Winners of the 2009 King Faisal International Prizes announced

January 27, 2009

Makkah Governor Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, the President of the King Faisal International Prize Panel, held a press conference in Riyadh last night to announce the 2009 Prize winners. The Prince noted that the Prize reflects the Kingdom’s commitment to promoting scientific and cultural achievement.


Secretary General of the King Faisal International Prize Dr. Abdullah Al-Othaimeen announced the winners of the Prize, which was awarded in five categories: Islamic Studies, Arabic Language and Literature, Science, Medicine and Service to Islam.

The prize for Islamic Studies went to Professor Abdulsalam Mohammed Cheddadi of Morocco for his seminal studies on the works of Ibn Khaldun, a leading authority on Islamic thought.

In the category of Arabic Language and Literature, the prize went to Professor Abdulaziz bin Nasser Al-Manie of Saudi Arabia, professor emeritus of Arabic Literature at King Saud University. Al-Manie was commended for his distinguished efforts in editing, verifying and elucidating several Arabic literary works of the 3rd to 7th Century Hegira.

In the Science category, the prize was awarded jointly to Professor Richard Henry Friend of the U.K., the Chairman of the Council of the School of Physical Sciences and Cavendish Professor of Physics at the University of Cambridge, and Professor Rashid Alievich Sunyaev of Russia, the Chief Scientist of the Space Research Institute at the Russian Academy of Science and the Director of the Max-Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Germany. Professor Friend pioneered the physics and engineering of semi-conductor devices made of plastic materials. Professor Sunayev has made fundamental contributions to astrophysics and cosmology.

In the category of Medicine, the prize was granted to Professor Ronald Levy of the U.S., the head of the Division of Oncology at Stanford University Medical School’s Department of Medicine. Professor Levy has been recognized for his pioneering studies in Cancer Immunotherapy.

The prize in the category of Service to Islam was awarded to the Principal Shari’ah Society for Qur’an and Sunnah Scholars in Egypt. The organization was recognized for its perseverant efforts, spanning almost 100 years, to assert the purity of the Islamic Daawa (Call), its total dedication to the cause of Islam and its remoteness from any political ambition.

Profiles of the 2009 prize winners on the King Faisal Foundation website