US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, officially opened an award-winning exhibition about the scientific achievements of Muslim Civilization at the California Science Center in Los Angeles today. The 1001 Inventions exhibition, which has already attracted more than one million visitors during the past year, landed at California’s most popular museum, at a VIP launch day attended by LA County Sheriff Lee Baca and Ambassadors from LA-based foreign Consulates.
Speaking via video, Secretary Clinton praised the work of the 1001 Inventions initiative for “celebrating a millennium of science and innovation in the Muslim world,” and described the launch of the exhibition as “an exciting day.”
During her speech, Mrs. Clinton remarked that “the Muslim world has a proud history of innovators” and highlighted the achievements of people like Fatima Al-Fihri, who founded the world’s first modern university, and master engineer Al-Jazari who created the crank mechanisms that drive every plane, train and automobile on the planet.
Prof. Salim Al-Hassani, Chairman of 1001 Inventions, commented: “We’re honored that Secretary Clinton agreed to launch our exhibition here at one of the most prestigious science museums in the world. California Science Center has an international reputation for excellence in providing engaging and entertaining science experiences for young and old alike.
“The goal of 1001 Inventions is to highlight the astounding contribution that Muslim civilization has made in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics and how those advances still affect our lives
today. More than a million people have already visited the 1001 Inventions exhibition during the first year of its global tour and that is the greatest endorsement we could ever hope for.”
The 1001 Inventions exhibition is currently on a five-year global tour, sponsored by ALJ Community Initiatives. Following blockbuster runs in London, Istanbul and New York, it will open at the prestigious California Science Center, in Los Angeles, on the 27th of May 2011 for a seven-month run. The exhibition reveals 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. This period of history from the 7th century to 17th century is commonly – though erroneously – referred to as the “Dark Ages.”
The 1001 Inventions was recently crowned “Best Touring Exhibition” of the year at the annual Museums and Heritage Excellence Awards in London – considered by many to be the “Oscars” of the Museum world – fighting off stiff competition from some of the world’s biggest names in exhibitions.