Celebrating the richness and diversity of Muslim civilisation’s Golden Age, the on-going Arabick Roots exhibition continues to pique the interest of inquisitive minds with a record-breaking number of visitors at the Museum of Islamic Art (MIA).
The exhibition was opened by Her Excellency Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of QMA on October 16. Together, Arabick Roots and 1001 Inventions exhibitions have attracted over 85,000 visitors. Arabick Roots, the international exhibition which traces the untold story of how knowledge from Muslim civilisation inspired the scientific revolution in Europe, has already welcomed an unprecedented 13,000 visitors with three weeks still scheduled for viewing.
The exhibit, especially produced for Qatari audiences by 1001 Inventions in collaboration with MIA, is brought to Doha through a partnership between MIA, QMA, 1001 Inventions and Qatar Shell. The exhibition is of particular interest to educators and students, as part of MIA’s aim to equip and inspire them to be 21st century knowledge transmitters and producers.
“The record-breaking number of children who visited this exhibition has been a great source of pride and also a lesson to us on the substance and design that our young audiences respond to,” said Aisha Al-Khater, Director, Museum of Islamic Art. “I am also immensely pleased with the success of the educational outreach program and the number of schools the museum has engaged.”
“It is true that we owe our rich scientific heritage to cultures and civilizations worldwide, but it is also our obligation towards our youth to inform them about our past achievements, as well as inspire and enlighten their path to move forward,” she added.
1001 Inventions, which closed last month after celebrating 72,000 visitors, was visited by the Emir of Qatar, His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, who met with the young science explainers working inside the specially-built marquee that housed the award-winning exhibition.
Ahmed Salim, Producer and Director of 1001 Inventions, commented: “We’re amazed by the success of 1001 Inventions in Doha, and honoured that that His Highness the Emir endorsed the good work that was achieved here. We’re particularly pleased to note that this has been the most popular science show to ever launch in Qatar, and the independent research demonstrates that 1001 Inventions has engendered pride and enthusiasm in this hidden history of scientific excellence in Muslim civilisation.”
“We are extremely grateful to our strategic partner Abdul Latif Jamel Community Initiatives, and our knowledge partner the Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation, which oversees the exhibition’s academic content to ensure the highest standards of educational excellence are observed.”
Wael Sawan, Chairman and Managing Director of Qatar Shell Company said, “We are proud of the great achievement of 1001 Inventions Exhibition and the new country record of 72,000 visitors. This achievement is the result of the solid partnership that we have established with QMA and MIA and 1001 Inventions.”
“We were honoured by the visit of His Highness the Emir, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani to the 1001 Inventions exhibition. We hope that this high profile exhibition has inspired young Qataris that innovation is key to the future development of this great country,” he added.
Meanwhile, independent research carried out during the exhibition’s record-breaking run demonstrated the exhibition’s achievements in changing local people’s perceptions about science, with 90% of surveyed visitors saying the 1001 Inventions show made them feel more positive about the future of science in Qatar.
A separate survey of local school-teachers who visited the exhibition was even more positive with 90% stating the 1001 Inventions content was relevant to the school curriculum and 100% of all respondents stating they wanted to see 1001 Inventions included in the curriculum.
The research also showed that the visitor numbers reflected the diverse national mix within Qatar. At least 15% of visitors were Qatari nationals, with a third being expats from Asia and the West. The vast majority of attendees spent more than 40 minutes exploring the different ‘zones’ within the exhibition, with the most popular sections being those dedicated to engineering, medicine and astronomy. Almost three-quarters of those surveyed said they wanted to introduce 1001 Inventions to their friends, family and co-workers.
Another 1001 Inventions exhibition is currently open at the National Geographic Museum in Washington DC where it will reside until February 2013.
Further information can be found at www.mia.org.qa.
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