new research and knowledge center within the Museum of the Future to permanently support the scientific and knowledge journey of Arab geniuses within the scope of the Great Arab Minds award.
“The only path to civilization is science… and its scientists… and its success is supported by governments… and guaranteed by harnessing resources for it. “We are optimistic about the future when we see generations of love for science and scientists,” he stated.
Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Chairman of the Higher Committee of the Great Arab Minds, who highlighted the centuries-old contributions of the Arab world in various fields, called the Great Arab Minds award the Arab Nobel Prize.
“We are not here to show the glory of our people, but to motivate them to seek knowledge and build civilizations,” he added.
The winners who were honored at the glittering award ceremony held at the Museum of the Future are: Saudi cardiac surgeon Dr. Hani Najm (Medicine), Lebanese engineer and academic Prof. Fadel Adib (Engineering and Technology), Egyptian economist -American Dr. Mohamed El -Erian (Economics), Lebanese scientist and academic Prof. Niveen Khashab (Natural Sciences), Lebanese architect and academic Prof. Lina Ghotmeh (Architecture and Design), and Algerian writer and academic, Prof. Waciny Laredj ( Literature and Arts).
Their names were previously announced on social media platform X by Sheikh Mohammed, who launched Great Arab Minds as the largest scientific and intellectual movement in the Arab world with a budget of Dh100 million.
Reverse the brain drain
The Great Arab Minds movement is designed to search for and identify Great Minds in the Arab world, among the exceptional talents of Arab scholars, intellectuals, inventors, innovators and creators in various fields, in order to nurture them, empower them and develop their ideas. in collaboration with the best global partners, maximizing its positive impact in the region.
The initiative serves as a strategic step to drive intellectual renaissance in the Arab world and reverse the brain drain seen across the region.
Every year, the Arab world suffers billions in losses, in addition to wasted development opportunities, due to the emigration of Arab scientists, specialists, intellectuals, doctors and engineers. Analysts and experts estimate that these losses amount to about 7 billion dirhams per year, and this brain drain also causes a decrease in technological and scientific progress, as well as the number of patents granted in the Arab world compared to the global average.
Dr. Hani Najm
Dr. Hani Najm, Professor of Pediatric and Congenital Cardiac Surgery at the Cleveland Clinic, Ohio, received the award in recognition of his outstanding contributions and pioneering innovations in the field of cardiac surgery for children and adults, having performed more than 10,000 cardiac operations in patients with complex diseases. heart diseases with outstanding results.
A key aspect of their work is developing a gradually expanding heart “valve” for children, sparing them the need to repeat surgery to replace the valve. Dr. Najm is also recognized for developing a novel surgical technique, called a “ventricular switch,” to repair one of the most complex congenital heart conditions in children. He was the lead cardiac surgeon on a large team that performed a rare and complex life-saving surgery to remove a heart tumor on a 26-week-old fetus.
Professor Fadil Adib
Fadil Adib, associate professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), received the award in recognition of his exceptional contributions to the fields of wireless technology and wireless sensing. His pioneering research and inventions have significantly expanded the possibilities of wireless sensing technology, leading to advances in various areas, including vision and sensing through walls, enabling the detection of objects and vibrations behind walls, under debris and many other applications.
In addition to his achievements in engineering and technology, Professor Fadel Adib has made substantial contributions to the field of ocean exploration, advancing deep sea exploration through the development of battery-free devices that harness the energy of ocean waves.
Dr. Mohamed El-Erian
Dr Mohamed El-Erian, President of Queens’ College, University of Cambridge, was awarded for his exceptional contributions to the field of economics and his insightful analysis of changes in economic and financial systems. His research, books and publications have provided in-depth analysis of the state, trends and challenges of the global economy, in addition to his important role in developing theories and analytical tools that led to more economic forecasts. precise.
Dr. El-Erian has published six books focused on global economics and markets, and his works and theories have been adopted as key analytical tools. His posts cover a variety of topics, including the new normal for economies following the global financial crisis and COVID-19.
Professor Niveen Khashab
Professor Niveen Khashab, associate dean of Physical Sciences and Engineering and Program and chair of the Department of Chemistry at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia, won the honor for her outstanding contributions to the fields of chemistry, bioengineering and biology.
Professor Niveen has made significant contributions to the design and synthesis of biomimetic supramolecular assemblies using non-covalent and coordination interactions. These smart materials find applications in biomedical systems, including encapsulation, delivery and sensing, as well as in industrial systems such as nanocomposites and coatings, and in environmental platforms such as sustainable agriculture.
His studies serve as a valuable source of inspiration for the new generation of scientists in the region and the world, particularly with regard to his design of light-activatable drug capsules, among other achievements.
Professor Lina Ghotmeh
Architect and architecture professor Lina Ghotmeh, who teaches architecture at several international colleges and universities, was honored for her global architectural contributions. Her work, which emphasizes the symbiosis between architecture and nature, involves meticulous selection of materials to withstand challenging conditions. Overseeing 65 projects around the world, including renowned museums and cultural designs, her approach reflects coexistence with nature.
Among his notable works is a building near the industrial port of Beirut. Designed using innovative techniques and local materials that resonate with the building’s surrounding environment, it survived the 2020 Beirut explosion and is a testament to the resilience and profound impact that architecture can have in reflecting human values and excellence.
Professor Waciny Laredj
Novelist and professor of Arabic literature at the University of Algiers and Sorbonne University in Paris, Professor Waciny Laredj, was awarded for his outstanding contributions to Arabic literature. With a literary style that aligns with a modern school of thought, his novel writing is marked by an innovative approach that has introduced new forms of linguistic expression, thus expanding the scope of narratives and imaginative storytelling in Arabic literature. .
The author of more than 30 novels and books, Professor Laredj’s works resonate deeply with the cultural and social complexities of Arab communities, connecting them to universal human values and a wide range of global cultures. His works have been translated into more than 20 languages, are widely studied by numerous universities around the world and have been adapted to various theater and film productions.