Abstract - The Global State of Muslim Heritage Research: Strategic Aspects
Prof. Mohammed Abattouy
The debt owed to Muslim Civilisation is mainly confined to specialised academic circles, whilst its dissemination in the media, in education, and in popular culture, is far from being comparable to the great scholarly work achieved by successive generations of scholars since the late 19th century.
The Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation (FSTC) was created mainly as an attempt to remedy this paradox and to fill this gap. Aiming at raising awareness of 1000 years of Muslim heritage and to generate understanding and appreciation of Muslim contributions towards the development of contemporary science and technology, the Foundation's global mission knew two phases. The first was naturally a phase of creation and consolidation. In 2001, the launch of the website www.MuslimHeritage.com was an outstanding idea, consisting in the publication of free articles about all aspects of science, technology, medicine and culture produced in the classical Islamic age, and presenting to the general public the results of professional historians and experts. In 2006, the global initiative "1001 Inventions" was launched in Manchester as a touring exhibition and a book. The subtitle of the book was clearly inspired by the project conceived by its chief editor, Professor Salim Al-Hassani, and his colleagues at FSTC: to examine Muslim heritage in our world and to bring Muslim heritage to life again. This is the reason why the book was composed as a summa presenting a global view in seven zones of life, namely home, school, hospital, market, town, world and universe, and linking inventions used in today's world to their origin.
The second phase began with the new exhibition "1001 Inventions" displayed at the Science Museum in London since January 2010. This newly designed exhibition shows the efforts taken by the Foundation to innovate and renovate itself within the general guidelines of its global mission. Other projects translate this creative tendency, of which the implementation is currently ongoing. In this framework, a special focus is laid on reinforcing awareness of Muslim heritage on the electronic scene. Besides the complete renovation of the website www.1001inventions.com, strengthening the presence of social media, and the creation of the Newsletter, which is diffused regularly worldwide, the Foundation intends to expand and renovate its central academic web portal www.MuslimHeritage.com, with a new structure, assuring more interactivity, a new design, additional facilities and services, and above all, new tools, designed to be at the disposal of readers from all over the world. Amongst those tools, MASDAR is a huge bibliography database about every aspect of Muslim heritage and reflects the large array of publications in various languages in the field of Islamic studies.
Those projects and ideas, requiring new energy, wide collaboration and substantial funding, will be presented briefly in this lecture, with graphical illustrations.
by: Prof. Mohammed Abattouy, Sat 19 June, 2010