King Faisal Foundation

The King Faisal Foundation was established in 1976 by the sons of King Faisal of Saudi Arabia. Prince Mohammed is the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the King Faisal Foundation.[1] Managing Director of the Foundation is Prince Khalid Al-Faisal.[1] The foundation is one of the largest philanthropic foundations in the world.

King Faisal Foundation

مؤسسة الملك فيصل الخيرية
Region served
Saudi Arabia
Mohammed Al Faisal
Managing Director
Khalid Al Faisal

King Faisal International Prize

The foundation presents an annual prize, King Faisal International Prize, to "dedicated men and women whose contributions make a positive difference". The foundation awards prizes in:

  • Service to Islam
  • Islamic studies
  • Arabic Language and literature
  • Science
  • Medicine

Each of the five annual prizes consist of a certificate hand-written in Diwani calligraphy summarizing the laureate's work; a 24 carat 200 gram gold medal—uniquely cast for each winner; and a cash prize of SR 750,000 (USD $200,000). The prizes are awarded at a ceremony in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, by the King of Saudi Arabia. The first King Faisal International Prize was awarded to Abul A'la Maududi in the year 1979 for his service to Islam. In 1986, it was awarded to Ahmed Deedat, also for service to Islam. [2]

It is sometimes claimed that the first Jewish recipient of the prize was Ronald Levy, in 2009.[3] In fact, Sydney Brenner was the first Jewish winner in 1992.

King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies

The King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies was established in 1983. Based in Riyadh, the Center is an independent, not-for-profit institution financed by the King Faisal Foundation. The center studies issues affecting the Arab and Muslim worlds, and organizes a number of conferences each year.

Aims and Mission of the Center

In keeping with the goals of the King Faisal Foundation, the Center is dedicated to serving Islamic civilization, supporting continuing research, and encouraging cultural and scientific activities in a number of fields. The Center summarizes its mission as follows:

  • To raise awareness about the contribution of Islamic civilization to human heritage and to highlight the main distinguishing features of Islamic civilization;
  • To raise public awareness about the late King Faisal b. Abdul Aziz, of his great humanity and remarkable qualities of leadership, and to highlight his central contribution to, and continuous support for Islamic Solidarity;
  • To support research in areas related to Islamic civilization, to develop it along scientific lines, and to encourage researchers and students at all academic levels;
  • To help train a new generation of scholars specialized in the fields of Islamic studies, Arabic language, and the social sciences;
  • To help promote and preserve the Islamic heritage by organizing annual exhibits at the Center;
  • To organize lectures, conferences, and symposia, of both a general and specialized nature, on issues vital to Islam and to Muslims and to their roles in the present and in the future, linking today’s Muslims to the roots of Islamic culture;
  • To continue to build libraries through the acquisition of resources relating to any aspect of Islamic civilization, and to make the Center one of the principal resources on Islamic civilization worldwide;
  • To develop specialized databases in fields relating to the mission of the Center and its areas of specialization, thus enhancing the library services available to researchers and students at the Center;
  • To translate scientific treatises and research into foreign languages, and to translate a variety of works into Arabic, when such translation would be of service in achieving the aims and objectives of the Center;
  • To support and encourage research that falls within the Center’s interest.

The Library

The Library's collection covers the fields of Islamic Studies and Islamic Civilization. At present, there are more than 250,000 volumes in Arabic and Latin languages. There is also a collection of rare and out-of-print periodicals and more than half million articles. A separate audio-visual research library has more than 11,000 audio and videocassettes, slides, and films, which contain lectures and documentary material related to the Center’s various activities and interests.

Manuscripts Library

As part of the Foundation’s contribution to preserving Islamic culture and highlighting the contributions made by Muslim and Arab scholars, The King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies has undertaken the challenging mission of locating, authenticating, acquiring, or copying, and indexing all known Islamic manuscripts worldwide. In addition to nearly 23,000 hand-written texts, some of which are more than 1,200 years old, the manuscript archives have more than 18,000 microfilms and hundreds of photocopies. The majority of the microfilms are acquired through mutual agreements with the Bibliothèque Nationale of Paris, the Library of Congress, and the British Library. Databases save researchers up to 70% of the time they would normally spend searching catalogs for information pertaining to manuscripts located elsewhere in the world.

Alfaisal University

Alfaisal University is a private non-profit institution which aspires to be a world-class research university committed to the creation, dissemination and application of knowledge in the fields of business, engineering, life sciences and medicine, and to the development of knowledge-based economies.[4]

Painting and Patronage

The King Faisal Foundation is also involved in promoting greater cultural and artistic ties between Europe and Saudi Arabia, principally through the Painting and Patronage initiative which was launched in 1999.

See also


  1. "The current board of trustees of the King Faisal Foundation". King Faisal Foundation. Retrieved 7 August 2012.
  2. "Winners Archive the King Faisal International Prize" (PDF). King Faisal Foundation. Retrieved 25 March 2013.
  3. "U.S. professor becomes first Jew to win 'Arab Nobel Prize'". 16 April 2009. Retrieved 26 February 2010.
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