Established by Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel in 1895, the Nobel Prize is a set of annual awards handed to individuals in recognition of cultural and/or scientific advances in six categories – Literature, Chemistry, Economics, Physics, World Peace, and Medicine.
I have to admit that after writing this article I became frustrated. Why does the Muslim community fail in something where we were the leaders in: innovation and science.
Since then 900 people received a Nobel Prize. As for 2015, (only) 12 of the Nobel Prize winners are Muslims. Here is a list of 10 Muslim laureates who have won a nobel prize.
- Anwar Al Sadat
Type of price: Peace | Function: Former President of Egypt | Year: 1981
Menachem Begin( Former Prime Minister of Israel) and he received a nobel prize for their contribution to the two frame agreements on peace in the Middle East, and on peace between Egypt and Israel, which were signed at Camp David in 1978.
Anwar Al Sadat was also the first Muslim who won a Nobel Prize.
- Yasser Arafat
Type of Price/ Peace | Function: Former Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization | Year: 1994
Just like Anwar Al Sadat, Arafat received a Nobel prize for Peace “for his efforts to create peace in the Middle East”
- Shirin Ebadi
Type of Price: Peace | Function: Lawyer and human right activist | Year: 2003
Shirin received a Nobel Prize for her efforts for democracy and human rights. She has focused especially on the struggle for the rights of women and children.
- Mohamed El Baradei
Type of Price: Peace | Function: Diplomate | Year: 2005
“For efforts to prevent nuclear energy from being used for military purposes and to ensure that nuclear energy, for peaceful purposes, is used in the safest possible way.” For this purpose El Baradei won the nobel prize of peace. He donated all of his winnings to build orphanages in Cairo.
- Muhammad Yunus
Type of Price: Peace | Function: Entrepreneur | Year: 2006
Muhammad Yunus is the founder of Garmeen Bank. Garmeen bank is a microfinance organization and community development bank founded in Bangladesh. It gives small loans to the impoverished without requiring collateral. He received the Nobel prize for Peace because his invention was founded to fight poverty. For the efforts to create economic and social development from below.
- Malala Yousafzai
Type of Price: Peace | Function: Activist | Year: 2014
Malala, you all know her. She is a Pakistani activist for female education by defying the Taliban in Pakistan and she demanded that girls should be allowed to receive an education. She was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman in 2012, but survived.
In 2014 she received The Nobel prize for Peace at the age of 17. That is how she became the youngest person who ever received a Nobel Prize.
- Mohammad Abdus Salam
Type of Price: Physics | Year: 1979
The 1979 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded jointly to Sheldon Lee Glashow, Salam, and Steven Weinberg “for their contributions to the theory of the unified weak and electromagnetic interaction between elementary particles, including, inter alia, the prediction of the weak neutral current”: Aziz Sancar.
- Tawakkul Karman
Type of Price: Peace | Function: Journalist, Politician and Activist | Year: 2011
Tawakkul Karman is a Yemeni journalist, politician and human rights activist. She leads the group “Women Journalists Without Chains,” which she co-founded in 2005.
In 2011 she became the international public face of the 2011 Yemeni uprising that was part of the Arab Spring uprisings. Yemenis started calling her the “Iron Woman” and “Mother of the Revolution” by Yemenis.
And in that year she also received the Nobel prize for Peace. She became the first Arab woman, and the second Muslim woman to win a Nobel Prize and the second youngest Nobel Peace Laureate to date. No bad, don’t you think?
- Orhan Pamuk
Type of Price: Literature | Function: Writer | Year: 2006
A Turkish Novelist, Orhan Pamuk, won a Nobel Prize for Literature in 2006. His books are sold all over the world. He sold 11 million books in sixty languages.
His most famous books are My Name Is Red and Snow.
- Ahmed Zewail
Type of Price: Chemistry | Function: Chemist | Year: 1999
He is the first Muslim chemist to be awarded the Nobel Prize and the second Muslim scientist. Ahmed Zewail is know as the the “father of femtochemistry”, Femtochemistry is the area of physical chemistry that studies chemical reactions on extremely short timescales. He received his Nobel Prize in 1999.