The five Laureates of the 2008 Rolex Awards were announced at a gala event held in Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The new Laureates join a network of over 100 pioneering individuals who, with help from Rolex, are implementing their visions of a better world.
Selected from almost 1,500 candidates from 127 countries, Jordanian chemist Talal Akasheh, American mechanical engineer Tim Bauer, Scottish physicist Andrew McGonigle, South African ecologist Andrew Muir and Paraguayan rural development specialist Elsa Zaldívar have now joined the ranks of the 110 visionary men and women from 40 countries whose projects have received vital aid and recognition since the Awards were established in 1976.
A video message from HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, royal patron of the 2008 Awards began the ceremonies. “Dubai is honoured to welcome this 13th series of the Rolex Awards and to join all those your programme has reached throughout its 30-year history,” Princess Haya said to the 500 distinguished guests.
The audience, as cosmopolitan as Dubai itself, included members of several Rolex Awards judging members, business leaders, government dignitaries such as Rashid Bin Fahad, UAE Minister for the Environment and Water, Abdul Rahman Al Owais, minister for culture, Youth and Community Development, and Anwar Gergash, minister of state, and the Swiss ambassador to the UAE, Wolfgang Amadeus Bruelhart.
George Kordahi, television personality and master of ceremonies, introduced a short film on the Rolex Awards and recalled that the Awards “are not given for past achievements or successes. Rather, they are granted for new ventures and working projects carried out by individuals who are pursuing their dreams.”
Each of the Laureates made a statement about their plans to improve the world around them. In their own words, in English, Spanish and Arabic, they explained how the Award – US$ 100,000, plus a Rolex chronometer and global recognition – would be key to helping them complete their projects and ensure that the impact was as wide as possible.
Patrick Heiniger, Rolex CEO and Chairman of the Rolex Awards Selection Committee, declared: “At Rolex, time is our business, and we know how precious it is. I hope these awards will allow you to take time to carry out your important work with excellence. I wish you success in your endeavours.”See more Programme Updates