First Published: 2012-08-03

 

1001 Inventions comes to Washington

 

National Geographic Museum celebrates scientific achievements of Golden Age of Muslim civilization.

 

Middle East Online

Americans will have a closer look at Muslim civilization

WASHINGTON - The award-winning interactive exhibition, 1001 Inventions, arrives in the US capital on the 3rdof August 2012, introducing brand new audiences to the Golden Age of Muslim Civilization. The ground-breaking scientific and cultural achievements of this era, from the 7th to the 17th centuries, will be introduced to visitors to the National Geographic Museum for six months, starting this summer.

“1001 Inventions: Discover the Golden Age of Muslim Civilization” is a blockbuster traveling exhibition that highlights the enormous contribution to science and technology made by men and women of many different faiths in Muslim Civilization. The exhibition opens 3rd Aug. 2012 and runs through 3rd Feb. 2013.

“Muslim civilization stretched from southern Spain as far as China,” explains Ahmed Salim, Producer and Director of 1001 Inventions. “For a thousand years, scholars of many faiths built on the ancient knowledge of the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, making breakthroughs that helped pave the way for the Renaissance. The discoveries made by men and women in Muslim civilization — from automatic machines and medical marvels to astronomical observations and inspiring architecture — have left their mark on the way we live today.”

1001 Inventions is a global educational initiative that promotes awareness of scientific and cultural achievements from the ‘Golden Age’ of Muslim Civilisation and how those contributions helped build the foundations of our modern world. The 1001 Inventions exhibition was named the Best Touring Exhibition of the Year at the Museums and Heritage Excellence Awards in 2011. This highly interactive exhibition showcases the historic advancements in navigation, medicine, hydraulics, optics, mathematics and more.

1001 Inventions has drawn millions of visitors at blockbuster residencies in London, Istanbul, New York and Abu Dhabi. A further 500,000 people saw the exhibition at the California Science Center in Los Angeles, where it closed in late April.

Centerpiece of the exhibition is a model of celebrated Ottoman engineer Al-Jazari’s sophisticated ELEPHANT CLOCK, created more than 800 years ago. The clock was a masterpiece celebrating the diversity of humankind and incorporating features from Indian, Egyptian, Greek, Chinese and Arabian cultures. The clock cleverly reflected cultural and technological influences from across Muslim Civilisation, from Spain to China.

"The mission of National Geographic is to spread knowledge of the world and its cultures — past and present," said Kathryn Keane, Vice President of Exhibitions at the National Geographic Society. "This exhibition is an opportunity to share the fascinating history of Muslim civilization with our audiences and to celebrate great scientific achievement and innovation."

The exhibition also features energy-efficient houses constructed more than 1,500 years ago. The houses incorporated natural cooling elements in their design, such as double-glazed windows, thick external walls and air-scoops for natural cross ventilation. Illustrations of the various houses are highlighted throughout the exhibition to show how our current energy-efficient houses use this same technology today.

The work of influential scientists, such as physicist Ibn al-Haytham, is featured in the exhibition. Al-Haytham’s ideas about optics overturned the ancient theory that our eyes send out invisible rays in order to see. He proved his theory of light rays being reflected from visible objects to build the first camera obscura. The exhibition includes camera obscura examples and other advancements in optics, showing how early people came to understand the complex concepts behind vision.

In addition to these larger-scale inventions, 1001 Inventions features many everyday objects that many do not know were invented by the men and women of the medieval Muslim Civilization. Items such as perfume, fabrics, chess games and more are featured to show visitors the importance of past inventions on our daily lives today.

In conjunction with the museum exhibition, the National Geographic Museum will host the 1001 Inventions Family Festival on 8thSept. 2012 from 10am to 4pm. This outdoor festival will include performances, music and dance workshops, hands-on art activities, tastings, demonstrations and a craft bazaar. In addition, admission to the museum will be free all day. The festival is supported by a grant from the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.

 

World leaders condemn Britain terror attack

UN-backed Syria talks restart in Geneva

10 Egyptian soldiers killed in Sinai roadside bombings

Erdogan warns Europeans risk being ‘unsafe’ on world’s streets

Saudi film festival launch postponed after sandstorm

Britain arrests eight as IS claims Westminster attack

Man attempts to drive into crowd of shoppers in Belgium’s Antwerp

Palestinian FA chief says ball in Israel's court

Israel arrests Jewish teen over anti-Semitic terror threats

An Egypt court is to reopen a corruption probe into Mubarak

Bahrain frees award-winning AFP photographer

Erdogan slams 'pressure' on Turks in Bulgaria ahead of vote

Israel policeman suspended after caught on video beating Palestinian

Turkey summons Russia envoy over soldier death in Syria

Bahrain sentences three to death for police bombings

EU summons Turkey envoy over 'safety' remarks

400,000 'trapped' in west Mosul's Old City

Qaeda, IS developing harder-to-detect bombs say experts

Terrorist attack at London’s Houses of Parliament

2016 saw sharp rise in illegal Israeli settlement projects

US-led coalition vows lasting victory against IS

Bahrain arrests photographer on unspecified charges

Humanitarian groups demand access to Yemen civilians suffering 'open-air massacre'

33 killed in US-led air strike on north Syria

Rights group says Libyan military committed war crimes

Israel seals East Jerusalem home of Palestinian attacker's family

Migrants in Europe at risk of drug-resistant tuberculosis

Iraqis urged to avoid hurried mass grave exhumations

Turkey steps up objection to US flight laptop ban

Britain joins US in banning laptops on flights from Turkey, Arab world

Anti-IS coalition gathers in Washington to hear Trump plan

Turkey links Gulen to murder of Armenian journalist

Kuwait bans hit movie ‘Beauty and the Beast’

Five dead in Mogadishu bombing

Khamenei fleshes out 'Made in Iran' vision

Turkey to ask US to reverse flight laptop ban

Israeli army says Hezbollah commander killed by own men

Kurds celebrate Newroz in Turkey's southeast despite shooting

Turkey’s AKP says no more campaign rallies in Germany

Chinese president calls for peace in meeting with Netanyahu

Iraq forces gain ground in Mosul

US bans electronic devices from cabins on Middle East flights

Erdogan says yes vote best response to 'fascist Europe'

Arab Israeli woman gets 50 months prison for joining IS

All Syria sides confirm attendance at Geneva talks