DEARBORN —A local group is working on bringing an exhibit called “1001 Inventions” to the Michigan Science Center in Detroit this fall, in collaboration with several Arab American organizations.
These local organizations and businesses are lending a helping hand to complete the necessary funding to bring this traveling 15,000 square foot exhibition to fruition. Byblos Banquet Center will host a fundraiser on Friday, Feb. 5 at 4 p.m..
Dima El-Gamal, co-chair of the 1001 Inventions Detroit Operations Committee that is working to install the exhibit at the Michigan Science Center, said bringing the traveling exhibit to an area with a large Arab American population was a no-brainer.
The exhibit will educate youth— Arab American and otherwise— and celebrate the rich history and science that flourished during the Islamic Golden Age, in an effort to curb xenophobic sentiments amid a heated political climate.
She added that the exhibit encourages the pursuit of science-based careers and improves self-esteem and cultural appreciation among second-generation Arab Americans.
The exhibit will showcase diversity through the contributions to science, technology, engineering and math by people of various faith traditions during the golden age.
The hope, El-Gamal said, is to highlight that “co-existing is not a new slogan.”
El-Gamal said that with the support of several community organizations, including ACCESS, the Interfaith leadership council, Michigan Muslim Community Council and the Arab American National Museum, the committee has raised two-thirds of the funds required to build the exhibit.
The committee is extending a hand to community organizations and businesses so that admission can be free of charge, she added.
An overview of the project
“1001 Inventions” intends to explore the golden age of Islamic civilization, which produced teachers who helped formulate the foundations of our modern world.
Through educational films, the exhibit will shed light on a variety of achievements by men and women of various religions and diverse cultures as part of an initiative to encourage young people to strive towards building better communities.
The exhibition has attracted more than 2 million visitors in multiple tours around the world, including in Abu Dhabi, London, Istanbul, Beijing, New York, Los Angeles and Washington D.C.
The exhibit takes advantage of interactive displays, electronic games and life-like replicas designed to capture the imagination of young and old alike.
A visit to the exhibit beings with a showing of the “Library of Secrets” documentary, an internationally acclaimed award-winning educational film, starring the Academy Award winning actor, Sir Ben Kingsley.
It features three school children who visit a dusty library to research the story of “The Dark Ages.” What they find dramatically changes their worldview as ingenious inventors and pioneers of science and technology are vividly brought to life.
The exhibition includes several zones that showcase the achievements of Arabs and Muslims in various scientific, medical and engineering fields. They include an Engineering Zone, which presents engineer AlJazari, inventor of the fabled Elephant Clock and numerous mechanisms still used in many machines today.
This zone also includes computer game stations that introduce visitors to the Muslim world’s impact on the modern home.
Mechanical reproductions explain how the powers of wind and water were harnessed to launch an agricultural revolution. The Hospital Zone shows how Andalusian physician Al-Zahrawi invented hundreds of surgical instruments and procedures more than a thousand years ago that are still used in modern hospitals. The World Zone shows advances in the science of cartography that took place during the golden age of Muslim civilization, as visitors navigate the globe on a touch screen display.
The School Zone shows the discovery of Baghdad’s educational academy, The House of Wisdom, and teaches the connections between the Arabic and English languages.
For more information about the fundraiser, call (313) 584-1234.