WASHINGTON – In a fresh outreach bid by the Obama administration to the Muslim world, US Secretary of State has launched an exhibition on achievements of the Muslim civilization through ages.
The 1001 Inventions “honors the remarkable accomplishments of Muslims throughout history,” Clinton said in her pre-recorded message posted on the State Department’s website.
The exhibition, which has attracted more than one million over the past year, is set to open Friday, May 27, at the California Science Center in Los Angeles for a seven-month run.
Clinton said the exhibition is aiming at “celebrating a millennium of science and innovation in the Muslim world.”
The “Muslim world has a proud history of innovators,” Clinton said, citing the achievements of prominent Muslim figures like Fatima Al-Fihri who founded the world's first modern university in the ninth century.
She also praised 13th century mechanical engineer Al-Jazari whose theories on crank mechanisms were helpful in driving every plane, train and automobile in the world nowadays.
Clinton also cited Iraqi physician Ali Ibn Nafi who is also credited for inventing the diagram of the human circulatory system in 1242 CE and being the first to have accurately described the part of the cardiovascular system involving the heart and lungs.
Originally funded by the British government and launched in the United Kingdom in 2006, the “1001 Inventions” exhibition is on a five-year global tour, which has already taken it to London, Istanbul and New York.
The “1001 Inventions” exhibition highlights contributions by Muslim scholars to the development of astronomy, math, architecture, medicine and engineering.
It features exhibits spanning Muslin thinkers in different fields of medicine, optics, mathematics, astronomy, higher education, library science, personal hygiene and even the basics of aviation.
It also shows the works of some of history’s finest scientists and scholars who once extended from Spain to China and lightened the world from the seventh century.
For example, at the 13th-century observatory in Maragha, Iran, astrologists developed new models for understanding the universe which helped pave the way for Copernicus' ideas of a sun-centered solar system in 1543.
Organizers say the exhibition’s new tour aims to show the world the contributions of the Golden Age of Muslim Civilizations in different fields of science.
"We're honored that Secretary Clinton agreed to launch our exhibition here at one of the most prestigious science museums in the world,” Salim Al-Hassani, Chairman of 1001 Inventions, said in a press release.
"The goal of 1001 Inventions is to highlight the astounding contribution that Muslim civilization has made in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics and how those advances still affect our lives today.”
Hassani said the massive turnout at the exhibition reflects a growing interest in the Islamic civilization and its achievements throughout history.
“More than a million people have already visited the 1001 Inventions exhibition during the first year of its global tour and that is the greatest endorsement we could ever hope for," he added.
The exhibition was recently awarded the "Best Touring Exhibition" of the year at the annual Museums and Heritage Excellence Awards in London, widely considered as the "Oscars" of the Museum world.
The United States is home to an estimated Muslim minority of nearly eight million.
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