CAIRO, Aug. 7 (Xinhua) -- Egypt's renowned Nobel-laureate chemist Ahmed Zewail has been laid to rest on Sunday in 6th October City on the outskirts of Cairo, after a military funeral procession that was attended by President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi and high-ranking officials.
In his tribute, Sisi led the military funeral that was held at the El-Mosheer Tantawy Mosque in New Cairo district.
During the funeral, a horse-drawn carriage bore the late scientist's coffin that was wrapped in the flag of Egypt.
Although military funerals are usually held for military personnel, Zewail received the Order of the Grand Collar of the Nile - the highest Egyptian state honor - making him eligible for the distinction.
The funeral ceremony was largely attended by government officials including Al-Azhar Grand Imam Ahmed al-Tayyib, Egypt's Prime Minister Sherif Ismail, Defence Minister Sedki Sobhy, former interim president Adly Mansour and former prime minister Ibrahim Mahlab.
Scientist Zewail passed away on Tuesday in the United States at the age of 70 after a long battle with cancer. His body arrived in Egypt Saturday to be buried in Cairo as he always wished.
After the military funeral, the body was carried in a car convoy to Zewail City for Science and Technology in 6th October City, a national project for scientific research that he chaired since 2011, where scores of people and students of the institution held a popular funeral for him.
Zewail's body was later taken to the family's burial place in 6th October City where he was laid to rest amid popular, official and family presence.
He revealed in a TV show in 2013 that he suffered some cancerous spinal tumor, but said he was then recovering and passing the serious stage of the illness.
Born in February 1946 in Beheira province, 160 km in the north of capital Cairo, Zewail later moved to the coastal city of Alexandria where he got a bachelor degree in science and later his master's degree from Alexandria University.
He later moved to the United States for completing his PhD at the University of Pennsylvania.
After completing his PhD, Zewail finished postdoctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley and he was later awarded a faculty appointment at the California Institute of Technology in 1976.
Zewail was the only recipient of the 1999 Nobel Prize in chemistry for his pioneering developments in femtoscience, making possible observations of atoms in motion on the femtosecond time scale.
These developments led to the establishment of the discipline of "Femtochemistry" and its relevant fields.
In the eyes of the Egyptians, Zewail was not only a scientist, but also a public figure and a politician who always defended his homeland's image abroad.
In 2014, Zewail said in an opinion article published by the Los Angeles Times that the U.S. should not cut aid to Egypt to maintain regional peace and enhance democracy.
Zewail's article came after the U.S. halted its military aid to Egypt amid calls from the U.S. Congressmen since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi by the army in July 2013 to freeze aid to Egypt.
In the article, Zewail further defended his view saying that the U.S. needs Egypt's partnership to preserve the peace treaty with Israel and fight terrorism in the region.
Zewail received more than 100 awards including the Albert Einstein World Award, Benjamin Franklin Medal, Leonardo da Vinci Award, Robert A. Welch Award, Wolf Prize, King Faisal Prize, Othmer Gold Medal, and the Priestley Gold Medal.
Many international prizes have been established in his name in Amsterdam, Cairo, Detroit, Trieste and Washington (DC).
In 2009, U.S. President Barack Obama appointed Dr. Zewail to the Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, and in the same year he was named the first U.S. Science Envoy to the Middle East. (Could be deleted)
Over the years, he has mentored more than 400 members of his research school, and published more than 600 articles and treatises.
Being the first Arab scientist to win a Nobel Prize, Zewail worked before his death as director of the Physical Biology Center for Ultrafast Science and Technology at California Institute of Technology in the United States.