Egypt bids farewell to Nobel Prize science laureate Zewail

AP News
Posted: Aug 07, 2016 7:53 AM
Egypt bids farewell to Nobel Prize science laureate Zewail

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt on Sunday bid farewell to Ahmed Zewail, the Egyptian-born scientist who won a Nobel Prize in 1999, according him a military funeral with full honors before his burial in a family cemetery west of Cairo, the Egyptian capital.

President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi led some 200 mourners at a military funeral held in a suburb east of Cairo. His coffin was wrapped in Egypt's white, red and black flag and was carried by a gun carriage drawn by six horses mounted by soldiers in ceremonial uniforms.

Egypt's former mufti Ali Gomaa, who survived an assassination attempt on Friday, led mourners in a prayer for the dead held at the end of the military funeral.

Zewail's coffin was later transported in an ambulance across the city to the site of the science academy he founded in the October 6th suburb west of Cairo. Hundreds of mourners gathered there before they followed the coffin to the family cemetery where his body was interned amid tight security.

Zewail's 1999 Nobel Prize was awarded for his work on the study of chemical reactions over immensely short time scales. He is one of four Egyptian Nobel Laureates: the late President Anwar Sadat for peace in 1978, the late novelist Naguib Mahfouz for literature in 1988 and Mohamed ElBaradei, former director of the U.N. nuclear watchdog and pro-democracy leader, for peace in 2005.

Zewail's death was announced Tuesday by the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, where he was Linus Pauling professor of chemistry and director of the Physical Biology Center for Ultrafast Science and Technology.

El-Sissi, in a televised address Saturday, called on Egyptians to donate money for the completion of the science academy founded in Egypt by Zewail. "Whether people donate or not, I am placing the armed forces in charge of completing this endeavor one way or another," he said.