2010 King Faisal International Prizes handed out

March 9, 2010

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz graced the awards ceremony for the 2010 King Faisal International Prize in Riyadh this evening.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was awarded the 2010 King Faisal International Prize for Service to Islam for his role in advancing a series of economic, social and cultural reforms in Turkey and for being a leading Muslim proponent who “builds rapport between civilizations.” During his acceptance speech, Prime Minister Erdogan called it “a distinct pleasure for me to receive the King Faisal Award on behalf of my country and my people.” He then called for the restoration of peace and security in the Middle East.

The Prize for Arabic Language and Literature was awarded to Professor Abdulrahman Hadj-Saleh of Algeria for his analysis of Al-Khalil’s linguistic theory and to Professor Ramzi Baalbaki of Lebanon for his contribution to Arabic grammar education. The Prize for Medicine was shared by Professor Reinhold Ganz of Germany, Professor Jean-Pierre Pelletier of Canada and Professor Johanne Martel-Pelletier of Canada for their work on the non-arthroplasty management of degenerative joint disease. In the Science category, Professor Enrico Bombieri of the United States and Professor Terence Chi-Shen Tao of Australia shared the prize for their contributions to mathematics. The Prize for Islamic Studies was withheld this year due to a lack of qualified candidates.

Each award winner received SR750,000 [$200,000] in cash, a certificate outlining the laureate’s work and a commemorative 22-carat gold medallion.

The topics for the 2011 King Faisal International Prize were also announced at the ceremony. In the Islamic Studies category, the topic is “socioeconomic aspects in the Islamic world from the 16th to 19th centuries,” while in the Arabic Language category the topic is “renovation trends in Arabic poetry up to the end of the 7th Century Hijri.” In the Science category, the King Faisal Prize will be given for outstanding achievement in chemistry, while stem cell therapy is the topic for the Medicine category. The deadline for nominations is May 1, 2010.

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