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The late Prof. Attia A Ashour FIAS (Egypt)

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It is with a sense of sadness and sorrow that the President and the Director General of the Islamic World Academy of Sciences (IAS) in Amman, Jordan, announce the passing away of the eminent Egyptian scientist: Prof. Attia A Ashour, Fellow of the Islamic World Academy of Sciences. He was 93.

Prof. Attia Abdel Salam Ashour was born in Dumyat (Egypt) on 13 September 1924. He obtained his B.Sc in Mathematics from Cairo University in 1944, DIC (1948), PhD (1948), DSc (1967). He started his teaching career as a Research Assistant, Mathematics Department, Faculty of Science, Cairo University, 1944-1945, and then went on to become a post-graduate student, Imperial College, London University, 1945-1948. He successively became Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Assistant Professor and Professor of Applied Mathematics, Faculty of Science, Cairo University, 1948-1984. He was Head of the Mathematics Department, Faculty of Science, Cairo University:1959-1960, 1965-1969, 1971-1976, 1980-1984. Prof. Ashour was appointed Professor Emeritus of Applied Mathematics, Cairo University, in 1984.

Prof. Ashour was a visiting scientist at Queen Mary College, London University in 1954; at the Physics Institute, Bonn University, 1955; 1955-1956, at the Institute de Radium, University de Paris; 1962-1963, Exeter University, UK; and 1972, Physics Department, Ibadan University, Nigeria. He was an external examiner for BSc examinations (Mathematics) and PhD theses (Mathematics and Physics) at several British, Indian and Nigerian Universities.

Prof. Ashour was Former President of the Mathematical and Physical Society of Egypt and the editor of the Proceedings of the Society. He was a member of the Egyptian Mathematical Society, the Egyptian Academy of Sciences, the Egyptian Geophysical Society, the “Institute d’ Egypte,” and the Egyptian Academy of the Arab Language (1990).

Dr Ashour was Chairman of the IUGG Committee on Geodesy and Geophysics, 1974-1983. He was a former President of the Arab Union of Mathematicians and Physics, 1975-1977; Vice-President of the African Mathematical Union, 1976-1986; Elected Fellow of the Third World Academy of Sciences, 1985; Founding Fellow and Vice President of the African Academy of Sciences, 1985; President of the International Center of Pure and Applied Mathematics, Nice, France, 1992-1996; and Member of the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics, 1988-1994.

For some time, Prof. Ashour was a member of the Advisory Board to the Director General of UNESCO on Science and the 21st Century. Prof. Ashour was awarded the Order of Merit of Arts and Sciences, First Grade, three times: 1966, 1986 and 1988; The Order of Merit of Republic of Egypt, Fifth Grade, 1954 and of the Second Grade 1984; Chevalier dans I’ Ordre de la Palme Adademique , France, 1985; The Medal of the African Mathematical Union, 1990; and the Chevalier dans I’ Ordre National de Merite France, 1995. Professor Ashour co-authored the books covering the Mathematics Syllabus of the General Certificate of Education as early as 1958. He was the Chief Editor of four books on Geophysics written specially for the scientists in the Developing countries. Prof. Ashour has authored more than 50 scientific papers in as many years. Prof. Attia Ashour was elected a Fellow of the Islamic World Academy of Sciences in 2000.

Prof. Ashour will be greatly missed by his colleagues and fellow scientists in Egypt and the Islamic World. “Ina Lillah Wa Ina Ilaihi Raj’oon.”

IAS President, Fellows and staff offer their heartfelt condolences to his family and friends throughout the World.

King honours Nobel-nominated chemist Omar Yaghi

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By JT – May 16,2017 – Last updated at May 16,2017

AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah on Tuesday honoured Jordanian scientist Omar Yaghi,  a world-renowned chemist and professor of chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley.

During the meeting, held at Al Husseiniya Palace, His Majesty expressed his pride in the achievements of Jordanian expatriates, noting that the Kingdom always welcomes the return of Jordanian scientists “to direct their knowledge and creativity to the service of their homeland”, according to a Royal Court statement.

The Monarch bestowed the King Abdullah II Order of Distinction of the First Class to Yaghi, in appreciation of his efforts in scientific research, education and chemistry.

For his part, Yaghi, in the presence of HRH Princess Sumaya, said he is about to launch an initiative for science and technology that will carry His Majesty’s name , so as to motivate Jordanian young people to excel in these fields.

The chemist also presented a briefing on a project for an organic metals laboratory, which will be implemented by the University of California, Berkeley at the Royal Scientific Society. The laboratory will be a research facility to support  youth and researchers from Jordan and the region in the fields of chemistry, physics and engineering.

Yaghi, who was classified as the second most influential chemist in the world in 2011 by a Thomson Reuters study, was nominated for Nobel Prize in chemistry in 2015.

Source: http://jordantimes.com/news/local/king-honours-nobel-nominated-chemist-omar-yaghi

Scientists from enemy nations create a beacon for peace in the Middle East

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Image may contain: people standing, sky, house, tree, outdoor and nature

SESAME | Synchrotron-Light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East,

Allan, Al-Balqa’a, Jordan.

May 15

They’ve built a machine in the desert in the heart of the Middle East. Israelis will use it — and so will Iranians, Jordanians, Turks, Pakistanis and many others. Scientists from countries recently at war or without diplomatic relations will work side by side — Muslims, Jews, Christians and atheists sharing the pursuit of knowledge.

This may seem an impossible dream, and indeed the project took decades to materialize and often came close to disintegration. As the saying goes: The difficult we do immediately;the impossible takes longer.

The project is called SESAME — as in “Open, Sesame!” — and it is an acronym for Synchrotron-light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East.

The machine functions a bit like an X-ray. About 50 of these “light sources” exist around the world, and they are prized among researchers for their versatility. They can reveal the atomic structure of matter, making them useful for everything from biology to chemistry to archaeology.

The new machine is in Jordan, about a 45-minute drive from the capital of Amman. The leaders of the project and many dignitaries will formally dedicate the facility in a ceremony on Tuesday, with Jordan’s King Abdullah II presiding.

“It’s a beacon, one lighthouse, in this era where there is killing, beheadings, gassing. We are showing a different way,” said Eliezer Rabinovici, 70, a physics professor at Hebrew University of Jerusalem and one of the founders of the endeavor.

The project has been raked by political and financial crosswinds. The internationalism at the core of SESAME had to overcome fierce nationalistic passions. Security remains a concern.

But SESAME shows the centripetal force of the global scientific enterprise. Scientists speak the common language of mathematics, and they search for truths that are almost invariably universal, and not defined by political or cultural boundaries. Science is ­arguably the most international human endeavor; the only thing that comes close is the Olympic Games, which happen for a couple of weeks every two years and are centered on competition rather than collaboration.

That is one reason the scientific community in the United States was so outraged by President Trump’s proposed travel ban affecting a number of Muslim-majority countries.

Scientists depend increasingly on elaborate machines, such as particle accelerators, supercomputers and space telescopes — shared tools on a colossal scale. The premier example of this is CERN, the research facility outside Geneva where physicists used a particle accelerator to search for theoretical Higgs boson (found!).CERN is run by 28 member or associate states.

But science is not immune to political turmoil.

SESAME was roiled in 2010 when two Iranian scientists with connections to the project were killed in separate incidents. This was part of several attacks on Iranian scientists perceived to have connections to Iran’s nuclear program. The government in Tehran accused Israel and the United States of involvement in the attacks, which both countries denied. The SESAME council later issued a condemnation of the assassinations.

Tensions also flared at a meeting held in 2010 shortly after ­Israeli commandos attacked a Turkish-owned ship carrying aid to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, recalled Khaled Toukan, chairman of the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission.

“We were on the verge of withering away,” he said. “It has not been easy. But we made it.”

Rabinovici said the council resolved not to discuss politics or issue political statements. He said in an email that scientists also never discuss their religious faith.

In an article on the project, Rabinovici noted that there continue to be some “bitter” feelings from things that have happened over the years. Asked to elaborate, he replied, “Let’s concentrate on the good feelings.”

Money has been and continues to be in short supply for SESAME. And the world’s richest country, the United States, has not given money directly to the project.

SESAME traces its origin to an optimistic period in the mid-1990s after the signing of the Oslo accords. One day at CERN, the laboratory in Geneva, an esteemed Italian physicist named Sergio Fubini approached Rabinovici, the Israeli physics professor, in a corridor and said it was time to test Rabinovici’s ideals about Arab-Israeli collaboration.

They decided to join forces with others to found an organization called the Middle Eastern Science Committee.

Rabinovici and Fubini traveled to Egypt and enlisted the support of that country’s minister for scientific research, Venice Kamel Gouda, and she helped organize an international meeting in November 1995 in the Red Sea resort of Dahab.

That was only a few weeks after Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin had been assassinated. Gouda asked all the scientists present — Arabs and Israelis alike — to stand for a moment of silence in memory of the slain Rabin.

“I will carry that moment of silence with me for as long as I live,” Rabinovici says.

Then came a powerful earthquake on Mount Sinai — magnitude 6.9.

“We thus got clear signs from above that something is happening here.”

The next major advance was serendipitous, spurred by something happening in Germany. The Germans had a synchrotron-light source, and wanted to build a new and more powerful one.

Synchrotron radiation is a kind of side-effect of high-energy physics experiments that send particles spinning around a ring. These particle accelerators give off light in various wavelengths that “comes off like mud off a spinning tire,” says Herman Winick, a physicist at Stanford University and a pioneer in developing light sources. Mirrors and other devices can focus that light into a beam that can be used as a probe of matter.

Winick recalls asking German colleagues in 1997, “What are you going to do with the old machine?” The answer: “We’re going to call in a junkyard dealer and sell it for scrap.”

Winick says he persuaded the Germans to offer the machine, named Bessy, to scientists in the Middle East.

SESAME began to take shape as an organization. The project initially had nine full members: Israel, Iran, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Pakistan, Bahrain, Cyprus and the Palestinian Authority (Bahrain stopped paying dues and has dropped out). The United States, the European Union and a number of other countries became “observers,” without membership.

The project’s leaders decided in 2000 to put the facility in Jordan. (“It’s obvious that most of the people involved would not come to Israel,” Rabinovici said.) The next challenge would be persuading scientists in the region
that this would be a world-class ­facility.

“When I had first heard about it, I didn’t believe that it would work and I didn’t want to be involved in it,” Zehra Sayers, a Turkish scientist, said in an email to The Washington Post. “This was an old machine donated by Germany, probably it would not work properly when assembled in Jordan, and who was going to use it? Nobody in the Middle East even knew what a synchrotron meant.”

But the backers of the project assured her that the key elements would be rebuilt and modernized — they were — and she became a supporter. She’s now the chair of the scientific advisory committee, and intends to use the light source for a project to study how a protein in a bacterium latches on toiron.

More troubles lay ahead. The roof fell in during a snowstorm. Egypt’s support withered after the revolution of the Arab Spring. Rabinovici feared that the project was collapsing and went to the Finance Ministry of the Israeli government asking for a new infusion of money. The government pledged $5 million if other countries matched it. Turkey, Jordan and Iran then pledged the same amount each, although Iran so far has given only a fraction of its pledge, leaders of the project say.

The E.U. has also provided funds. Conspicuously, the United States has not, to the frustration of project leaders.

They suspect that one reason is the involvement of Iran. The scientists say that synchrotron technology has nothing to do with nuclear weapons.

In Congress, two physicists, Reps. Rush D. Holt (D-N.J.) and Bill Foster (D-Ill.), pushed for ­authorization of money for ­SESAME, but got nowhere.

“It’s a shame, an embarrassment, that the United States has not put, as far as I know, a dime into the SESAME project,” said Holt, who is now the chief executive of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

“The suspicion is that, because Iran is a member, that’s a third rail that nobody wants to touch,” Winick said. “I am disappointed and embarrassed.”

SESAME is not quite ready for experimental research. The most essential hardware is in place, but the two beam lines of the light source won’t be ready for research efforts for another few months.

SESAME magnets spin particles and radiation “comes off like mud off a spinning tire.”

(Dean Calma/International Atomic Energy Agency).

Gihan Kamel, an infrared beam line scientist from Egypt, works in a SESAME lab.

(Dean Calma/International Atomic Energy Agency).

There ought to be many more beam lines for researchers, project leaders say. And among the immediate logistical challenges is the need for on-site lodging.

But the backers of SESAME are exultant.

Among those traveling to ­Jordan for the dedication ceremony this week will be Edward Witten, an acclaimed mathematician at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton — Albert Einstein’s old haunt. Witten says of ­SESAME, “It’s like news from another world in which there is peace in the Middle East.”

A thousand years ago, during Europe’s Dark Ages, the Islamic world was home to many of the greatest scientists on the planet. Today, many young scientists in the Middle East and in developing countries generally will go abroad, to the United States, ­Europe or Japan, to get advanced degrees, and many never return. SESAME could reverse that brain drain, the promoters hope.

Rabinovici said the key to ­SESAME’s existence is the persistence of the people who believed in it. He notes that mathematicians have a concept known as “an existence proof.” It’s a hypothesis proved to be true by the construction, and irrefutable existence, of the thing being hypothesized.

“I’m very persistent,” Rabinovici said. “It’s not always good in research. Sometimes in research you have to let go. Sometimes your old ideas, which you love, are wrong. But I am persistent, and I thought it was a very important thing — to show that such a thing is possible.”

Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/scientists-from-enemy-nations-create-a-beacon-for-peace-in-the-middle-east/2017/05/14/ac7c0744-2f9b-11e7-9534-00e4656c22aa_story.html?utm_term=.b61c15649ca3

The Islamic Sciences In The Western World (Middle Ages-Renaissance) Exchanges, Transmission, Influence

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Impact of Islamic studies on West explored in conference
By Rula Samain – Apr 25,2017

AMMAN — The impact of Islamic studies on the West is the focus of a three-day conference which began in Amman on Tuesday.

The International Conference on The Islamic Sciences in the Western World (Middle Ages — Renaissance) Exchanges, Transmission, Influence, brings together scientists and researchers from the Arab world and beyond. 

The conference, organised by the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies (RIIFS) in cooperation with the International Union of Academies (UAI), Petra University and UNESCO, will review the impact of Islamic studies on the West, using foreign studies to assess this impact in detail.

Inaugurating the event, HRH Prince Hassan, who chairs the RIIFS, called for an approach to science which puts humankind at the centre of the equation of sustainability and development, to enable us to perform our duty, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

He said that the physical world yearns for order in chaos, highlighting the necessity to establish peace.

“The peace I am talking about is the one that starts from within, that reflects on addressing the shared responsibility in cooperation with science and politics; the medium and long term programmes specially in discussing energy, food and water.”  

Noting that Jordan is the second water poorest country worldwide, he asked “How can any country continue or survive without a proper regional method of dealing with water problem?”

He stressed the need for an integrated vision to establish peace with a proper knowledge of sustainable development, calling for a new humanitarian world order. 

The real form of capital is the human capital, Prince Hassan said, urging “intellectual-emotional” investment through what he called “The Paths of Thoughts” that can lead to mutual understanding.

Peace can be realised through international cooperation and sharing of responsibility in dealing with politics and science, the prince highlighted, adding that this requires integration and coordination among various initiatives and a holistic vision that puts science in the service of peace. 

The prince said that the interfaith dialogue between the followers of religion is also between those with non-religion, adding “The main concern now is how to dialogue with the other.” 

UAI Deputy Secretary General Jean-Luc De Paepe gave a briefing about the union, which was created in 1919 in Paris with a general secretariat established in Brussels. It is currently made up of more than 100 academies from 63 countries, including Jordan.

Majida Omar, RIIFS’ director, highlighted the importance of the conference in researching our mutual history and knowledge, which helps on the road to progress.

TÜBA Academy Prizes 2017

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TÜBA Academy Prizes are annually awarded to three of the nominated scientists each being in one of the following categories of sciences namely 1) Basic and Engineering sciences, 2) Health and Life sciences and 3) Social Sciences and Humanities. Every year one of the prizes is awarded to scientists with Turkish connection, meaning those who work in Turkey and/or study Turkey.

TÜBA Academy Prizes are given to those scientists with ORIGINAL, LEADING and PATH-BREAKING works in their fields. Nominations are made by TÜBA members, academies and inter-academy organizations with which TÜBA is in cooperation and other science institutions and scientists invited as nominators. Members of TÜBA and those who take part in the evaluation process of the prizes cannot be nominated.

The nominees are evaluated by a Prize Committee in each category. The Committees, composed of TÜBA members and renowned scientists, examine the works of the candidates via a rigorous process involving peer-review and identify the possible prize laureates. The laureates are announced by the Academy Council of TÜBA. The Academy Prizes, comprising an Academy Medal and prize money of USD 30.000 for each, are awarded in a special ceremony. The Prize Ceremony is held under the auspices of the President of the Republic of Turkey.

https://www.facebook.com/turkiyebilimlerakademisi

https://twitter.com/TUBA_TurkBlmAkd

http://www.tuba.gov.tr

 

Prof. Ali H. Nayfeh passed away

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وفاة العالم علي حسن نايفة

27-03-2017 07:08 PM

توفي في وقت مبكر من صباح 27/3/2017، العالم الفلسطيني الاردني الكبير والأستاذ في الجامعة الأردنية، على حسن نايفة، عن عمر ناهز 83 عامًا.

وتخرج «نايفة» في جامعة ستانفورد في الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية، وحصل على درجتي الماجستير والدكتوراه في عام ونصف العام فقط، وأشرف على نحو 80 رسالة دكتوراه، وله عدة مؤلفات في مجال الهندسة الميكانيكية.

وحصل العالم «علي حسن نايفة» على جائزة بنجامين فرانكلين في الهندسة الميكانيكية عام 2014، وهى الجائزة التي تُعادل جائزة نوبل في العلوم، علاوة على جائزة ليبانوف من الجمعية الأمريكية للمهندسين عام 2005، ووسام الشرف الذهبي من أكاديمية العلوم المتخصصة عام 2007.

وولد العالم «علي حسن نايفة» عام 1933 في قرية الشويكة في فلسطين، وعاش طفولته في الأردن، ثم انتقل إلى الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية لدراسة العلوم الهندسية، وعمل أستاذا في جامعة فيرجينا للتكنولوجيا منذ عام 1976، علاوة على تطوعه للتدريس في الجامعة الأردنية. وهو الشقيق الأكبر للدكتور عدنان نايفه والدكتور منير نايفه، زميل أكاديمية العالم الإسلامي للعلوم.

                                                                          Prof. Ali H. Nayfeh passed away

Professor Ali H. Nayfeh passed away on 27 March 2017,  in Amman, Jordan. He was 83.

Prof. Nayfeh earned his BS in engineering science (1962), MS (1963) and PhD (1964) in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University all in four and a half years. He has made seminal contributions to several branches of science and engineering, including solid and fluid mechanics, acoustics, nonlinear dynamics, linear and nonlinear control of engineering systems, aerospace engineering, power systems, power electronics, ship dynamics and stability, sway control of military and commercial cranes, atomic force microscopes, and micro-electromechanical systems.

Recipient of the Benjamin Franklin Medal in Mechanical Engineering. (Presented for the development of novel methods to model complex engineering systems in structural dynamics, acoustics, fluid mechanics and electromechanical systems), 2014.

Prof. Nayfeh was the author of several books and hundreds of research papers, and has supervised over 80 doctoral dissertations.

Dr Nayfeh was born on 1933 in the Palestinian town of Shuwaikah / Tulkarm in Palestine. He was the eldest brother of Dr Adnan Nayfeh and Dr Munir Nayfeh FIAS.

إنا لله وإنا اليه راجعون،،،،،

 

IAS 2011 Conference Proceedings Online

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IAS 2011 Conference Proceedings has  recently been uploaded onto the IAS website <www.iasworld.org> under the section Recent Publications or directly http://www.iasworld.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Qatar-Contents-Final.pdf

Proceedings of the 18th IAS Science Conference on

 “The Islamic World and The West:

Rebuilding Bridges through Science and Technology,”

organised in Doha/ Qatar;

22-24 October 2011

Jordanian princess, a science advocate, awarded a Chancellor’s Citation

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On a recent visit to UC Berkeley, Her Royal Highness Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan of Jordan, an advocate for science as a catalyst for change in the Arab world and the president of Jordan’s Royal Scientific Society, was awarded a Chancellor’s Citation by Chancellor Nicholas Dirks.

The Jordanian royal visitor met with the chancellor and other campus dignitaries on Feb. 23 in California Hall.

The Chancellor’s Citation is awarded to distinguished visitors, alumni and friends whose great achievements the university salutes and whose presence honors and benefits the campus.

Professor Omar M. Yaghi, who holds the Neeltje Tretter Chair in the Department of Chemistry and is the founding director of the Berkeley Global Science Institute (BGSI), has worked closely with Princess Sumaya over the past five years to re-engage the Jordanian diaspora community in scientific research to address global problems. A BGSI delegation met with the royal visitor to discuss plans for building a Reticular Foundry, to serve as a hub of scientific research attracting top talent from throughout Jordan and the Middle East region. This joint partnership will train the next generation of problem-solvers, innovators, and scientific leaders.

The princess also serves as chair of the World Science Forum (WSF), which will be hosted by Jordan in November 2017. WSF is a leading forum for science and policymaking, and this will be the first time it is held in the Middle East. The theme for the 2017 WSF is “Science for Peace,” and HRH has said she hopes that the event will inspire young people and give policymakers renewed appreciation for science and the scientific method.

Princess Sumaya was accompanied by Asal Al-Tal, deputy chief of mission from the Jordanian Embassy in Washington, D.C., as well as Conor de Lion, RSS director of external relations. In a surprise, she was joined by her mother, HRH Princess Sarvath El Hassan, who made a special trip to Berkeley to witness and celebrate her daughter’s receipt of the honorary award.

Harvard University Marshal welcomes Princess Sumaya bint El-Hassan of Jordan

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Princess Sumaya Bint Hassan of Jordan

February 17, 2017

Harvard University Marshal welcomed Her Royal Highness Princess Sumaya bint El-Hassan of Jordan at the Marshal’s Office during her visit to the Center for Green Buildings and Cities at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Professor Ali Malkawi accompanied her, along with three aides. Her visit also included stops at Widener Library and the Harvard Art Museums.

http://marshal.harvard.edu/news/princess-sumaya-bint-hassan-jordan