Global blockbuster 1001 Inventions launch at the Library of Alexandria!
Baghdad schools are a challenging topic, involving several different facets of history. These include cartography to identify the location of each school, biographical studies to identify their teachers, preachers, jurists and administrators, along with their chronology. As such, schools were – and remain – inextricably linked to life’s numerous domains.1 Cultural continuity invites us to look further back into the scholarly traditions in the schools of Baghdad. Arabs and Muslims paid attention to knowledge from an early age, and during every stage of their lives. Knowledge, scholars and students were awarded unparalleled, unique status.2
In this paper, I would like to discuss the missing millennium of Medieval Arabic sources in the study of Egyptology. Much of the arguments that I present here are detailed in my book. These include: The demonstration that Medieval Arabs were interested in, had knowledge of and attempted to interpret the culture of Ancient Egypt: To show the relevance of these materials to the study of Ancient Egypt by bridging the gap between the works of the Classical writers and those of later Europeans: To encourage further study of the medieval Arabic material available, some of which could help archaeologists with descriptions and with the excavation and interpretation of sites, and perhaps even to reconstruct monuments which have long since disappeared. The word ‘Arabs’ has been employed here to indicate sources written in Arabic regardless of the ethnic or geographical origin.
Black History Month UK is an International annual month, celebrating, recognising and valuing the inspirational individuals and events from within the Black and Minority Ethnic communities. During Black History Month, we remember and celebrate the important people from the past and also who contribute to and help our society today[*]. This Black History Month, Muslim Heritage would like to draw your attention to some articles concerned with the African input in Muslim Civilisation in the fields of science, technology and civilisation. Some of these contributions include mathematics, philosophy, translation works, architecture, governance along with the founding and/or support given towards formidable centres of learning.
This year has been chosen as "International Year of Light (IYL2015)" by UNESCO, what a perfect time to remember these words: “If the first light of the new year doesn’t shine upon my mentor, then that light has no value for me” said the Turkish astronomer and Sufi philosopher, İbrahim Hakkı Erzurumi. He built a three-part mechanism that created an astronomical trick as a play of light. The "Light Refraction Mechanism" is a tribute to his teacher and mentor Ismail Fakirullah back in 18th Century. "On 23 September, on the equinox, the first beams of light captured from the sun rising behind the hill penetrate the window on the wall and reach the prism on the top of the tower as a block, which the prism then refracts and shines of the grave of Ibrahim Hakkı’s mentor. Hakkı’s light show of respect also repeats itself on the second equinox of the year, on 21 March, in Tillo (Aydınlar), a district of Siirt Province of Turkey."*
On Monday 31st August, 2015, Professor Salim Al-Hassani, President of FSTC (Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation), was invited to participate in a day dedicated to learning about and discussing Muslim heritage in the sciences and how they may inspire contemporary and future students from Muslim backgrounds to become more involved with the sciences.
1001 Inventions Versus 1001 Nights: Keynote Speech, by Emeritus Prof. Salim T. S. Al-Hassani, 28 August 2015 at Edinburgh Arab Festival 2015, organized by Islamic & Middle Eastern Department, University of Edinburgh
TIME TELLING MACHINES: Revealing marvellous mechanical and water-powered clocks from early Muslim Civilisation. These sophisticated devices that defied the Middle Ages.
The 1001 Inventions exhibition and accompanying literature and film have met with success and have been very popular. The Foundation for Science, Technology, and Civilisation (FSTC) now seeks to build on this success and improve its historiographical approach, use of primary and secondary sources and tighten the focus on science.