Sisi heads mourners at military funeral for Egyptian Nobel Laureate Ahmed Zewail

Ahram Online , Sunday 7 Aug 2016

Sisi at the funeral
Egypt's President Abdel Fatah El-Sisi heads mourners at Ahmed Zuweil's military funeral. (Photo Courtesy of the Spokesman of Egyptian Presidency official Facebook page)

President Abdel Fatah El-Sisi led mourners including a number of Egyptian and dignitaries during the military funeral of winner Egyptian chemist and Nobel laureate Ahmed Zewail Sunday morning at the El-Mosheer Tantawy mosque in New Cairo.

Ali Gomaa, Egypt's former Grand mufti, led the funeral prayers.

Egypt's current Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, Al Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed Al Tayeb, Defence Minister Sedki Sobhy, former President Adly Mansour, former Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab and renowned heart surgeon Magdi Yaucoub were also among the mourners and all extended condolences to Zewail's family.

The Nobel Prize winner passed away on Tuesday at the age of 70 after losing ‎a long battle to ‎cancer .‎

Although military funerals are usually held for military personnel, Zewail received the Order of the Grand Collar of the Nile – the highest Egyptian state honour – making him eligible for the distinction.

A wake will be held on Monday, for both men and women, also at El-‎Moshir Tantawi ‎Mosque in New Cairo.‎

Zewail's body arrived in Cairo on Saturday ahead of the funeral. Despite living in the US at the time of his death, Zewail had expressed his wish to be buried in Egypt.

Zewail's media representative Sherif Fouad said that Zewail City has decided to open a ‎condolence book for ‎Egyptians, fellow Arabs and foreign diplomatic mission starting Thursday in the ‎Zewail City headquarters in 6 of October city.

Zewail dedicated his life to science and research and was instrumental in developing ‎four-‎dimensional electron microscopy. ‎

In 1999, he received the Nobel Prize for his study of chemical reactions.‎

Zewail earned his BS and MS degrees from Alexandria University in 1967 and 1969, then received a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1974 and completed an IBM postdoctoral fellowship at UC Berkeley.

He joined the faculty at Caltech in 1976 as an assistant professor, before becoming associate professor in 1978, then professor in 1982. From 1990 to 1997, he was Linus Pauling Professor of Chemical Physics, then he was named professor of physics in 1995, and then the Linus Pauling Professor of Chemistry in 1997.

Zewail was awarded the Order of Légion d'Honneur in 2012, the highest French Order, by the President of France.

He became a naturalised US citizen in 1982.

Zewail is survived by his wife, Dema Faham, and four children.

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