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Egypt bids farewell to Nobel prize-winning chemist

Egypt bids farewell to Nobel prize-winning chemist

CAIRO: Nobel prize-winning Egyptian-American chemist Ahmed Zewail was given a state funeral with military honours on Sunday in Cairo attended by Egypt’s president and top officials.

Zewail, who served as a science and technology adviser to US President Barack Obama, died on Tuesday in the United States aged 70.

A naturalised US citizen, Zewail won the Nobel prize for chemistry in 1999 for his groundbreaking work in the study of chemical reactions in extremely short timescales.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Al-Azhar’s Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayeb, Defence Minister Sedki Sobhi and Egyptian-British surgeon Sir Magdi Yacoub attended one procession at a military complex.

Zewail was among four Egyptians to win a Nobel prize and the country’s first scientist to do so. Former Egyptian president Anwar Sadat shared the peace prize in 1978 with the late Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin for reaching a historic peace deal between their two countries. Novelist Naguib Mahfouz won the 1988 Nobel prize for literature.

Mohamed ElBaradei, then director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, received the 2005 peace prize for his efforts to promote the safe and peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Published in Dawn, August 8th, 2016

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