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Special ‘1001 Inventions’ expo for Eid holidays today

CATHERINE W GICHUKI

DOHA A SPECIAL interactive exhibition for the Eid Al Adha holidays, showcasing exhibits dating back to a thousand years of scientific and cultural achievements of Islamic civilisation, will open at the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA) Park on Saturday.

The exhibits dating from the 7th century, is titled ‘1001 Inventions’. It will provide a pleasant outing for residents during the Eid al Adha holidays.

Housed in a tent at the MIA Park, the expo will be open from 4pm to 10pm every day starting from the second day of Eid. It celebrates some of the inventions, whose impact on science and technology can be experienced even today.

The expo features games and activities that focus on the inventions in the fields of engineering, medicine, science, astronomy, energy and transportation, along with others.

Several activities and workshops for families will also be held during the Eid holidays. The activities include calligraphy and jewellery- making workshops, ‘design your own coin’ workshop, Al Kindi’s perfumemaking workshop, live stage performances where scientists from the Golden Age of Islamic civilisation will come to life, work with the visitors to solve problems, rhyming science, face painting, kitemaking, ‘body parts puzzle with 10th century surgeon Al Zahrawi’ and balloon-shaping, among others.

The exhibition will continue till November 12. It is being organised in coordination with Qatar Museums Authority and the MIA, in partnership with 1001 Inventions and Qatar Shell.

Speaking to Qatar Tribune recently, 1001 Inventions Middle East Director Shaza Shannan said that through this exhibition people will come to know how discoveries and inventions between the 7th and 17th century had shaped modern day life.

Producer and Director of1001 Inventions, Ahmed Salim said, “Muslim civilisation stretched from southern Spain to as far as China, and for a thousand years, scholars of different faiths built on the ancient knowledge of the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, making breakthroughs that helped pave the way for the Renaissance.” Salim further said, “The discoveries made by men and women — from automatic machines and medical marvels to astronomical observations and inspiring architecture — have left their mark on the way we live today.” The expo features how Andalusian physician Al Zahrawi invented hundreds of surgical instruments and procedures more than a thousand years ago that are still saving lives in modern hospitals.

Fatima al Fihri, a young woman who founded and designed the world’s first modern university which offered free education to men and women of all backgrounds, is also highlighted at the expo.

Indeed, the experimental scientific method, the basis of all modern technological advancement, came from the work of Hassan ibn al Haytham a thousand years ago.

Haytham laid the foundations of optics including the explanation of the scientific phenomenon ‘Camera Obscura’ — which is the fundamental principle used in modern cameras today.

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