Contributions to Science, Technology and Civilisation: A lecture for U3A

On Wednesday 25 April 2018, The University of the Third Age (U3A) , hosted an event at Leamington Spa Town Hall to explore Islam through a day of interactive talks, performing arts and an exhibition.
 
The event featured Dr. Abdullah Sahin, Reader in Islamic Education, University of Warwick, Sairah Yassir-Deane, Project Officer at the Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation UK and the Khayaal Theatre Company.
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Welcome and registration
Image: Khaleel Shaikh
 © All Rights Reserved
Khaleel Shaikh and Sairah Yassir-Deane
Image: Sam © All Rights Reserved

On Wednesday 25 April 2018, The University of the Third Age (U3A)[1], hosted an event at Leamington Spa Town Hall to explore Islam through a day of interactive talks, performing arts and an exhibition[2].

The event featured Dr. Abdullah Sahin, Reader in Islamic Education, University of Warwick, Sairah Yassir-Deane, Project Officer at the Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation UK and the Khayaal Theatre Company.

Dr Abdullah Sahin delivering his talk
Image: Sam © All Rights Reserved
 
Chris Forse, U3A Chair, opens up the event
Image: Sam © All Rights Reserved 
Dr Abdullah Sahin delivering his talk
Image: Sam © All Rights Reserved
 

Dr. Abdullah Sahin gave a talk on Islam, its theology and some diverse contemporary issues around the topic. Sairah Yassir-Deane discussed contributions to science, technology and civilisation during Muslim heritage. The session opened up with highlighting the current ellipsis in the history of science and civilisation, the audience was welcomed to share their thoughts on why exploring the historical roots of science and technology is important along with how sharing this knowledge can create a more equitable world.

Sairah Yassir-Deane delivering a presentation on the contributions to science, technology and civilisation during Muslim heritage
Image: Khaleel Shaikh © All Rights Reserved

 

This followed Sairah exploring some of the negative stereotypes that have been perpetuated throughout the history of Muslim Civilisation as a result of the dissemination of single story narratives. Sairah subsequently shared various figures from Muslim Civilisation who help counter single story narratives. The figures she mentioned includes Ibn al-Haytham who discovered the correct model of vision, Fatima al-Fihriyya who is said to have been the founder of one of the first universities in the world, Al-Jazari, a polymath who made noteworthy mechanical engineering contributions, Sutayta al-Mahmali, a mathematician and Al-Ijiliya, an astrolabe maker. The session closed with drawing audience member’s opinions on why this session and work that FSTC UK wishes to publicise is imperative along with a brief Question and Answer session.

  

Audience members listening to the talk and enjoying Khayaal Theatre's performance
Images: Khaleel Shaikh © All Rights Reserved

The aforementioned scholars and interactive presentation was well received and the audience left positive feedback including:

“[The presentation] broadened my knowledge & inspired me to further research. Positive & inspirational.”

“[…] Interesting to hear of so many scientists I hadn’t heard of,” “very enlightening [presentation] re: scientific achievement! Mathematics, the first university etc. etc. Mutual understanding must contribute to world peace.”

“We need to be reminded that discovery and scholarship exist in all cultures.”

The event closed with a performance from the Khayaal Theatre Company eloquently portraying stories from Rumi’s Maṭnawīye Ma'nawī and was well received by the audience.


[1] UK-wide movement which brings together people in their ‘third age’ to develop their interests and continue their learning in a friendly and informal environment

[2] U3A. "About Us." U3A. Accessed May 10, 2018. https://www.u3a.org.uk/about

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