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Prof. Malik Maaza awarded the 2018 José Vasconcelos World Award of Education

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The award acknowledges Professor Mâaza’s work in promoting education for societal development and sustainability, and recognises his international and humanistic approach to science education as well as his commitment to training and mentoring young scientists on the African continent. To this end, Professor Mâaza has worked tirelessly to raise funds worldwide in support of researchers from less affluent countries. He has helped scientists from war zones in Africa and the Middle East pursue their research and has organised periodic exchanges between renowned scientists of Israeli and Arabic origin, seeking to build bridges through science.

 

Achievements

Professor Malik Mâaza is an African physicist and an accomplished researcher and educator, born in Algeria in 1963 and working in South Africa. His clear vision of how science can be used as a tool to empower individuals to address some of humanity’s most pressing challenges has been demonstrated through his commitment to training and mentoring young scientists.

He is greatly respected for his work as a pioneer of nanoscience and nanotechnology on the African continent and, most importantly, for his accomplishments as an outstanding educator and dedicated mentor. He has significantly contributed to the education of numerous PhD students and postdoctoral researchers.

He has also played a crucial part in keeping South Africa at the leading edge of international research. In this sense, he plays a key strategic planning role in developing South African research programmes and research grant proposals. His work has earned him international recognition from UNESCO, which appointed him to the first South-South Chair in Nanosciences & Nanotechnology: the UNESCO UNISA Africa Chair in Nanosciences and Nanotechnology, also known as U2ACN2.

Recognised by the global scientific community for the value of his published work through frequent invitations to speak at international events, he acts as an ambassador and voice for the African continent in the multidisciplinary field of nanotechnology.

Professor Mâaza’s contributions in the area of education are not confined to the classroom. He has created platforms for the introduction of emerging areas of education like materials science, space sciences and laser sciences. The many new facilities that he has set up underpin a range of scientific programmes, while he has established his own team and exploited his own expertise and ideas to build stronger relations with both academia and industry at national and international level.

His dedication to the cause of women in science is seen through his role as a member of the international as well as the Sub-Saharan juries of the L’Oréal-UNESCO Award for Women in Science. He is a major player in promoting the role of women in science, especially those living in low and medium income countries. He is also a peace activist, using science as a powerful path for fostering human relations between young researchers.

His work as UNESCO Chair has had a huge impact on building capacities among the future generation of African scientists.

 

World cultural Council, News
Announcement of 2018 Winners
June 4, 2018

 

Apollo scientist stresses value of S&T degree

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Dr. Farouk El-Baz, a geologist who played a leading role during NASA’s Apollo space program in the 1960s, assured graduates that their degrees from Missouri S&T have prepared them for whatever they will encounter in their professional lives.

El-Baz, director of the Center for Remote Sensing and research professor at Boston University, spoke during commencement ceremonies at Missouri S&T on Saturday, May 12. El-Baz earned master of science and Ph.D. degrees in geology and geophysics from Missouri S&T.

“I am happy to say that every single course I took had an effect on my career,” El-Baz said. As an example, he cited a project in a graduate-level tectonics course in geology that required him to study a photo of the moon and write a report about its tectonics. He got an A on the paper but learned after joining NASA’s Apollo program that his interpretations were wrong.

“However, Professor (Paul) Proctor had taught me how to gain information from a single photograph,” El-Baz said. “That experience helped me to become secretary of the lunar landing site selection committee and trainer of all Apollo astronauts in visual observations and photography.

“The lesson here is that the education you received at S&T has prepared you for whatever you encounter in your future professional life,” El-Baz said. “I can assure you that, from my experiences, the S&T education is second to none.”

El-Baz compared his studies at S&T with time spent at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. At MIT, he took a full course load, dated his future wife, was heavily involved in student organizations and hosted a weekly Arabic radio variety show – but still earned mostly A’s, something that El-Baz said rarely happened at S&T.

“Be conscious of the great education you received here,” he said. “You should realize that the degree you acquire today basically means only one thing, and that is: until today you required someone to take you by the hand and teach you. But from this day forward, you can begin to teach yourself.”

El-Baz, who also holds a bachelor’s degree from Ain Shams University, conducted graduate research at Asyut University in Egypt. He later taught at Germany’s Heidelberg University, then participated in oil exploration in the Gulf of Suez.

In 1967, El-Baz was appointed by NASA as secretary of lunar landing site selection and chairman of astronaut training in orbital observations and photography. His role was chronicled by Tom Hanks in the TV series From the Earth to the Moon, in a segment titled: “The Brain of Farouk El-Baz.” In addition, the name El-Baz was immortalized on a shuttlecraft in the TV series Star Trek: The Next Generation.

After the Apollo Program ended, he joined the Smithsonian Institution to establish and direct the Center for Earth and Planetary Studies, and to plan exhibits of the National Air and Space Museum. He then joined Itek Optical Systems as vice president for science and technology.

In 1986, he joined Boston University to establish and direct the Center for Remote Sensing. He developed methodologies for applying space-born data to scientific research efforts in geology, geography and archaeology. His work resulted in the location of groundwater resources in the Western Desert of Egypt, the Rajasthan of India, in Darfur of northwestern Sudan, the Sultanate of Oman, the Northern United Arab Emirates and Republic of Chad.

A member of the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), El-Baz serves on the editorial boards of several international professional journals. He is a Fellow of the Geological Society of America, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Royal Astronomical Society in London and the Explorers Club in New York.

Mahathir, 92, sworn in as Malaysia’s seventh prime minister

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KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Mahathir Mohamad was sworn in as Malaysia’s seventh prime minister on Thursday after a stunning election comeback, defeating the coalition that has ruled the nation for six decades since independence from Britain.

 

Malaysia’s constitutional monarch, Sultan Muhammad V, administered the oath of office just before 10 p.m. (1400 GMT), in a ceremony carried live on state television from the palace.

Mahathir, 92, dubbed the “Father of Modern Malaysia” during his previous 22 years in power until 2003, was dressed in a traditional black “baju melayu” tunic and sarong, with an Islamic cap on his head. His return from retirement makes him the oldest elected leader in the world.

Hundreds of Malaysians lined the road leading to the palace, waving party flags and cheering. The Election Commission announced the result long before dawn and there was some consternation in the capital Kuala Lumpur over the time taken to swear in the new prime minister.

At a press conference after being sworn in, Mahathir reassured the financial community and said he would prioritize stabilizing the economy and return billions of dollars lost in a graft scandal at state fund 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

“We believe that we can get most of the 1MDB money back … we have to increase the confidence of investors in the administration,” he told reporters.

Malaysian markets were closed and will reopen only on Monday, but overseas investors were nervous about the ouster of Prime Minister Najib Razak after a decade in office and the ringgit lost four percent in offshore trading.

An overseas Malaysian equity fund initially showed a 6 percent drop in share values but partly rebounded on Thursday.

“There should be no cause for any devaluation of the ringgit,” Mahathir said.

“As you know, we cannot revalue the ringgit too much, or else we will not be competitive, but we will try to make the ringgit as steady as possible,” he added.

 Mahathir was known for his strongarm, sometimes pugnacious style of rule intolerant of dissent from 1981 to 2003, but also for transforming his Southeast Asian country from a sleepy backwater into a modern industrialized nation.

He came out of retirement to take on his ex-protege Najib.

Mahathir’s alliance of four parties trounced Najib’s Barisan Nasional (BN), the first time it had ever lost an election.

Earlier on Thursday, Najib appeared to raise doubts that Mahathir would immediately take office because no single party had won a simple majority of seats in the 222-member parliament, and it would be up to the monarch to decide.

Official results showed that Mahathir’s coalition won 121 seats, comfortably more than the 112 required to rule. But it has not been formally registered as an alliance.

In a jubilant mood, Mahathir joked about his age and about being labeled a dictator at the news conference.

Mahathir has repeated a promise to repeal a deeply unpopular goods and services tax (GST) introduced by Najib and review foreign investments, including major infrastructure projects that are part of China’s Belt and Road initiative.

Some economists raised concern his populist election promises could undermine economic prospects at an increasingly challenging time for emerging markets, despite hopes elsewhere he might revive his bold approach to economic management.

“This upset ranks up there with Brexit and the Trump election,” said Aninda Mitra, a senior sovereign analyst at BNY Mellon Investment Management. “I believe the ringgit will come under pressure as policy continuity will come under a cloud.”

Mahathir said some of Malaysia’s debt are “too big” and need to be renegotiated.

New Malaysia’s Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad gestures beside Wan Azizah, the wife of a jailed opposition figure Anwar Ibrahim, during a news conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia May 10, 2018. REUTERS/Lai Seng Sin

Najib’s BN coalition won 79 seats, a collapse from the 133 taken in the 2013 election, which was itself the coalition’s worst performance at the polls ever at the time.

In a tweet, Najib congratulated Mahathir on his appointment as premier and said he would assist in a smooth transition of power.

Few had expected Mahathir to prevail against a coalition that has long relied on the support of the country’s ethnic-Malay majority.

However, he joined hands with jailed political leader Anwar Ibrahim, his one-time deputy with whom he famously fell out 20 years ago, and together their alliance exploited public disenchantment over the cost of living and the multi-billion-dollar 1MDB scandal that had dogged Najib since 2015.

Mahathir said that one of his first actions would be to seek a royal pardon for Anwar. Before the election he had promised to step aside once Anwar was free and let him become premier.

Anwar’s wife, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, was sitting next to Mahathir at his news conference. Under an agreement with Mahathir, she is to be deputy prime minister.

Anwar was imprisoned, first under Mahathir’s rule on charges of corruption and sodomy. He was released in 2004 but jailed again under Najib in 2015. Anwar denied all charges against him.

Mahathir and Najib were once allies but they clashed over a scandal around 1Malaysia Development Berhad, a state fund from which billions of dollars were allegedly siphoned off.

The 1MDB affair is being investigated by at least six countries, although Najib has denied any wrongdoing and has been cleared by Malaysia’s attorney-general.

Mahathir had vowed to investigate the scandal if elected and bring missing funds back to Malaysia. On Thursday, he said that if Najib had done anything wrong he would “face the consequences”.

Najib conceded the election in a news conference but has not been seen in public since. He did not attend the swearing-in ceremony at the palace.

Additional reporting by A.Ananthalakshmi, Joseph Sipalan, Emily Chow, Praveen Menon, and Fathin Ungku; Writing by Praveen Menon; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan and Mark Heinrich

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-malaysia-election/mahathir-92-sworn-in-as-malaysias-seventh-prime-minister-idUSKBN1IB03S

The late Prof. Mahmud Salakhitdinov FIAS (Uzbekistan )

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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 academician of the Republic of Uzbekistan: Prof. Makhmud Salakhitdinov has been a fellow of the Islamic World Academy of Sciences since 1993. He died at the age of 85.

Dr Salakhitdinov was born on November 23, 1933 in Namangan, Namangan region. In 1955, he graduated from Central Asian State University (now National University of Uzbekistan) and studied postgraduate study at this university. He defended his PhD in 1958 and defended his doctoral dissertation in 1967. In 1974, he was elected as a member of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Uzbekistan.

For more than 60 years of his scientific and pedagogical and organizational activities, he was the Director of the Institute of Mathematics of the Academy of Sciences, vice president, president of the Academy of Sciences, Minister of Higher and Secondary Special Education, Physics and Mathematics Department of the Academy of Sciences and worked as a professor at the National University of Uzbekistan and head of the Department of Mathematics at the Academy of Sciences.

Academician M. Salakhitdinov was awarded the State Prize of the Republic of Uzbekistan named after Abu Rayhon Beruniy, Honored Worker of Science of the Republic of Uzbekistan, “Buyuk xizmatlari uchun”, “Fidokorona xizmatlari uchun”, “Mehnat shuhrati”.

The memory of the famous scientist, a good teacher, humble man Mahmud Salakhitdinov will always remain in our hearts.

Prof. Salakhitdinov will be greatly missed by his colleagues and fellow scientists in Uzbekistan 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.

 

45th Session of OIC-CFM begins, Rohingya issue in focus

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The two-day 45th Session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers (OIC-CFM) begins in Dhaka Saturday 5 May 2018 with a special attention on Rohingya crisis.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the high level meeting at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre (BICC) where the chairmanship of the CFM passed from incumbent Cote d’Ivoire to Bangladesh for the next one year.

Over 600 representatives of 52 out of 56 member states of OIC and other five countries, including around 40 ministers and state ministers, have joined the two-day conference with the theme of ‘Islamic Values for Sustainable Peace, Solidarity and Development’. “Rohingya crisis will get special attention at the conference and there will be a special session on the issue,” Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali said at a press briefing on Thursday.

The minister said the government wants to work together with the international community and the Muslim World to have a peaceful solution to the Rohigya crisis.

“We’ll discuss the possible ways to resolve the Rohingya crisis and intensify the efforts of the intentional community and the OIC member countries to face it,” he said. Echoing the foreign minister, OIC Assistant Secretary General Hashmi Yousuf said Rohingya issue will be one of the main agenda of discussion at the 45th Session of the OIC-CFM, while he visited Rohingya refugee camps in Ukhia upazila of Cox’s Bazar on Friday afternoon along with other ministers and representatives of the OIC countries.

The Canadian Prime Minister’s special envoy to Myanmar, Foreign Minister Bob Rae, will deliver a speech at the session at OIC-CFM, official sources said. The Foreign Minister said Bangladesh will get a scope to present its different initiatives, experiences and achievements before the international community, including the Muslim World, through the high level conference.

“We hope all the decisions to be taken at the conference and the Dhaka declaration will be considered as the outcome document…the successful holding of the conference will add a new dimension regarding the cooperation between the OIC and Bangladesh,” he said. Mahmood said the challenges facing by the Muslim Ummah–the conflicts, division, tension and instability of the Muslim world–will get the main focus at the CFM of the OIC.

He said the conference will discuss ways to overcome the humanitarian disasters the Muslims are facing across the globe, and the means to remove the Islam phobia. The issue of realising the justified rights of Palestinian people and Al-Quds will get due importance like in the past, the minister said.

http://en.sahos24.com/bangladesh/15572/45th-Session-of-OIC-CFM-begins-Rohingya-issue-in-focus

Bangladesh to host 45th OIC Council of Foreign Ministers in May 2018

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The decision was made during Meeting of 44th CFM of OIC in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

Bangladesh will host 45th Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) of Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Dhaka in 2018.

The decision was made during Meeting of 44th CFM of OIC in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, the 44th CFM was inaugurated by Cote d’Ivoirian President Alassane Ouatara on July 10, 2017.

The meeting was chaired by the Cote d’Ivoirian Foreign Minister Marcel Amon Tanoh and Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister A H Mahmood Ali was leading the Bangladesh delegation.

With this opportunity of hosting CFM, Bangladesh has become a part of the OIC Troika and an influential member of the important 8 member OIC Executive Committee for the next three years.

The theme chosen for this year’s Council was ‘Youth, Peace and Development in a World of Solidarity’.

Mahmood Ali conducted a brainstorming session during the Abidjan CFM where referring to the theme Mahmood Ali suggested full participation of the Muslims especially the youth in human endeavours for transforming the world emphasising on a life of enlightenment, scientific enquiry, technology and innovation to bring positive change in our societies.

Centring the Palestine issue the member States also discussed challenges of internal conflicts, fratricidal civil wars, factional and sectarian feuds, instability and tension across a large part of the Muslim world, terrorism and violent extremism, Islamophobia, humanitarian crises, regressions and ills of Muslim societies including problems of poverty and underdevelopment.

Bangladesh’s Foreign Minister also spoke for Rakhine Muslims by reminding CFM member to support Rakhine Muslims’ repatriation by restoring their rights.

He also suggested undertaking of bold collective initiatives and joint projects under the newly taken up OIC second ten year development plan called OIC 2025 Programme of Action.

Mahmood Ali’s delegation includes Foreign Secretary Md Shahidul Haque and Bangladesh Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and permanent representative to OIC Golam Moshi as well as officers from the Foreign Ministry and Bangladesh Mission in Riyadh.

Foreign ministers of a large number of member states and Representatives of observer states, various OIC institutions and international organisations attended the Council.

Bangladesh to host 45th CFM in 2018