Muslim Heritage Shines at Qatar through Ancient Wisdom Exhibition

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FSTC and Muslim Heritage Consulting (MHC) took part in the high profile opening of the Qatar Science and Technology Park on March 16th 2009. The opening night celebrations were attended by His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani and Her Highness Sheikha Mozah accompanied by over 1,400 VIP's from all around the world. The participation took two forms: an exhibition and a live performance entitled "Ancient Wisdom" designed to highlight the legacy of scientific achievement in Muslim Civilisation.

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The Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation (FSTC), parent company of 1001inventions Ltd., and Muslim Heritage Consulting (MHC) took part in the high profile opening of the Qatar Science and Technology Park on March 16th 2009. The opening night celebrations were attended by His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani and Her Highness Sheikha Mozah, accompanied by over 1,400 VIP's from all around the world including leading scientists, industrialists and entrepreneurs.

Figure 1: His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifah Al Thani the Emir of Qatar and Her Highness Skeikha Mozah speaking to Professor Salim Al-Hassani (right) and to Professor Mohammed El-Gomati, Deputy Chairman of FSTC (left), during their visit to the Ancient wisdom Exhibition.

Figure 2: Her Highness Sheikha Mozah and Professor Salim Al-Hassani, Chairman of FSTC, enjoying the students performance.

The participation took two forms: an exhibition and a series of live performances entitled "Ancient Wisdom", designed to highlight the legacy of scientific achievements in Muslim Civilisation.

Under the theme of 'Ancient Wisdom' and using recreations of ancient exhibits, students from the Qatari colleges role played famous Islamic scholars of science and medicine from over 1,000 years ago. There was extensive press coverage of the event throughout the region and in particular of the students' performance.

Figure 3: His Highness Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifah Al Thani. The Amir of Qatar enjoys the students performing their role in 'Ancient Wisdom' Exhibition.

Figure 4: Sir Richard Branson, Chairman of Virgin, holding the 1001 Inventions book and speaking with Professor Salim Al-Hassani Chairman of FSTC (right) and Dr Salim Ayduz, Senior FSTC Researcher.

The aim of the science and technology exhibition 'Ancient Wisdom' developed by 1001 Inventions Ltd. is to celebrate the legacy and scientific heritage of the Muslim World. An example of this thousand years of heritage is Al-Zahrawi, credited for designing many surgical instruments still used today and for pioneering the use of Cat Gut to make thread for internal stitching during surgery and still used in operations today. Ancient inventors like him helped lay down the foundations for modern science and technology.

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Figure 5: Some of the actors played the roles of Muslim scientists at the 'Ancient Wisdom' Exhibition.

The genius of Muslim Civilisation 1,000 years ago belies the Western description of this era as the "Dark Ages". Instead it was a vibrant, sophisticated time, where ancestors created maps of the stars, flying machines, algebra, water raising machines and everyday items like soap and shampoo.

In the 'Ancient Wisdom' exhibition presented at the launch ceremony, Qatari students brought life to this legacy of scientific invention by playing the roles of some of the most important inventors through the magic of theatre and story telling. Their performance invited us back into the past to meet people like Al-Jazari with his Elephant Clock, or Ibn Al-Haytham with his Camera Obscura.

Also at the launch of the Qatar Science and Technology Park there was a supporting exhibit from the highly successful 1001Inventions Exhibition that toured the UK for the last 3 years, showcasing the many contributions of Muslim Civilisation in the world around us. This part of the exhibition provides a historical context for the performances created by the Qatari students.

Figure 6: Some of the VIPs at the launch: Sir Chris Evans talking to Sir Richard Branson, holding the 1001 Inventions book.

Further resources

In the media

Article in al-Raya
Article in al-Sharq (starts from PDF page18 (News P21)
Album of pictures on picasaweb.

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