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1001 Inventions: Discover the Muslim Heritage in Our World


1001 Inventions launched the global tour of their block-buster exhibition at the world famous London Science Museum on the 21st January 2010.

The exhibition entitled – 1001 Inventions: Discover the Muslim Heritage in Our World, traces the forgotten story of a thousand years of science from the Muslim world, from the 7th century onwards. This free entry exhibition, which ran until 30th June 2010, looks at the social, scientific and technical achievements that are credited to the Muslim world, whilst celebrating the shared scientific heritage of other cultures.

Featuring a diverse range of over 60 interactive, sensory and static exhibits, the exhibition demonstrates how many modern inventions can trace their roots back to Muslim civilisation. Visitors of all ages were educated and entertained across seven dedicated zones:

Home: The thousand-year-old inventions that still shape everyday life
Market: How influential ideas spread through travel and trade
School: Learning, libraries and their links with the past
Hospital: How ancient approaches to health have influenced today’s medicine
Town: Why East and West share so much architectural heritage
World: The explorers of a thousand years ago
Universe: How ancient astronomers expanded our view of the universe

The exhibition became an overnight success and coveted media attention from all corners of the globe. By the end of its residency at the museum it attracted over 400,000 visitors making it the most successful touring exhibition in the museum’s esteemed history.

Watch – Introduction Film to 1001 Inventions

► Click above to watch the Introduction Film or click here to download (62.4 Mb)

The Launch Event

The high profile launch of the 1001 Inventions exhibition on 21st of January 2010 was attended by the world’s media and officially opened by Professor Chris Rapley, Director, Science Museum, London, Professor Salim T. S Al-Hassani, Chairman, FSTC; Lord Waldegrave, Chairman, National Museum of Science and Technology. Attending media included BBC, CNN, Telegraph, The Times, The Guardian and many more.

From left to right: Professor Salim T. S Al-Hassani, Chairman, FSTC; Professor Chris Rapley, Director, Science Museum, London; Lord Waldergrave, Chairman, National Museum of Science and Technology

Watch – ‘1001 Inventions and The Library of Secrets’ film

This amazing mini feature film starring Oscar winner Sir Ben Kingsley, was shown inside the exhibition to all visitors and used as an orientation piece to prepare them for the main exhibition. Such was the popularity of the film it became an instant internet hit going viral overnight. The film was spreading like wildfire, being downloaded and watched online worldwide by over 3 million people within the first 8weeks. Key decision makers across the world of film and television stood up and took notice of this film leading to over 20 international awards including:

Receiving the Gold Award for Best Education Film on behalf of 1001 Inventions, Alan Deakins (Film Director) and Phil Blundell (Managing Director of the Edge Picture Company)

VIP Visitors to the Exhibition

During the five month residency at the London Science Museum, the exhibition attracted visits from numerous VIP’s and distinguished guests from the world of education, tv, science and international governments. More than 25 UK-based Arab Ambassadors and VIPs attended a special gala reception at London’s Science Museum on Thursday the 24th of June to celebrate the record-breaking run of the 1001 Inventions exhibition.

In attendance were representatives from almost a dozen Arab nations, including Lebanon, Algeria, Tunisia, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. Hosts for the evening were Prof. Salim Al-Hassani, chairman of FSTC, and Chris Doyle who is Director of the Council for Arab-British Understanding (CAABU).

Professor Salim Al-Hassani, Chairman of 1001 Inventions, talking to His Excellency Khaled Al Duwaisan the Kuwaiti Ambassador at the 1001 Inventions exhibition at the London Science Museum
Dr. Rim Turkmani of 1001 Inventions and Professor Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu holding the 1001 Inventions book during a visit at the 1001 Inventions exhibition at the London Science Museum

The interest and plaudits from all these individuals were highly complimentary and supportive of our aims and objectives for this ground breaking educational project and global tour.

Left to right: Dr. Zohor Idrisi, FSTC Research Fellow, London, Prof. Jim Al-Khalili (Memeber of British Science Association and TV & Radio Presenter at BBC), Prof. Salim Al-Hassani (Chairman of FSTC), Prof. George Saliba (Professor of Arabic and Islamic Science at Columbia University, New York), Dr. Rim Turkmani (Imperial College, London), Prof. Mohammed El-Gomati (York University, UK) and Dr. Charles Savage (Muslim Heritage Awareness Group, from Munich, Germany) at the opening session of the international conference.

Turkish Prime Minister’s Visit

On the 16th March 2010 we hosted a private visit to the exhibition by the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, his family and ministers during an official state visit to the UK to meet with Gordon Brown. The exhibition was closed to the public during this special one-hour guided tour which was carried out by Professor Al-Hassani. Mr. Erdoğan showed great knowledge and interest in the exhibits, the inventors and scientists from Muslim civilization.

Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan 1001 Inventions Muslim Heritage
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (left), receiving a copy of the 1001 Inventions book from Prof Al-Hassani

Before concluding the tour, Mr. Erdoğan expressed his delight and appreciation towards the exhibition and officially invited the Professor to kindly bring it to Istanbul immediately after closing in London, to form part of Istanbul’s ‘Capital of Culture’ programme. This was a request we could not turn down and Istanbul was to become the first stop on our world tour.

Click here to read full press release…

Gala Event – Handover from London to Istanbul

A special invite only gala event was held on the 25th May 2010 to collectively celebrate the enormous success of the 1001 Inventions exhibition in London and to ceremonially handover the exhibition to Istanbul. The gala was held within the Science Museum with guests including dignitaries and personalities from the world of academia, science, TV and government. Amongst the guests were Professor Jim Al-Khalili, Professor George Saliba, HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan, Sir Crispin Tickell, Bettany Hughes, and many more.

To mark the handover of the exhibition from London to Istanbul, Professor Salim Al-Hassani (Chairman of FSTC) and Lord William Waldegrave (Chairman of the Science Museum, London) delivered a model of Al-Jazari’s 12th century Scribe Clock to His Excellency, Minister Kerem Kiratli (of the Turkish Republic) as a symbolic gesture.

Lord William Waldegrave handing over exhibition symbol to Mr Kerem Kiratli from the Turkish Embassy

PHOTO: (Left to right) Professor Salim Al-Hassani (Chairman of FSTC) and Lord William Waldegrave (Chairman of the Science Museum, London) handing over a model of Al-Jazari’s 12th century Scribe Clock to Minister Kerem Kiratli (of the Turkish Republic) as a symbolic handover of the 1001 Inventions exhibition from London to the City of Istanbul.

Global Launch of “1001 Inventions” Exhibition at the Science Museum in London on Tuesday 25th May 2010. Guests attending the Global Launch enjoy the festivities

More Photos

Professor Salim Al-Hassani interviewed by the media after the official opening of the exhibition.

Photo taken during the visit of HRH Prince Hasan bin Talal of Jordan to the exhibition on 27 January 2010, with Dr Okasha El-Daly, Honorary Fellow of FSTC (left) and Dr Rim Turkmani, Astrophysicist at Imperial College in London and Fellow of FSTC (right)

Press Coverage

BBC News BBC News: Museum explores ‘hidden history’ of Muslim science


CNN News CNN News: Muslim inventions that shaped the modern world


The Guardian News The Guardian: The greatest scientific advances from the Muslim world


The Telegraph News The Telegraph: Elephant Clock is centrepiece of Science Museum’s Islamic exhibition


The Times Online Times Online: Elephant clock trumpets golden age of ancient Islamic science


You Tube BBC One: 1001 Inventions Exhibition in London

BBC London: 1001 Inventions Exhibition in Science Museum


09/02/10 CNN 07/02/10 Peace Times 03/02/10 Tree Hugger
01/02/10 The Guardian 31/01/10 CNN Arabic 31/01/10 Ethiopian Review
29/01/10 Aljazeera Magazine 26/01/10 Middle East Online 24/01/10 Daily Star Lebanon
24/01/10 The Observer UK 23/01/10 Bloomberg Business 23/01/10 The Peninsula Qatar
22/01/10 The News Pakistan 21/01/10 BBC World 21/01/10 BBC R4 Today
22/01/10 The Telegraph UK 21/01/10 Wall Street Journal 21/01/10 BBC Online UK
21/01/10 Time Out 21/01/10 BBC News 21/01/10 BBC Radio 4

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