Dr. Ahmed Zewail was born February 26, 1946, in the city of Damanhur
(City of Horus
) located in Egypt
. Zewail has two biological daughters, Maha and Amani, who are both chemistry
students following their father's footsteps. Plus two young step sons, Nabeel and Hani. He married Dema, after meeting her in March 1989 during his stay in Saudi Arabia
to recieve King Faisal international prize in science.
Zewail spent his childhood growing in Disuq
, known for its mosque Sidi Ibrahim
. Disuq is on the rosetta (Rashiydiah) area of the Nile, where the Rosetta stone
was discovered. Alexandria
, an ancient learning center and now home to the modern Alexandria library
is located 60 km away from his home town. Zewail as a boy had a passion towards physics
. He disliked social sciences because of its memorization nature in his days.
After graduating from high school at age 18, in 1958, he applied to several Universities in Egypt through the Central Bureau (Maktab Al Tansiq). The job of the Central Bureau back then was to assign students into universities based on their grades. He was admitted to Alexandria University
. After getting high grades in his chemistry courses, at age 21, Zewail became a Mu'aid (demonstrator), which paved the way for a Masters and then a Ph.D. degree. In 8 months time he received his Masters degree. He then followed the recommendation of his academic advisors to obtain his Ph.D. from the United Sates. After several correspondence with several American Universities, he chose the University of Pennsylvania
. While attending the University of Pennsylvania, Zewail studied physics courses under Nobel Laureate
, Bob Schrieffer
Since his stay at Caltech
in 1976, he recieved many awards and honors from all over the world for his pioneering work on molecular spectroscopy
precession. Among the awards and honors are:
1989: King Faisal International Prize in Science
1990: First Linus Pauling Chair
1993: Wolf Prize
1995: Order of Merit, first class (Sciences & Arts), from President Mubarak.
1997: Robert A. Welch
Award in Chemistry.
1998: Benjamin Franklin
Medal, Franklin Institute
1999: Egypt Postage Stamps, with Portrait (1998); the Fourth Pyramid (1999).
1999: Nobel Prize
1999: Grand Collar of the Nile
, Highest State Honor, conferred by President Mubarak.
Prizes and Awards
Alfred P. Sloan
Foundation Fellow (1978-1982).
Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award (1979-1985).
Alexander von Humboldt
Award for Senior United States Scientists (1983).
National Science Foundation Award for especially creative research (1984; 1988; 1993).
Buck-Whitney Medal, American Chemical Society (1985).
John Simon Guggenheim
Memorial Foundation Fellow (1987).
Harrison Howe Award
, American Chemical Society (1989).
International Award, Germany (1992).
Earle K. Plyler
Prize, American Physical Society (1993).
Medal of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, Holland (1993).
Herbert P. Broida
Prize, American Physical Society (1995).
Leonardo Da Vinci
Award of Excellence, France
Collége de France Medal, France (1995).
Award, American Chemical Society (1996).
National Academy of Sciences Award, Chemical Sciences, USA (1996).
Medal, Yale University
Medal, PU President, Beijing
Spectroscopy Award (1997).
First E.B. Wilson Award, American Chemical Society (1997).
Medal Award (1997).
Richard C. Tolman
Medal Award (1998).
William H. Nichols
Medal Award (1998).
Gold Medal, University of Zürich, Switzerland
E.O. Lawrence Award, U.S. Government (1998).
Merski Award, University of Nebraska (1999).
Röntgen Prize, (100th Anniversary of the Discovery of X-rays), Germany (1999).
Academies and Societies
American Physical Society
, Fellow (elected 1982).
National Academy of Sciences
, USA (elected 1989).
Third World Academy of Sciences
, Italy (elected 1989).
Sigma Xi Society
, USA (elected 1992).
American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Académie Européenne des Sciences
, des Arts et des Lettres, France (elected 1994).
American Philosophical Society
Pontifical Academy of Sciences
American Academy of Achievement
Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters
, UK (1991): M.A.,h.c.
, Egypt (1993): D.Sc.,h.c.
University of Pennsylvania
, USA (1997): D.Sc.,h.c.
Université de Lausanne
, Switzerland (1997): D.Sc.,h.c.
Arab Academy for Science & Technology
, Egypt (1999): H.D.A.Sc.
, Egypt (1999): H.D.Sc.
University of New Brunswick
(2000): Doctoris in Scientia, D.Sc.,h.c.
Universita di Roma
"La Sapienza", Italy (2000): D.Sc.,h.c.
Université de Liège
, Belgium (2000): Doctor honoris causa, D.,h.c.