Like each year, the season kicked off with a pan-Arab casting tour to locate and identify the regions brightest innovators. Four year running permanent jury member and Stars of Science legend Dr. Fuad Mrad joined forces with season 5 permanent juror Mr. Youssif Abdulrahman Al-Salhi, General Manager at Qatar Shell Research & Technology Centre. The dynamic nature of both individuals gave a clear foresight that this season will be like no other! The first stops of the tour took place in Egypt, UAE, Kuwait and Morocco where the two permanent members were accompanied by local jurors from each country to assess and evaluate the various innovative ideas presented to them.
The first stop was in Egypt where Dr. Abdelhamid El-Zoheiry, President of Heliopolis University, sat alongside the permanent jurors as acting local juror. Hundreds of Egyptian hopefuls applied but only a few were qualified to meet the jury. Sherif Yahia, Mohamed Ismail and Mohammed Islam were the only 3 candidates accepted with their own distinct innovations that deal with solar panel robot cleaners or assistive devices for the visually impaired and deaf.
After Egypt, the Stars of Science crew flew to the UAE where they met up with local juror Professor Aly Nazmy, Dean of the College of Engineering at Abu Dhabi University. The UAE played host to various other nationalities as candidates from Iraq and Oman were flown in to pitch their idea to the jury. With only 3 candidates selected, the season was introduced to the first female candidate, Alaa Al-Rawi. Alaa impressed the jury with her comfortable auto-adjusted seatbelt with her father standing close by offering his full support. Omani candidates, Ibrahim Al Huseini and 4-time applicant Khalid Al Harthy were also accepted from the UAE.
Kuwait was the third stop on the tour where the permanent jurors were welcomed by local juror Dr. Naji Mohamed Al-Mutairi, Director General of the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research. The jury questioned the candidates’ innovative claims while even going to the extreme of testing them first hand. Mr. Youssif Al Salhi was interested to try a reflexology glove prototype that Nouf Al Asfour presented which to her advantage got her selected to the next round. Alaa Al Harbi and Mahdi Abdulla joined Nouf to be the only 3 candidates selected from the Kuwait casting.
The first leg of the tour ended in Morocco, which saw the highest number of applicants and attendees. Acting local juror and Director of the National School of Electricity and Mechanics, Professor Hicham Medromi, listened to all the hopeful candidates and offered his insight on their projects. In the end, 6 candidates from Morocco, Algeria and Tunis were accepted.
Tune in Friday September 20th on MBC4 at 8PM KSA to check out the last casting tour where we visit Lebanon, Jordan, Qatar and KSA to find the remaining candidates that will be one step closer in making it to the top 16 place on Stars of Science!