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1001 Inventions Enthrals at New York Gala

16th November 2010, 18:00 - 20:00

Manhattan VIPs enchanted as stories of Muslim Heritage brought to life 

16th November 2010, New York: More than 600 VIP guests were in attendance at a Park Avenue gala event in Manhattan as New York City was given its first taste of the 1001 Inventions initiative. The event began with a group of twenty explainers from the renowned New York Hall of Science performing in character as pioneering figures from the history of Muslim civilisation, and ended with FSTC Chairman Prof. Salim TS Al-Hassani being presented with the inaugural NYSci award for Global Science.

From left to right: Prof. Salim Al-Hassani, William C. Rudin, Jack Hughes, Linda S. Sanford and Dr. Margaret Honey

The 1001 Inventions exhibition is currently on a five-year global tour and, following blockbuster runs in London and Istanbul, it will enjoy its North American Premiere at the prestigious New York Hall of Science (NYSci) on the 4th of December 2010.

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At NYSci’s annual gala event, a specially invited audience of VIPs were introduced to 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. More than twenty NYSci explainers donned medieval costume and performed short theatrical pieces about underappreciated scholars, scientists and engineers like Al-Jazari, Maimonides, Fatima Al-Fihri, Qusta ibn Luqa and Abbas ibn Firnas. The specatular and engaging performance was directed and produced by Richard Scanlon, a renowned acting coach and stage teacher from New York.

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of three awards by NYSci recognising exceptional leadership in science, technology, innovation and education, as well as a special award presented to the Chairman of FSTC, who became the first-ever recipient of the NYSci Global Science Award. Professor Salim Al-Hassani is chairman of  the Foundation of Science, Technology and Civilisation (FSTC) that first launched 1001 Inventions.

Presenting the award, Dr. Margaret Honey, President and CEO of the New York Hall of Science commended Prof. Al-Hassani for his “world-renowned excellence in engineering and technology and visionary leadership in showcasing science as the universal language.”

The 1001 Inventions exhibition’s international tour is globally sponsored by ALJ Community Initiatives (ALJCI which is the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of the ALJ Group - a Toyota automobiles distributor operating in 13 different countries. ALJCI plans and operates numerous global programs, such as poverty-alleviation initiatives, artistic and educational projects and technology innovation grants, including a long history of scholarships for students at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The assembled VIP audience was also introduced to a 20 ft high replica of the ‘Elephant Clock’, Master Engineer Al-Jazari’s 12th century masterpiece representing the journey of science through time and across civilisations.

Other winners at the event were Jack Hughes, Founder and Chairman of TopCoder Inc, William C. Rudin, CEO of Rudin Management Company Inc, and Linda S. Sanford, Senior Vice President of IBM.

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