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.

 

Obama's warfare doctrine to be tested in Syria

Top Saudi envoys hold talks with Qatar emir

UN moves to impose sanctions on Libya militias

Egypt quizzes Morsi for 'giving security papers to Qatar'

Lebanon seeks to tackle child marriage with new legislation

Fire rises up again from under ashes on Lebanon border

Vital aid arrives in war-battered Gaza

Hollande: Assad cannot be partner in fight against terrorists

Mother of US hostage to leader of Islamic State: Please spare my son

Turkey ruling party officially approves Davutoglu as new PM

US spy agencies face difficult task in Syria

Saudi Arabia jails 18 militants on terror charges

Gazans breathe sigh of relief

Litany of horrors becomes regular fixture in jihadist-held Syria

Iraq forces mass for onslaught on jihadist siege of Amerli

Doha offers help to rebuild Gaza

Iran alters Arak heavy water reactor over Western worries

New Turkey PM leaves successor troubled legacy

US rules out coordination with Syria on targeting jihadists

Algeria president sacks Belkhadem

Calm reigns over Gaza amid celebrations

Palestinians ‘reach’ long-term Gaza truce with Israel

Barzani: Iran provided us with weapons

US to track jihadists in Syria with spy planes

Top Iran official in Saudi to repair strained ties

Drums of war are beating anew on Capitol Hill

Israel air raid in Gaza kills two Palestinians

Deadly bus tragedy in Egypt

Car bomb rips through Baghdad intersection

Shebab flee Somalia strategic town in latest advance of African troops

South Sudan warring leaders sign fresh ceasefire deal

Who’s funding extremists? Qatar struggles to clean up tarnished image

Abadi calls on militias to come under Iraq state control

Nile dam row at heart of talks in Sudan

Ansar Sharia calls for jihadist unity in Libya

No let-up in Gaza war as Egypt raises new truce proposal

Thousands march in support of Yemen President’s call for national unity

Syria reaches out to former foes in fight against ‘terrorism’

Libya parliament names new army chief

Egypt warns only disarmament could spare Libya from intervention

Egypt offers new Gaza ceasefire

Iran to Israel: we will arm Palestinians

American held hostage for 22 months in Syria freed

Iraq calls for global support in fighting jihadists

Iran bolsters arsenal with new drones and missiles