Professor Salim Al-Hassani, President of the Foundation for Science, Technology (FSTC) attended the First Arab Innovation Network Annual Conference 2012 (AINAC 2012) in early December 2012 in Abu Dhabi, UAE.
Organised by Cambridge University's Arab Innovation Network Society between Tuesday, 4 December 2012 and Thursday, 6 December 2012, Keynote speakers (among many other workshop speakers) included Professor Salim T.S. Al- Hassani, Mr. Riad Kamal, Founder and Executive Chairman of Arabtec Construction and CEO of Arabtec Holding and Mr Badr Jafar, Managing director of Crescent Group and President of Crescent Petroleum. The designated research categories discussed in the conference include: Entrepreneurship, Information and Communication Technology [ICT], Environment and Health.
The opening ceremony with the UAE National Anthem. At the centre, HH Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al-Nahyan, the UAE minister of Higher Education and Scientific Reserch, on his right are Dr Riad Kamal and Prof. Salim Al-Hassani.
AINAC is the first Arab Innovation Network Annual Conference (AINAC), a three-day conference which comprised of competition, exhibition, and symposium. AINAC's objectives are:
Direct academic research towards high priority issues in the Arab world
Bridge the gap between academia and industry
Create a network of active innovative researchers
The meeting was organised by Cambridge University's Arab Innovation Network Society, a group of Arab researchers from the University of Cambridge (UK) working on an innovation focused initiative launched through this conference in Abu-Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (4-6 December 2012) to promote an active Arab Innovation Network [AIN]. AIN is a student initiative dedicated to inspire and motivate innovation on a multi-disciplinary level, by creating a platform for young inventors and entrepreneurs to showcase their projects as well as interact and learn from industry and academic partners.
View of one of the parallel sessions of AINAC, where some of the participants presented their inventions at the Rotana Hotel, Yas Iseland, Abu Dhabi.
In his talk entitled "1001 Inventions: A New Inspiration for Scientific Research, Innovation and Inter-Cultural Respect" presented in Arabic, Professor Al-Hassani gave numerous slides showing machines and devices reconstructed from orginal manuscripts and produced in 3D animations. This had demonstrated the originality and genious of the scientists and engineers within Muslim culture. He showed how numerous men and women of various faths and cultures worked together in enriching the lives of the societies in which they lived.
He observed that much of the funding spent on scientific research is usually to provide social and economic security and to reach a high and respected ranked position among developing countries. The most important factor in realising this objective, in economic terms, are human resources. However, each society has specific socio-genetic characteristics, some of which are inherited and others are acquired. Therefore, for any strategy to prevail in this domain, it must resonate with these characteristics.
Prof. Salim Al-Hassani shaking hands with HH Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al-Nahyan, the UAE minster of Higher Education and Scientific Research.
Wondering what are the motives that drive the youth and other components of society and push them to engage in science research, and what are the positive factors for the dissemination of science in society, he proposed as a model the successful experience of FSTC flagship project "1001 Inventions"; the world touring exhibition with its accompanying book, films, website and educational resources.
Professor Al-Hassani also presented proposals and recommendations for a global strategy towards knowledge society in the Arab world. This strategy will be centred around developing a cultural movement among the youth to celebrate scientists and inventors, men and women, from Muslim civilisation, and reviving of the institution of waqf(endowments) and all initiatives of charity to sponsor scientific research and technology and to encouraging education and training. Part of this strategy will be to revive the memory of present Arab societies of the cultural roots of science. Also to enrich the curriculum by introducing educational resources disclosing the influential of past contributions to the present civilisation. A special dedicated support should be given to universities, in graduate and under-graduate levels and in educating the public at large.
HE Sheikh Mussallam Al-Qubaisi (Founder of Al-Hosn University), flanked by Dr Riad Kamal and Prof. Salim Al-Hassani
On Wednesday 28th November 2012, Al-Furqan Islamic Heritage Foundation in London organised a public lecture on The Critical Edition of Manuscripts: Past, Present and Future, delivered by Professor Qasim Al-Samarrai. The lecture presented an insightful view on the history of the critical edition of manuscripts, the required qualifications for an editor, the history of editing Arabic works by orientalists, and the history of printing. The lecture was followed by a very interesting discussion on the topic. At the end of the event, the new website of Al-Furqan Foundation was launched. The website provides visitors with access to the work of Al-Furqan and its centres.
In 2012, FSTC members contributed to several activities by publishing articles and giving lectures all around the world. Professor Rabie E Abdel-Halim, member of Muslim Heritage Awareness Group (MHAG) and of FSTC Research Team, attended several conferences in which he represented the Foundation in UK and abroad. On 12 May 2012, he gave a lecture at Wellcome Institute in London on "Medicine and Health in Medieval Arabic Poetry." One month later, on 13 June 2012, he presented a lecture at the conference on intellectual life in early Muslim world at the Manchester Metropolitan University in Manchester. A third participation of Professor Abdel-Halim was the lecture he presented in October 2012 at Mus Alp Arslan University in Turkey on the Use of Arabic Poetry in the Teaching of Medical Humanities at Medical Colleges. We present hereafter abstracts of these activities with selected slides.