Thursday, April 30, 2009

A Jewish Professor Wins Big in Arab Land

Forget the Swine flu for a second the news are in, an American professor has made the news by becoming the first Jew to win a prestigious Arab prize—no, not land this time. The King Faisal International Prize in Medicine also known on the street as the "Arab Nobel Prize." Was awarded to Stanford professor Ronald Levy, whose specialty is Oncology where he heads the university's department. Professor Levy told Haaretz that as an American Jew married to an Israeli it never crossed his mind that he might win the Saudi-financed competition.
"I didn't think there was much chance, and I forgot about it," Levy said. "It's an Arab country, and I didn’t think they are likely to pick a Jew."

Once he was informed of his award, Levy looked for Ashton Kutcher thinking he was being Punk’d, but seriously he went on the contest Web site only to find his picture and biography with minor edits (Wink! Wink!). Levy’s work and revolutionary work on a drug used to treat many types of cancer earned him the top spot.

Professor Levy’s prize included $200,000, a medal, and a certificate in English and Arabic, also as a deal sweetener he gets to have with a dinner with Saudi King Abdullah.

The professor’s wife and daughter had Israeli stamps all over their passports so rightfully he had concerns when applying for visas to the Kingdom—but they got their visas in Los Angeles without hassle.

I guess many would be surprised by the fact that a Jewish professor would win an Arab prize, but for me, the surprise was in learning of such a prize known as the “Arab Nobel Prize.” Calling it so reminds us of the Swedish chemist and inventor Alfred Nobel who gives the prize its name. Maybe we could give the prize a proper Arab name however, the original Nobel was a bomb maker, and Arabs get bombed all the time, the connection couldn’t be any more obvious.




My Hanitizer

My Assault on Proper English Must Go On


Hanitizer Copyright © 2009 WoodMag is Designed by Ipietoon for Free Blogger Template