Doha – MENA Herald: Innovators Omar Hamid of Egypt and Mourad Mohamed Benosman of Algeria cleared the final hurdle in their quest to become Stars of Science finalists on MBC4, beating Palestine’s Nadim Rifai in a captivating design episode. Omar’s near-perfect prototype earned him universal praise and a remarkably high score, while the simple effectiveness of Mourad’s device helped him secure the last finalist spot over Nadim.
For Omar and Mourad, a showdown with their fellow finalists Hassan Albalawi of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Yaman Abou Jieb of Syria lies ahead. In the live final, which will air next Friday, November 20, at 7PM KSA/ 4PM GMT on MBC4, the finalists will be ranked by jury deliberation and voting from the Arab world, with a share of USD600,000 on the line.
Stars of Science is Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development’s popular “edutainment reality” TV program airing on MBC4. The program has seen young innovators compete against each other to turn their creative ideas into reality and is part of QF’s mission to encourage Arab youth to reach their potential while fostering and providing a platform to facilitate success.
Over the course of 10 prime time episodes and accompanying daily episodes, audiences have seen 12 of the best innovators from across the Arab world turn their ideas into working prototypes. Candidates are gradually eliminated in competitive stages as they work with world-class engineering and design specialists in Doha at Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP), a member of QF.
Friday’s episode was the penultimate step in the remaining candidates’ innovation journey. The young adults were challenged to enhance their device into a user-friendly, attractive product. In an effort to avoid being defeated and sent home packing, Omar, Mourad, and Nadim worked harder than ever, spending many long nights in Qatar Foundation’s QSTP labs in preparation for the jury presentation.
Stars of Science’s expert jury was made up of permanent jurors Mr. Yussif Abdulrahman Saleh, General Manager of Qatar Shell Research and Technology Center, and Professor Fouad Mrad, Executive Director of the United Nations ESCWA regional technology center. They were joined by VIP juror James Law, a visionary designer who founded James Law Cybertecture International, an innovative architectural firm.
First to face the jury was Nadim, who proudly presented his Rewarding Behavior Treadmill app and sensor, named “Fittastic.” In describing how the device rewards beginner athletes and fitness fanatics alike by integrating gameplay and exercise, Nadim elaborated on how his invention would positively impact public health. But he faced tough questioning from jurors, who were skeptical whether or not the design of his app would catch on with the general public.
Next up was Mourad, inventor of “Digiheart,” the ECG Wearable Stress Analyzer that improves health diagnostics by distinguishing between physical and mental stress. The Algerian impressed jurors by demonstrating how his design complements the simplicity and efficiency of the device. James Law, however, saw weakness in the fact that “Digiheart” had a bulky design. Mr. Law suggested a bulky device designed to be worn under clothes might be unsightly, leaving a risk that fashion-conscious potential customers would be put off.
Lastly, Omar unveiled his new and improved Prayer Chair, which he called “Sanda.” The device, which offers assistive sitting and standing to worshippers in a mosque with physical disabilities, was lauded by Professor Mrad, Mr. Law, and Mr. Saleh alike. The engaging Omar was skillful and poised as he described the challenge of designing “Sanda” to be intuitive and functional.
The candidates’ industrial design skills accounted for 50 percent of the score. Product marketability made up an additional 30 percent, and the candidates’ leadership and resourcefulness counted for 20 percent.
“Sanda” earned Omar the highest score of the day by far, 92 out of 100. In the race for second, Mourad and his “Digiheart” prototype beat Nadim and his “Fittastic,” guaranteeing the Algerian’s inclusion in the final four.
“We have developed our skills as entrepreneurs, engineers, designers and teammates immeasurably since we arrived at QSTP,” said Omar after the episode. “No matter the outcome of the upcoming final episode, I believe that we have gained invaluable experience because of Stars of Science.”
“After months of work and many nervous elimination episodes, it is now up to the Arab world to decide how to rank us in the finale,” said Mourad. “I want to make my family and country proud by taking the Stars of Science title home to Algeria.”
Season Seven of Stars of Science culminates in a special live final episode on MBC4 on Friday, November 20, 2015 at 7PM KSA/ 4PM GMT. Viewers from across the Arab world will vote to help choose the next great Arab innovator in the finale, which will be hosted by Khaled Al Jumaily. Further details on the voting is available on