'1001 Inventions' Exhibition in New York

The exhibition 1001 Inventions opened in early December 2010 in New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) and has already attracted several thousand visitors on its US debut. The exhibition's US premiere was highly anticipated after it enjoyed blockbuster runs in both London and Istanbul. The 1001 Inventions exhibition, which highlights the scientific legacy of Muslim civilization in our modern age, made its United States debut at the NYSCI at a special event attended by local media, academics and philanthropists, including Mohammed Jameel, patron of Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives (ALJCI).

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Table of contents

1. 1001 Inventions at the New York Hall of Science
2. Thousands visit 1001 Inventions for opening week in New York
3. 1001 Inventions Enthrals at New York Gala
4. A Mission of Clarification Based on Learning and Scholarship
5. About 1001 Inventions
6. About New York Hall of Science
7. About ALJ Community Initiatives
8. Gala Event & Handover from Istanbul to New York

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1. 1001 Inventions at the New York Hall of Science

The 1001 Inventions exhibition continues its global tour and takes its US bow at the prestigious New York Hall of Science in Queens till April 2011. Launching in early December, 2010 and showcasing for five months, we expect to see over half a million visitors from all over New York descending on this eye-opening spectacle.

Hot on the heels of the record-breaking residency at the London Science Museum and Istanbul's Sultanahmet Square, New York is the first US city 1001 Inventions will be exhibiting at. The exhibition will remain in the US for at least 3 years taking in many states and prestigious venues across the continent.

The New York Hall of Science is ideal as the first venue to host the 1001 Inventions exhibition and was chosen due to its status as New York City's only hands-on science and technology centre. Since 1986, NYSCI has served more than five million children, parents and teachers. NYSCI's mission is to convey the excitement and understanding of science and technology to children, families, teachers and others by galvanizing their curiosity and offering them creative, participatory ways to learn.

New York Hall of Science: Hours - Admissions - Directions & Parking - Contact

2. Thousands visit 1001 Inventions for opening week in New York

7 December 2010, New York — The record-breaking 1001 Inventions exhibition has landed in North America at the world renowned New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) and has already attracted several thousand visitors on its US debut. The exhibition's US premiere was highly anticipated after it enjoyed blockbuster runs in both London and Istanbul, attracting 400,000 people in each city and thousands have already visited the attraction.1001 Inventions exhibition, which highlights the scientific legacy of Muslim civilization in our modern age, made its United States debut at the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) on the 4th of December 2010 at a special event attended by local media, academics and philanthropists, including Mohammed Jameel, patron of Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives (ALJCI).

1001 Inventions reveals the forgotten history of men and women of many different faiths and backgrounds whose contributions to the advancement of scholarship and technology during the Middle Ages helped pave the way for the European Renaissance. This period of history from the 7th through 17th centuries is commonly–though, often erroneously—referred to as the "Dark Ages."

At the launch event, Dr. Margaret Honey, President and CEO of NYSCI, said: "Science is a universal language that has a unique power to pull people together. This exhibition reveals fascinating bits of history and a shared scientific inheritance. 1001 Inventions is about scholarship, inspiration and discovery among men and women from many cultures, making NYSCI an ideal venue for the U.S. debut — a hands-on science and technology centre in the most diverse city in the country." Dr. Honey also thanked the 1001 Inventions project and its sponsor ALJCI for opening the exhibition's US tour at NYSCI.

Professor Salim Al-Hassani, Chairman of 1001 Inventions, said, "The New York Hall of Science is the first U.S. venue to host this global exhibition. We're privileged to be working with such an accomplished and respected educational institution. The 1001 Inventions exhibition has had phenomenal success in London and Istanbul, with audiences of more than 400,000 people visiting the exhibition in each city. The number of visitors for the New York residency is already in the thousands and we're aiming to reach hundreds of thousands more during the US leg of our world tour."

The 1001 Inventions exhibition at NYSCI runs from the 4th of December 2010 to the 24th of April 2011. Admission to 1001 Inventions is free with regular NYSCI admission ($11 adults, $8 children and seniors).

3. 1001 Inventions Enthrals at New York Gala

Manhattan VIPs enchanted as stories of Muslim Heritage brought to life

16th November 2010, New York: More than 600 VIP guests were in attendance at a Park Avenue gala event in Manhattan as New York City was given its first taste of the 1001 Inventions initiative. The event began with a group of twenty explainers from the renowned New York Hall of Science performing in character as pioneering figures from the history of Muslim civilisation, and ended with 1001 Inventions Chairman Prof. Salim TS Al-Hassani being presented with the inaugural NYSci award for Global Science.

From left to right: Prof. Salim Al-Hassani, William C. Rudin, Jack Hughes, Linda S. Sanford and Dr. Margaret Honey

The 1001 Inventions exhibition is currently on a five-year global tour and, following blockbuster runs in London and Istanbul, it will enjoy its North American Premiere at the prestigious New York Hall of Science (NYSci) on the 4th of December 2010.

At NYSci's annual gala event, a specially invited audience of VIPs were introduced to the forgotten history of men and women from a variety of faiths and backgrounds whose contributions to the advancement of scholarship and technology during the Middle Ages helped pave the way for the European Renaissance. More than twenty NYSci explainers donned medieval costume and performed short theatrical pieces about underappreciated scholars, scientists and engineers like Al-Jazari, Maimonides, Fatima Al-Fihri, Qusta ibn Luqa and Abbas ibn Firnas. The specatular and engaging performance was directed and produced by Richard Scanlon, a renowned acting coach and stage teacher from New York.

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of three awards by NYSci recognising exceptional leadership in science, technology, innovation and education, as well as a special award presented to the Chairman of 1001 Inventions, who became the first-ever recipient of the NYSci Global Science Award. Professor Salim Al-Hassani is founder and chairman of both 1001 Inventions and its parent organisation the Foundation of Science, Technology and Civilisation (FSTC).

Presenting the award, Dr. Margaret Honey, President and CEO of the New York Hall of Science commended Prof. Al-Hassani for his "world-renowned excellence in engineering and technology and visionary leadership in showcasing science as the universal language."

The 1001 Inventions exhibition's international tour is globally sponsored by ALJ Community Initiatives (ALJCI which is the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of the ALJ Group - a Toyota automobiles distributor operating in 13 different countries. ALJCI plans and operates numerous global programs, such as poverty-alleviation initiatives, artistic and educational projects and technology innovation grants, including a long history of scholarships for students at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The assembled VIP audience was also introduced to a 20 ft high replica of the ‘Elephant Clock', Master Engineer Al-Jazari's 12th century masterpiece representing the journey of science through time and across civilisations.

Other winners at the event were Jack Hughes, Founder and Chairman of TopCoder Inc, William C. Rudin, CEO of Rudin Management Company Inc, and Linda S. Sanford, Senior Vice President of IBM.

Press Release

4. A Mission of Clarification Based on Learning and Scholarship

1001 Inventions at the New York Hall of Science Uncovers a Thousand Years of Science and Technology Developed Throughout Muslim Civilization.

Five-Year Global Tour Makes U.S. Debut Following Record Breaking Runs in London and Istanbul.

17 November 2010, New York — After blockbuster runs in London and Istanbul, 1001 Inventions, an exhibition highlighting the scientific legacy of Muslim civilization in our modern age, will make its United States premiere at the New York Hall of Science (NYSCI) on December 4, 2010.

The exhibition reveals the forgotten history of men and women from a variety of faiths and backgrounds whose contributions to the advancement of scholarship and technology during the Middle Ages helped pave the way for the European Renaissance. This period of history from the 7th through 17th centuries is commonly–though, often erroneously—referred to as the "Dark Ages."

The centerpiece of the exhibition is a 20-foot replica of Al-Jazari's "elephant clock," which dates to the 13th century. Other signature elements include a model of a ninth century flying machine and a scale model of a Chinese junk ship built in the 15th century. Divided into seven zones, 1001 Inventions includes more than 60 interactive exhibits that delve into discoveries that shaped the home, school, market, hospital, town, world and universe. Visitors will learn when scientists first discovered how we see, how ancient approaches to health influence modern medicine, why East and West share so much architectural heritage, and the origins of everyday items like coffee, toothbrushes, soap, and much more.

"Science is a universal language that has a unique power to pull people together. This exhibition reveals fascinating bits of history and a shared scientific inheritance," said Dr. Margaret Honey, President and CEO of NYSCI. "1001 Inventions is about scholarship, inspiration and discovery among men and women from many cultures, making NYSCI an ideal venue for the U.S. debut—a hands-on science and technology center in the most diverse city in the country."

Professor Salim Al-Hassani, Chairman of 1001 Inventions, said, "The New York Hall of Science is the first U.S. venue to host this global exhibition. We're privileged to be working with such an accomplished and respected educational institution. The 1001 Inventions exhibition has had phenomenal success in London and Istanbul, with audiences of more than 400,000 people visiting the exhibition in each city. We look forward with great anticipation to the U.S. segment of our global tour."

During the Middle Ages, Muslim civilization stretched from southern Spain, across the Middle East, as far as China. 1001 Inventions highlights how science has always been a truly global endeavour, by introducing visitors to European, African, Jewish, Arab, Persian, Indian, Chinese and Turkish pioneers who furthered scientific and technological understanding of our world during this thousand-year time frame. Their work is a legacy that has influenced future generations, right up to today. Among them are:

  • Alhazen (Ibn Al-Haytham),  is credited with explaining the nature of light and vision, using what is now commonly referred to as a Camera Obscura during the early 11th century. He was the first to provide a scientific experimental explanation for the process of vision. He pioneered the Scientific Method used by scientists and academics today.
  • Maimonides (Musa ibn Maymun), the 12th century Jewish physician and philosopher from Cordoba, Spain, who was an acknowledged expert in the subjects of philosophy, medicine and logic.
  • Zheng He (Cheng Ho), the Chinese general of the 14th-15th centuries who built wooden ships bigger than football fields and voyaged to new worlds – including, some suggest, the Americas.
  • Al-Jazari, the Turkish Master Engineer whose late 11th and early 12th century inventions include the crank mechanisms used in every plane, train and automobile.
  • Piri Reis, the Turkish Admiral and cartographer, who created one of the oldest surviving maps of the Americas in the 16th century.
  • Abbas ibn Firnas, the first man to fly, who launched his flying machine over the Spanish city of Cordoba more than 1,000 years before the Wright brothers took to the sky.
  • Fatima Al-Fihri, the North African heiress who, in 859 CE, founded Al-Qarawiyin mosque which became the world's first university, still in operation today.
  • Al-Jahiz, the 8th century scholar from African origin, who first developed the theories of evolution and introduced the world to concepts like natural selection, the food chain and animal psychology a thousand years before Darwin was born.
  • Al-Khwarizmi, the 9th century mathematician who invented Algebra.

The academics behind the 1001 Inventions initiative include an international network of historians, scientists, engineers and social scientists from the United States, Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Prior to its launch in London earlier this year, the content of 1001 Inventions was rigorously reviewed by its host, the London Science Museum, whose Director described it as a "blockbuster." The exhibition received even greater success during its run in Istanbul, the European Capital of Culture for 2010, where it quickly became the most popular visitor attraction in Turkey. Following its run at NYSCI which ends in March 2011, 1001 Inventions will move to the California Science Center in Los Angeles and then to the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C. in 2012.

The 1001 Inventions exhibition's international tour is globally sponsored by ALJ Community Initiatives (ALJCI). Fady Jameel of ALJCI commented: "We have a long history of supporting educational and artistic endeavours in the US and Europe. Through our sponsorship of 1001 Inventions we aim to provide the role models that will inspire generations of young people, of many diverse backgrounds, to explore the possibility of becoming science and technology entrepreneurs."

Admission to 1001 Inventions is free with regular NYSCI admission ($11 adults, $8 children and seniors.) Purchase advance tickets and learn about special group tours at www.nysci.org.

5. About 1001 Inventions

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. This period, lasting approximately 1000 years from the 7th century onwards, coincides in part with what was once termed the ‘Dark Ages'.

The purpose of the 1001 Inventions initiative is to engage with the public through diverse educational media in order to highlight the shared cultural and technological inheritance of humanity. The 1001 Inventions global touring exhibition and the educational products that accompany the exhibition all highlight the scientific and technological achievements made by men and women, of different faiths and cultures, who lived in or were connected with broader Muslim civilisation.

Originally funded by the British government and launched in the United Kingdom in 2006, 1001 Inventions was created by the Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation (FSTC). FSTC is a British based non-profit, international network of the world's leading academics with expertise in the history of science and technology. Both 1001 Inventions and FSTC are non-religious, apolitical organizations and have received support from various arms of the British government, the Wellcome Trust, the British Science Association and ALJ Community Initiatives which is the global sponsor of the touring exhibition.

6. About New York Hall of Science

NYSCI is New York's center for hands-on fun and learning with more than 450 exhibits, science demonstrations, and programs for families, students and teachers. NYSCI conveys the excitement and understanding of science and technology by galvanizing curiosity and offering creative, participatory ways to learn.

Founded at the 1964-65 World's Fair, NYSCI has developed into a leading content provider and presenter of exhibitions and programs that demystify our world and encourage curiosity, creativity, critical thinking and discovery.

7. About ALJ Community Initiatives

ALJCI is the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of the ALJ Group, which is a Toyota Automobiles distributor in 13 different countries. ALJCI plans and operates numerous global programs, such as poverty-alleviation initiatives, artistic and educational projects and technology innovation grants, including a long history of scholarships for students at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

8. Gala Event & Handover from Istanbul to New York

A special invite only gala event was held on Friday 1st October 2010 to collectively celebrate the phenomenal success of the 1001 Inventions exhibition in Istanbul and to ceremonially handover the exhibition to New York. The gala was held in a specially constructed marquee to the rear of the exhibition with special guests Dr. Margaret Honey and Sara Lee Schupf flying in from New York to accept the symbolic gesture. Other invited guests included the Mayor of Istanbul Kadir Topbas and numerous dignitaries and personalities from the world of academia, science, TV and government.

Click here to read full press release...

To mark the handover of the exhibition from Istanbul to New York, Professor Salim Al-Hassani (Chairman of FSTC and 1001 Inventions) and Prof. Bekir Karliga, Advisor to the Turkish Prime Minister, officially handed over the model of Al-Jazari's 12th century Scribe Clock to Dr. Margaret Honey, President of New York's Hall of Science, the next venue on our global tour.

(Pictured from left) Prof. Bekir Karliga, Advisor to the Turkish Prime Minister, Dr. Margaret Honey, President of The New York Hall of Science, Professor Salim T S Al-Hassani (Chairman of FSTC and 1001 Inventions), completing the symbolic handover of the exhibition.

As special guest of honour at the hand-over ceremony, Sara Lee Schupf (member of the board of trustees of New York Hall of Science), was presented with a very symbolic gift, the dream ring of Istanbul. This unique specially made ring contains an image of the Asian and European sides of Istanbul with the Bosphorus Sea running through the middle. The ring symbolizes the coming together of cultures and was a fitting gift to Sara Lee Schupf, celebrating her work over the years with the New York Hall of Science and her commitment to science and culture.

(Pictured from left) receiving the ring, Sara Lee Schupf (member of the board of trustees of New York Hall of Science), Prof. Bekir Karliga, Advisor to the Turkish Prime Minister, Professor Salim T S Al-Hassani (Chairman of FSTC and 1001 Inventions).

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