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Clinton recognizes ‘proud history of innovators Muslim world has’

Source : Arab News
RIYADH | 15 Jun 2011

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton officially opened recently an award-winning exhibition about the scientific achievements of Muslim Civilization at the California Science Center in Los Angeles.

The ‘1001 Inventions exhibition,’ in partnership with Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives (ALJCI), has already attracted more than one million visitors during its global tour, and its VIP launch day was attended by LA County Sheriff Lee Baca and ambassadors from LA-based foreign consulates.

Speaking via video, Clinton praised the work of the initiative for “celebrating a millennium of science and innovation in the Muslim world,” and described the launch of the exhibition as “an exciting day.”

“The Muslim world has a proud history of innovators,” said Clinton and highlighted the achievements of people like Fatima Al-Fihri, who founded the world’s first modern university, and master engineer Al-Jazari who created the crank mechanisms that drive every plane, train and automobile on the planet.

Salim Al-Hassani, chairman of ‘1001 Inventions,’ commented: “We’re honored with the speech of Secretary Clinton on the launch ceremony of our exhibition here at one of the most prestigious science museums in the world. California Science Center has an international reputation for excellence in providing engaging and entertaining science experiences for young and old alike. “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. More than a million people have already visited the exhibition during its global tour between London and Istanbul, and that is the greatest endorsement we could ever hope for.”

Fady Mohammed Abdul Latif Jameel, president of ALJCI, said: “Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives is delighted that Secretary Clinton was kind enough to launch the 1001 Inventions at its US West Coast Premiere. As global sponsor of the 1001 Inventions global tour, we are proud that the message of the exhibition has resonated so strongly with people at all levels of society. Our greatest hope is that the exhibition will inspire young people across the US and the world to find role models they admire and who will inspire them to pursue careers in science and technology.” The exhibition is currently on a five-year global tour, sponsored by ALJ Community Initiatives. The exhibition reveals the forgotten history of men and women, from a variety of faiths and backgrounds, whose contributions to the advancement of scholarship and technology during the Middle Ages helped pave the way for the European Renaissance. This period of history from the 7th century to 17th century is commonly — though erroneously — referred to as the “Dark Ages.”

The ‘1001 Inventions’ was recently crowned the ‘Best Touring Exhibition’ of the year at the annual Museums and Heritage Excellence Awards in London — considered by many to be the “Oscars” of the Museum world — fighting off stiff competition from some of the world’s biggest names in exhibitions.