Posted by on February 25, 2011 in Blog

Abdul Mohsen Al Husseini, an MIT Mechanical Engineering Master’s student and a 24 year old Jordanian national, received the inaugural 2010 Andoni Award for Young Arabs in Science and Technology. The award was presented during the 9th Annual Banquet of the Network of Arab American Professionals-New York last Saturday.

“I was very humbled by being the recipient of the award, and grateful to the Andonis for their generosity,” said Abdul Mohsen Al Husseini; adding, “this award is not my own; there are many exceptional Arab scientists and technologists and I would like to share this award with every one of them.”

In addition to his Master’s research at MIT’s Space Nanotechnology Lab, Abdul Mohsen Al Husseini was a member of the MIT group participating in the Google Lunar X-Prize competition. He is also a co-inventor of MIT's low-cost ventilator, a project that aims to provide affordable life-saving ventilation for resource-poor regions worldwide. After working there as an intern, he will rejoin NASA full-time after completing his Master's degree later in 2011, and eventually plans to obtain a doctorate degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics. Longer term, Abdul Mohsen plans to pursue a space-research focused career, which includes a personal goal of co-founding the Middle-East's space agency. As the winner of the Award this year, Al Husseini will receive a cash prize of $1,000 along with a new Apple iPad.

Established in 2010, the objective of the annual Andoni Award for Young Arabs in Science and Technology is to recognize and encourage youths of Arab descent who have demonstrated excellence and promise in science and technology. The Award is sponsored by Issam and Jihan Andoni. Commenting on the choice of science and technology in particular, Jihan Andoni said innovations in such fields could bring progress and prosperity for all of us. “All it needs is believers and some initiatives, and this award is an attempt in this direction,” she added, emphasizing the need for recognizing such achievements by young Arab Americans to inspire others.

Commenting on the significance of this award, Al Husseini said,

these types of initiatives are a true investment in our future as a community, and I hope that the continuation of this award and others encourage more and more Arabs in their pursuit of excellence in science and technology.

The Award is administered by the DC Chapter of the Network of Arab American Professionals (NAAP), a non-partisan, volunteer-based organization dedicated to strengthening the Arab-American community. The organization is chaired by Ridah Sabouni, who noted the professional diversity of its members, from attorneys, to scientists, to small business owners and beyond. He went on to say:

I hope this award serves to motivate and inspire our community to always strive for excellence in the fields of science and technology. In addition, since this award would not have been possible without the hard work and time of a dedicated group of NAAP volunteers, I hope the Andoni Award can also encourage more volunteers to get involved with NAAP chapters across the country!