'Stars of Science' innovations highlight Arab identity and culture
October 15 2021 08:01 PM
Clockwise from left: Marwan Aljahwari, Salim al-Kaabi, Eiman al-Hamad and Abderrahmane Khiat.
Clockwise from left: Marwan Aljahwari, Salim al-Kaabi, Eiman al-Hamad and Abderrahmane Khiat.

'Stars of Science' regularly showcases inventions across multiple disciplines and sectors that help communities in the Arab world. Multiple contestants throughout the history of the show have developed inventions that focus on preserving their communities’ identity and culture.
Two contestants on the current season 13 of Qatar Foundation's (QF) edutainment TV initiative 'Stars of Science', are focusing on advancing their communities and assisting in the preservation of Arabic culture.
Omani engineer Marwan Aljahwari aims to improve road safety in Arab communities by saving the lives of vehicle passengers while also protecting the most iconic creatures in the region – camels. With the expansion of urban areas, camels are unpredictably wandering onto desert roads, and becoming an increasing cause behind serious vehicle accidents.
Aljahwari’s Camel Black Box is ingeniously designed to transmit Bluetooth signals, alerting road users to the proximity of a stray animal, giving drivers enough time to stop and prevent what may be a deadly accident.
Also in this season is Algeria’s Abderrahmane Khiat, with a PhD in Computer Science, who is currently working as a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Berlin. Khiat studied the arid terrain and rural environment of the Arab region and developed a creative and practical invention that solves a problem in his home country as well as the region – the diagnostic tool to predict snake type from bite and victim’s vital signs.
Snake bite victims undergo extensive diagnosis, especially when the snake cannot be seen, or when the species is unknown. Khiat’s tool makes treatment more accessible to rural communities specifically, as it prescribes rapid and adequate guidelines for treatment while avoiding diagnostic costs.
Previous seasons of 'Stars of Science' have also seen many innovations that aim to preserve Arab identity and culture, and contribute to the development of local Arab communities.
Qatar’s Eiman al-Hamad, third place winner in Season 12, contributed to protecting the technological advancement of Arabic language and identity by inventing the first-of-its-kind Arabic Conversation Fraud Detection programme.
The programme detects phone fraud conducted in Arabic, with voice and text recognition – a feature widely needed and often brushed aside for the Arabic language. The technology helps fill in a critical gap in privacy protection in the Arab region and preserve the Arabic language and identity.
Salim al-Kaabi, a chemical engineer and artist from Oman, won fourth place in Season 10 after being inspired by his home country’s natural resources. After struggling with health issues due to contact with varnish – a chemical used to protect oil paintings from external factors – al-Kaabi decided to invent a frankincense-based organic varnish, called Lubanium. His invention was created from one of Oman’s most traditional materials, Luban – a scented gum resin mostly used as incense in the Gulf region – that neutralises the effects of varnish by defusing the toxic fumes.
Al-Kaabi developed spray and liquid varnish versions of Lubanium, as well as a soap cleaner for brushes, which were all recently launched in the market during Expo 2020 Dubai.
'Stars of Science' Season 13 airs until October 22 online, and on six channels in the region. Long-time juror Prof Fouad Mrad presides over a new crop of young innovators alongside new jury members Dr Buthaina al-Ansari, Strategic Planning and Human Development expert; and PD Dr Walid Albanna, 'Stars of Science' alumnus and Season 10 winner.

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