First ME winner of Rolex Award for Enterprise
Dubai, November 17, 2008
Rolex announced the ten winners of the 2008 Rolex Awards for Enterprise, among whom is Talal Akasheh (Jordan), who has devoted 26 years to documenting the ancient monuments of Petra.
He is now creating an information system that will inform future conservation efforts at this beloved, yet threatened, historic site.
This is the first time in the programme’s history that a Laureate has been chosen from the Middle East, and follows intensive outreach and activity by Rolex in the region.
Rolex will present $100,000 each to five Laureates, who will be honoured tomorrow (November 18) in a ceremony in Dubai – the first ever Rolex Awards ceremony held in the Middle East.
Five Associate Laureates will each receive $50,000 at ceremonies in their home countries. All ten winners will also receive a Rolex chronometer.
“The Rolex Awards for Enterprise enable the work of global pioneers who are breaking new ground in their fields, and improving lives worldwide,” said Patrick Heiniger, chief executive officer of Rolex.
The 2008 Rolex Laureates, chosen from nearly 1,500 applicants in 127 countries, include apart from Talal Akasheh, Tim Bauer (US), Andrew McGonigle (UK), Andrew Muir (South Africa) and Elsa Zaldívar (Paraguay).
Dr Akasheh, a chemistry professor at the Hashemite University of Jordan, and its former dean of Research and Graduate Studies, said the money from the Rolex Awards would go towards hiring additional staff to complete the geo-archaeological information system and its database.
“I am extremely honoured to receive this prestigious international award, which is not just for me but for all of Jordan and the Arab world, and for all who care about Petra,” Akasheh said.
“The most important part of this award is that it will lead to other sources of support for the giant job of preserving this beautiful, important place.”
“Given the Arab world’s long-standing tradition of innovation and scientific discovery and its rich cultural heritage, we are convinced that the region could be home to a significant number of potential candidates, and we are delighted to include one among our ranks of Laureates this year,” added Rebecca Irvin, director of the Rolex Awards for Enterprise.-TradeArabia News Service