Dubai: His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, on Saturday announced winner of the ‘Great Arab Minds award, a prestigious initiative aimed at celebrating and honouring Arab scientists and creatives in various sectors.
The initiative, akin to the Nobel Prize but specifically for the Arab world, seeks to recognise and motivate exceptional Arab talents in fields like medicine, engineering, economics, literature, and the arts.
The first recipient of this award in the field of medicine is Dr Hani Najm from Saudi Arabia. He serves as the Chair of Paediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery at Cleveland Clinic in the US. Dr Najm has been recognised for his innovative and exceptional surgical practices in cardiac surgery for both children and adults, having performed over 10,000 heart surgeries.
Sheikh Mohammed praised Dr Najm and other distinguished Arab doctors for their contributions to medical knowledge, their efforts in alleviating human suffering, and for paving the way for future innovators in the field.
The Great Arab Minds initiative is a part of a broader mission to identify, support, and acknowledge leading thinkers in the Arab region, amplifying their impact and inspiring future generations. It involves the ‘Mohammed bin Rashid Medal for Great Arab Minds’ awarded annually to six winners across six different categories.
The initiative’s goal is to facilitate recognition of Arab thought leaders and transform their innovative ideas into real-life breakthroughs and solutions. It aims to empower a cluster of Arab scientists and thinkers, building a network of Arab intellectuals to drive an intellectual renaissance in the Arab world.
Who is Dr Hani Najm?
Dr Najm is the Chair of Paediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery at Cleveland Clinic, Ohio. He has been awarded the Great Arab Minds Award in Medicine in recognition of his outstanding contributions and pioneering innovations in the field of heart surgery for children and adults. Having performed more than 10,000 heart operations on patients with complex heart conditions with outstanding outcomes.
A key highlight of his work is the development of a gradually self-expanding heart ‘valve’ for children, sparing them the need for repeated surgery for valve replacement. Dr Najm is also recognised for developing a novel surgical technique, termed the “ventricular switch”, to repair one of the most complex congenital heart conditions in children.
Dr Najm was the lead heart surgeon in a large team that performed a rare and complex lifesaving surgery to remove a heart tumour in a 26-week-old fetus.