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Jordan-based Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre (RISSC) Annual Awards

October 20, 2021 at 5:15 pm

This video grab taken from a lifestream by German biotechnology company BioNTech during their press conference to provide an update on their COVID-19 vaccine development program on December 22, 2020 at their headquarters in Mainz, western Germany, shows BioNTech CEO and co-founder Ugur Sahin speaking [BioNTech/AFP via Getty Images]

Turkish-German scientist, Ugur Sahin, has been declared “Man of the Year” in the Muslim world in an annual publication by the Jordan-based Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre (RISSC), Anadolu News Agency reports.

Sahin was awarded the title in the 2022 edition of ‘The Muslim 500’ for his pioneering role in developing a vaccine against COVID-19.

The vaccine made by Sahin and his wife, Ozlem Tureci, who are founders of pharma company, BioNTech, “reported 95% efficacy against the coronavirus and became the first mRNA drug approved for human use,” the publication said.

The vaccine utilised the cutting-edge mRNA technology that Sahin and Tureci have championed.

BioNTech then partnered with US firm, Pfizer, and their COVID-19 vaccine has been among the ones most widely used throughout the world.

READ: Turkish-German couple behind vaccine named FT ‘People of the Year’

The publication named Tanzania’s President, Samia Suluhu Hassan, as its “Woman of the Year.”

Hassan became the first woman president of the East African nation this March, after the death of her predecessor, John Magufuli.

The RISSC said Hassan was taking steps to undo “some of the late President Magufuli’s authoritarian policies” and “is seen as restoring Tanzania’s democracy.”

‘Qatar a regional peace broker’

Qatar’s ruler, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani heads the list of top Muslim leaders, followed by Saudi Arabia’s King Salman, Iran’s Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Turkey’s President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Jordan’s King Abdullah.

Under Al-Thani’s leadership, Qatar has “positioned itself into the role of regional peace broker” and “adopted a strong position of proactive engagement through dialogue with regional neighbours,” the RISSC said.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Imran Khan, who was the “Man of the Year” in 2020, is eighth on the list, with Indonesia’s President, Joko Widodo, at number nine.​​​​​​​