Friday, March 12, 2010

The Saudi Ambassador visits the ‘1001 Inventions’ exhibition

at the Science Museum in London.

This marvelous Exhibition should travel to the four corners of the globe, including all Arab and Muslim countries” says the Ambassador

His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud; Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United Kingdom, visited the 1001 Inventions Exhibition on display at the Science Museum last week. The Ambassador was accompanied by Muhammad Abdul Latif Jameel; President of Abdul Latif Jameel Ltd and head of Abdul Latif Jameel Community Services Programs.

They were received by the museum’s director Professor Chris Rapley, and by Professor Salim T. S. Al-Hassani, Chairman of the Board of the Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilization which organized the Exhibition in association with the Jameel Foundation.

The Ambassador was given a detailed briefing of the contents of the exhibition and its goals and objectives by Professor Al Hassani who took them around the exhibition. He also briefed the Ambassador about a book and website which had been developed to accompany the exhibition. During his tour, the Ambassador attended a special viewing of "The Book of Secrets"; a short documentary drama film in which the Oscar winner Sir Ben Kingsley plays the leading role.

Concluding his visit and tour of the Exhibition, the Ambassador said:

"I am really pleased to be able to visit the ‘1001 Inventions’ exhibition today. I visited this exhibition in Manchester in 2006 when it first opened and then, as today, I was impressed and delighted with the exhibition's wide variety of displays and educational tools which offer the visitor an informative and interesting record of the achievements made by Arab and Muslim scientists - men and women alike - during the golden era of Islamic civilization.

“I would like to thank the Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilization, and the Jameel Foundation for their cooperation in the design, development and launch of this excellent exhibition. I would also like to thank The London Science Museum for accommodating this exhibition and making it available to the public for almost six months."

Commenting on the contents and displays of the exhibition, the Ambassador said: "As an Arab and a Muslim, I have always been very proud of Arab and Muslim scientists' achievements and of the vital contribution they made in all fields of science during this pinnacle of Islamic civilization. This exhibition has definitely added to my knowledge.

“I am very impressed by the imaginative way in which this exhibition is set out to educate the visitor. All of the displays and activities have been designed to attract, and engage visitors and to enhance their learning experience. The exhibition's contents and displays range from the conventional to highly innovative and creative communication media. This includes the book accompanying the exhibition and the interactive displays and activities which attract and captivate visitors with their professional design and variety .

“I would like to make special mention of Sir Ben Kingsley in the docudrama film ‘The Book of Secrets’ produced to support the exhibition's message and objectives. This distinguished world class actor, and his fellow actors in the film, have delivered the film's messages clearly and with conviction.

“It is not just the message that is important; its means of delivery are also crucial.

Commenting on the objectives of this Exhibition, the Ambassador said:

"This exhibition, offers visitors an academic, well-researched and documented record of the impressive and effective achievements made by Arab and Muslim scientists, during this golden era and the effect of these achievements on the progress of human civilization. It shows how Arab and Muslim scientists created strong links that connected to, and built on the civilizations before them and paved the way for more achievements by later civilizations.

“Moreover, this exhibition allows future generations of Arabs and Muslims - many studying science here in the United Kingdom - to take a closer look at their rich scientific heritage, a legacy of their forefathers, and to understand the valuable contribution to the development of human civilization they made. It should reinforce their self-esteem and encourage them to work harder and more diligently so that they, too, can excel and emulate their forefathers.

“I believe that one of the most important outcomes of this exhibition is that it emphasizes and reinforces a pivotal principal that has been adopted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and supported by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz: this is the principal of the importance of cross cultural dialogue and understanding between civilisations .

“This exhibition clearly states that human civilization is not restricted to one nation or limited to a single culture. It was built by contributions from all cultures and nations. It also highlights the fact that Arab and Muslim scientists believed in this principle and, accordingly, dedicated their efforts and contributions to forming strong links in the chain of human civilization. That cross-cultural and inter-national chain took the accomplishments of preceding cultures and civilizations, developed and built on them, then, passed them on for further development to future generations.

“I hope that young people in the Arab and Muslim world will continue to gain advanced knowledge, and to try to understand the essence of human brotherhood and cooperation, and follow in the footsteps of their ancestors."

In conclusion the Ambassador said: "I would like to reiterate my pleasure in visiting this excellent exhibition and my thanks and appreciation to all involved in its development as well as my personal thanks to Mr. Muhammad Abdul Latif Jameel and the Jameel Foundation.

I hope all those involved in this exhibition will continue to cooperate in order to preserve and publicize Arab and Islamic heritage around the world, and that this exhibition will be translated into different languages so that it can be exhibited around the world, as well as in Arab and Muslim countries, in order to fulfill its noble objectives.