September 2011 | Issue 8

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Arabick Roots Exhibition Opens

Her Highness Sheikha Mozah of Qatar and British Culture Minister, Ed Vaizey, were guests of honour at the launch of an eye-opening new exhibition at The Royal Society in London on 9th June. Arabick Roots Exhibition Curator Dr Rim Turkmani said: "This exhibition uncovers the never-before told story of the connections between the early Royal Society and contemporary and classical Arabic learning, and how they were used to solve some of the most pressing problems of the day.” The exhibition is open until 11th November 2011.
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New Articles on

A report on Professor Ihsanoglu's Lecture on Science in the Muslim World presented at the American University in Sharjah, UAE; A review of Dr Nayef Al-Rodhan’s book Sustainable History and the Dignity of Man which outlines how sustainable history is propelled by good governance; Arun Bala’s article on whether Medieval Islamic Thought Subverted Science focussing on the role of Al-Ghazali in particular; Dennis Francis Almeida and George Gheverghese Joseph’s article on the discovery of mathematical concepts at the Kerala school during the 14th – 16th centuries  and their possible transmission into Europe; And finally an article by Dr Rim Turkmani exploring the theme of the Arabick Roots exhibition in which she shows that fellows of the Royal Society and scholars at Oxford and Cambridge were openly borrowing texts, ideas and observations from the Middle East throughout the 17th century.

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The Isfizari Project

Abū Hātim al-Muzaffar ibn Ismā’ īl al-Isfizārī flourished in Khurasan in the early 12th century. He was contemporary to Umar al-Khayyām and to Abd al-Rahmān al-Khāzinī. Mathematician, astronomer and author of a text in meteorology and several works in mechanics, he was also member of the team of scholars who worked in the Malikhshah observatory in Isphahan. His work was an important link between the first foundational part of Arabic mechanics, based on Kitāb fī 'l-qarastūn by Thābit ibn Qurra, and the contributions of later scholars such as Al-Khayyām and Al-Khāzinī in the later 11th century.

Sponsored by the Al-Furqan Islamic Heritage Foundation, Professors Salim Al-Hassani and Mohammed Abattouy are reconstructing and analysing the corpus of mechanics of Al-Isfizari from the original manuscripts to identify his original contribution to practical and theoretical mechanics in the context of Arabic mechanics. Including drawings and images of machines as they appear in the original manuscripts, this 2 year long research project and commentary will appear in a book later this year.

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Cheltenham Science Festival

Prof. Jim Al-Khalili and Dr. Andrea Sella introduced 1001 Inventions to a sold-out crowd in a unique event on 12th June at the Times Cheltenham Science Festival bridging the historic overview with real time demonstrations of the science behind the multi award-winning film ‘The Library of Secrets’ -both physics and chemistry.
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Hillary Clinton Launches 1001 Inventions California

US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, officially opened the 1001 Inventions exhibition at the California Science Center in Los Angeles on 25th May. Speaking via video, Secretary Clinton praised the work of the 1001 Inventions initiative for “celebrating a millennium of science and innovation in the Muslim world,” and described the launch of the exhibition as “an exciting day.”

During her speech, Mrs. Clinton remarked that “the Muslim world has a proud history of innovators” and highlighted the achievements of people like Fatima Al-Fihri who founded the world’s first university, and master engineer Al-Jazari who created the crank mechanism, ancestor to the engines that drive every plane, train and automobile on the planet.
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Winner of Best Touring Exhibition

The 1001 Inventions exhibition was crowned Best Touring Exhibition of the year at the annual Museums and Heritage Excellence Awards on 11th May. Other big winners at the awards were the Historic Royal Palaces in the UK, the National Trust for Scotland and the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester.

Hundreds of professionals from the Museums and Exhibitions industry were there to witness the 1001 Inventions exhibition’s greatest triumph to date.
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Creative Writing Competition

Our creative writing competition is a rare and exciting opportunity to win global recognition for your creative writing talents. Simply write a story up to 5000 words long based on one of 11 characters from the Golden Age of Muslim Civilisation.

The competition is split into two categories by age: Junior (13-18) and Adult (19 and over). The winner from each category will receive a £1000 cash prize and the best five entries we receive will be published in an anthology. Find out how to enter.
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Sacred Spaces Project

An innovative new project is underway bringing together four faith settings and four diverse artists in a project entitled “Sacred Spaces”.  In collaboration with Creativity Culture and Education (CCE), CE4CE is heading up the production, testing and evaluation of a new creative module that is intended to be rolled our across Hindu, Muslim, Jewish and Christian faith schools. The project team, the artists, and the faith setting volunteers will develop a series of sessions exploring the concept of “sacred spaces”. It is intended that this theme will provide those involved with the opportunity to explore their own heritage in terms of sacred spaces, to investigate the heritage of other faiths, and to examine the concept for themselves in order to develop their own creative response.

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