Dubai: A new exhibition conceptualised in the UAE and designed to reawaken Muslim pride in the major scientific breakthroughs of early Islamic scholars is going a long way to educating the public about a forgotten period in history, say organisers.
To eventually be hosted within the GCC, the new Sultans of Science exhibit is currently wrapping up in Singapore before moving to Thailand as part of worldwide tour that started in North America and is now travelling through the Far East.
Sultans of Science global tour started in New Jersey and has moved through venues from Toronto and Edmonton to San Jose.
Ludo Verheyen, CEO of MTE Studios, the agency that created the exhibit, told Gulf News that the proud Islamic science history is slowly re-emerging among a general public that isn’t necessarily up to date on major strides of those who came before us.
“It is great to see that an exhibition that was first conceptualised by MTE Studios in the UAE is now being appreciated by multicultural audiences abroad as well,” said Verheyen. “We find that even in this region, most educated people are not aware of the importance their forefathers placed in innovations and their contributions to the foundation of modern day science. Which is why the exhibition is presented for a global audience.”
According to MTE Studios, the 50 displays of the exhibit touch upon the the Golden Age of Islam (7th – 17th Centuries and harken back to a civilisation that sought knowledge in all disciplines.
Curiosity by Islamic academics and innovators led to all forms of new discoveries ranging algebra and algorithms that enabled the development of computers.
Muslim doctors of the age recorded pulmonary heart circulation, performed operations and founded public hospitals.
Islamic astronomers observed the night skies and invented astronomical tools to mark the movement of the heavens with great accuracy.
The Sultans of Science exhibit also shows how Al-Jazari and Banu Musa brothers laid the ground work of modern engineering.
“The exhibition covers Arab and Muslim scientific endeavours in architecture, arts, astronomy, engineering, exploration, flight, mathematics, medicine and optics,” said Verheyen. “The numerous inventions and discoveries are brought to life through a diverse range of over 50 interactive, sensory and static exhibits and giant functional replicas that use cutting-edge technology to recreate the ingenuity of a golden age. The exhibition looks at the social, scientific and technical achievements that are credited to the Muslim world, whilst celebrating the shared scientific heritage of other cultures demonstrating how modern inventions can trace their roots back to Muslim civilization.”
Giving the public the opportunity to delve into the historic turning points of yesteryear also helps to provide new bridges of understanding between cultures, he said.
The exhibit, he said, “promotes greater cultural understanding and helps bridge the cultural gap between the East and the West linking civilization and humanity. It is important to keep knowledge alive and ensure that it is passed on to others rather than knowledge being wiped out. It helps to dispel myths and misconceptions, and creates an understanding, considerate and unified society.”
Attendance so far at exhibits has been strong and reactions by visitors has been extremely positive.
“We were very happily surprised when we first opened at the Liberty Science Centre at the huge interest in the exhibition from people from all age groups but it was particularly inspiring to get requests for additional information from teachers and students who were keen to learn more on the subjects addressed in the exhibition clusters,” he said.