Ahmed Zewail

by Hajar from Arad, Bahrain


Ahmed Hassan Zewail was born on 26th, February 1946 in Damanhour, and raised in Disuq. He is an Egyptian scientist and he is also a holder of the American nationality. He is a great hero which the entire humanity has rewarded him by choosing him for the Nobel prize, He had won the Nobel prize in chemistry on 1999 for his work in Femtochemistry*: Atomic-Scale Dynamics of the Chemical Bond Using Ultrafast Lasers. He is a professor in California Institute of Technology. He is the Linus Pauling Chair Professor Chemistry and Professor of Physics.

* Femtochemistry is the science that studies chemical reactions on extremely short timescales, approximately 10–15 seconds (one femtosecond, hence the name).

A postal stamp with the picture of Zewail on it. (
A postal stamp with the picture of Zewail on it. (

I admire this person because he has made a name for himself that all humanity will remember as the founder of The FemtoChemistry science. He became a great name to people in a short period of time, though he was still young he didn't spend his free time playing and hanging around like most boys his age, no, he practiced science. He lived through hard times but it was all painless and he never felt it, because he was honoured at the end with the Nobel prize on 1999.

He is just a simple Egyptian who had dreams to be great. And now he is great as he reached President Barack Obama's Presidential Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). The council will talk about education, science, defense, energy, the economy, and technology.

Professor Ahmed Zewail. (
Professor Ahmed Zewail. (

His family's dream was that he recieves a high degree abroad and return to become a university porfessor. On the door of his study room, a sign was placed reading "Dr.Ahmed", though he was still far from a doctor. his father lived to see that day all his life.

His uncle Rizk was a special character Zewail's life, He learned much from him: an appreciation for critical analyses, an enjoyment of music, and of intermingling with the masses and intellectuals alike; he was respected for his wisdom, financially well-to-do, and self-educated.

Zewail's interests were focused, reading, music, some sports and playing backgammon. He loved music, especially Um Kulthum, an Egyptian singer that rocked the world. She had a magical voice that was always in the background while he was studying mathematics and chemistry. In America, the only music He has been able to appreciate on this level is classical and some jazz. Reading was and still his real joy.

He graduated from the University Of Alexandria with a bachelor's and MS degree. He completed his PhD in The United States, at the University Of Pennsylvania. In 1999, Zewail became the third Egyptian to receive the Nobel Prize, before him was president Anwar Al-Sadat (1978 in Peace) and Naguib Mahfouz (1988 in Literature). He also received the Wolf Prize in Chemistry (1993) by the Wolf Foundation, the Tolman Medal (1997), and the Robert A. Welch Award (1997).

My hero receiving his Nobel prize. (
My hero receiving his Nobel prize. (

He was one of the original editors of the highly acclaimed Encyclopedia of Analytical Chemistry, which provides a much needed professional level reference work for the 21st Century. The Encyclopedia is the most comprehensive analytical chemistry reference available, covering all aspects from theory and instrumentation through to applications and techniques.

In 1999, he received Egypt's highest state honor, the Grand Collar of the Nile. In the late 1980s,it was impossible to study events that constitute a reaction. However, Zewail was able to view the motion of atoms and molecules using a method based on new laser technology capable of producing light flashes just tens of femtoseconds in duration.

Ahmed Zewail is my hero, he is a simple -but still great- person that worked hard all his life to rest in the end as one of the world's most famous professors. He has a great mind that inspired me to not only become Hajar Ahmed, but try and do my best to be Dr. Hajar Ahmed.

Page created on 1/17/2011 2:12:54 PM

Last edited 1/17/2011 2:12:54 PM

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Related Links

Ahmed Zewail - Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1999
Ahmed Zewail - Caltech website
Read MY HERO story on Umm Kulthum - ~ Ahmed Zewail's favorite musician