The 2021 Mustafa Prize was awarded to five Muslim scientists in different fields of study.
AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA): The 2021 Mustafa Prize was awarded to five Muslim scientists in different fields of study.
In the 2021 Mustafa Prize Award Ceremony held on October 21 at Tehran’s Vahdat Hall, five scientists were recognized as the laureates of the 4th round of Mustafa Prize.
Mahdi Saffarinia, CEO of the Mustafa Science and Technology Foundation (MSTF) inaugurated the event by his speech, welcoming the scientists, scholars, and audience who attended this round of Mustafa Prize Award Ceremony from around the world.
Sorena Sattari, head of the Mustafa Prize policy-making council, during his speech at the ceremony said “I am very glad that this international prize provides a network of scientists of Islamic countries to solve the problems according to science and technology,” adding “I hope the Mustafa Prize brings opportunities for more friendship in the near future.”
Hassan Zohour, head of the scientific committee of Mustafa Prize, made a speech on the details of the 2021 Mustafa Prize. He elaborated on the works of this round’s laureates as well.
Cumrun Vafa and Zahid Hasan shared The Mustafa Prize in the field of All Areas of Science and Technology.
Bangladeshi Professor of Princeton University, Zahid Hasan, won the Mustafa Prize for “Weyl fermion semimetals.”
“This achievement is the outcome of my research for more than 15 years,” Hasan said in his Mustafa Prize acceptance speech.
Harvard University professor from Iran, Cumrun Vafa, was awarded the Mustafa Prize for his work “F-Theory.”
“I present this Prize to the Foundation for Supporting Fundamental Sciences that is now being established in Iran by my colleagues,” Vafa said in his Mustafa Prize acceptance speech, adding “I hope this initial investment attracts more investments for helping the development of basic sciences in Iran and the region countries.”
Mohamed H. Sayegh, Muhammad Iqbal Choudhary, and Yahya Tayalati were the 2021 Mustafa Prize laureates from Islamic countries.
Mohamed H. Sayegh from Lebanon received the Mustafa Prize for “Novel Therapies to Improve Renal and Cardiac Allograft Outcomes.”
During his Mustafa Prize acceptance speech, Sayegh shared the elements of success in academia which he said he has learned “over the past 35 years.”
Muhammad Iqbal Choudhary for “Discovery of fascinating molecules with therapeutic applications” was another laureate of the 4th round of Mustafa Prize.
“For decades I have worked tirelessly and selflessly with the single aim of contributing to the alleviation of the suffering of people through my scientific discoveries. This award has strengthened my resolve to continue this work with sincerity of purpose and selfless motivation,” Choudhary said.
Yahya Tayalati won the Mustafa Prize for “Observation of the Light by Light Scattering and the Search for Magnetic Monopoles.”
Different performances from the home countries of each laureate, such as music ensemble from Iran and Qawwali from Pakistan, performance from Beirut during the Award Ceremony, added zest to the event.
The Mustafa Prize, established in 2012, is a top science and technology award granted biennially to the top researchers and scientists of the Islamic world in four categories: “Life and Medical Science and Technology”, “Nanoscience and Nanotechnology”, “Information and Communication Science and Technology”, and “All areas of science and technology”.
The Prize is granted to works deemed to have improved the human life, have made tangible and cutting-edge innovations on the boundaries of science, or have presented new scientific methodology. The laureates in each category are awarded USD 500,000/- which is financed through the endowments made to the Prize. The laureates are also adorned with a special Medal and a certificate.
Collaboration in science and technology unites Islamic countries
Head of the Mustafa Prize policy-making council made a speech during the Mustafa Prize ceremony.
Sorena Sattari, head of the Mustafa Prize policy-making council expressed his happiness over holding the event during Muslim unity week, which is celebrated between two dates associated with the birth of Prophet Muhammad in Iran.
Sattari appreciated the idea of the Muslim unity week saying that unity in the Islamic society is very important to cope with challenges.
He talked about the representatives of Islamic society during the golden age of Islam. He named Rumi, Omar Khayyam, Avicenna, Al-Farabi, Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi, and Ibn al-Haytham as the luminary figures of that era.
He said that these figures were luminaries of science and culture in their era and they were beyond borders. As Prophet Muhammad said, the scientists are heirs of prophets, he continued.
Hence, today Islamic society can provide innovation and development according to their commonalities in having Holy Quran, religion, and Prophet Muhammad, he added.
He appreciated a friendly relationship set up between Muslim countries based on science and technology.
According to the experiences of Iran, transforming into an innovative society can overcome challenges with international collaboration in the field of science and technology, he added.
Sattari said that the Islamic countries have common cultural fields to have joint projects.
He said that the Mustafa Prize aims to use science and technology as a factor to make opportunities for friendship and collaboration in Islamic society.
“I am very glad that this international prize provides a network of scientists of Islamic countries to solve the problems according to science and technology. May God bless the luminaries and scholars who do their best for holding such an event. I hope the Mustafa Prize brings opportunities for more friendship in the near future,” he concluded.
Mustafa Prize laureates give memorable speeches as they receive award
The five 2021 Mustafa Prize laureates delivered memorable acceptance speeches as they received their prize during the fourth Mustafa Prize ceremony held on October 21st in Vahdat Hall.
M. Zahid Hasan, professor of Quantum physics from Bangladesh, who was granted the award for the discovery of Weyl fermion semimetals, opened his speech with a brief explanation of the work for which he was granted the award.
He then thanked his graduate students, collaborators, colleagues, and mentors with whom he found new and exotic results in Quantum physics.
“Big dreams come true rarely in life but it turns out mine did!” he stated.
Iranian-American Theoretical Physicist, Cumrun Vafa, who won the prize for developing F-theory was the second laureate who received the award. He stated that “I am deeply pleased to receive the Mustafa Prize. This prize is a reminder that there are no boundaries in the realm of science and technology, and that these belong to all humanity.”
Vafa pointed out that the Mustafa Prize is “a reminder that the Islamic countries, making up one-quarter of the world’s population, must revive their importance and play their critical role in this realm.”
Next, the 2021 Mustafa Prize laureates from Islamic Countries, Mohamed El. Sayegh, Yahya Tayalati, and Muhammad Iqbal Choudhary delivered speeches upon accepting their Mustafa Prize.
El. Sayegh, professor of Medicine and Immunology from Lebanon, shared with the audience the elements of success in academia which he had learned over the past 35 years of academic work, such as “Developing a focus of expertise” and “thinking big but expecting success in baby steps.”
Choudhary, Bio-organic Chemistry scientist, who received the prize for the discovery of fascinating molecules with therapeutic applications, “I am absolutely delighted that my humble contributions are celebrated through this award. This award motivates me to continue my work.”
He briefly explained his research works and its implication such as the treatment of Epilepsy and Leishmaniosis diseases.
Tayalati, professor of Physics from Morocco who was granted the Mustafa Prize for Observation of the Light by Light Scattering and the Search for Magnetic Monopoles, thanked the members of the Mustafa Science and Technology Foundation for the exemplary way in which they performed their work to promote scientific excellence in the Islamic world.
Tayalati stated that “I will continue my efforts and I hope that the recognition of my work by the Mustafa Science and Technology Foundation can serve as an inspiration to many others. I am humbled and appreciative.”