Royal welcome for 1001 Inventions in Qatar

Published Date: 
1 November 2012

1001 Inventions and Arabick Roots exhibitions launch in Doha

Doha, 16th October 2012: The award-winning 1001 Inventions exhibition, and its sister show Arabick Roots, enjoyed a Royal launch in Doha’s Museum of Islamic Art, thanks to Her Excellency Sheikha Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani who officially opened both exhibitions today. At the event, attended by 500 distinguished members of the local and international cultural communities, guests were led through the exhibition on a journey to the Golden Age of Muslim Civilization in a memorable celebration of modern science’s heritage.

Opening Hours         Location         Press Coverage         More Info

Sheikha Mayassa, who is Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Qatar Museum Authority, was given guided exhibition tours by Ahmed Salim, Producer and Director of 1001 Inventions, and Dr. Rim Turkmani, Curator of Arabick Roots. Connected by the theme: “Explore our past to inspire our future,” the two exhibitions will be open to the public from the 17th of October 2012, with 1001 Inventions running until 12th November and Arabick Roots continuing until January 2013.

“Muslim civilization stretched from southern Spain as far as China, and for a thousand years, scholars of many faiths built on the ancient knowledge of the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, making breakthroughs that helped pave the way for the Renaissance.” explained Ahmed Salim.

“The discoveries made by men and women in Muslim civilization — from automatic machines and medical marvels to astronomical observations and inspiring architecture — have left their mark on the way we live today.” he added.

1001 Inventions takes visitors through the works of scientists and scholars during the Golden Age of Muslim Civilization, while Arabick Roots reveals the influence of this science on the scientific revolution and lifestyle in Europe in the 17th century through showcasing magnificent objects and priceless manuscripts. The science heritage exhibitions were brought to Doha by Qatar Museums Authority and the Museum of Islamic Art, and in partnership with Qatar Shell.

Speaking on behalf of the Museum of Islamic Art, its Director Aisha Al Khater commented: “We owe our rich scientific heritage to cultures and civilizations worldwide. With these two exhibitions we rediscover some of the roots of modern civilization. By reinvigorating this theme and showcasing past and modern thinkers, we hope to stimulate young minds and revive the respect that all cultures deserve.”

Sheikh Thani Al Thani, Deputy General Manager of Qatar Shell, explained: “As a Qatari I’m proud to be part of such great initiatives. Bringing these two important international exhibitions to Qatar will inspire young Qataris to build on their rich and diverse scientific heritage that had enlightened the world in the Golden Ages.”

“The themes of these two exhibitions, science and education, are an integral part of Shell’s social investment programme here in Qatar and support the social development pillar of the Qatar National Vision 2030,” added Sheikh Thani.

This version of the 1001 Inventions exhibition was constructed with support from Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives, the global partner for 1001 Inventions. 

Enduring Legacy of Muslim Civilization

The 1001 Inventions Exhibition celebrates the inventions and innovations from Muslim Civilisation, whose impact on science and technology can still be seen all around us today. Indeed, the experimental scientific method, the basis of all modern technological advancement, came from the work of Hassan ibn Al-Haytham a thousand years ago.

Ibn Al-Haytham is credited with explaining the nature of light and vision, using what is now commonly referred to as a Camera Obscura.

Ibn Al-Haytham is just one of the scientific pioneers featured within both exhibitions. Visitors will also be introduced to Master Engineer Al-Jazari - inventor of the fabled Elephant Clock and numerous mechanisms that are used in every machine in the world today.

They will discover how Andalusian physician Al-Zahrawi invented hundreds of surgical instruments and procedures more than a thousand years ago that are still saving lives in modern hospitals; and they will meet Fatima Al-Fihri, the young woman who founded and designed the world’s first modern University, which offered free education to men and women of all backgrounds.

1001 Inventions is a brand that has reached over 50 million people worldwide, and the exhibition by the same name is now open in Doha and showcases these and many more discoveries from the Golden Age of Muslim civilization - including, the first modern university, magnificent time telling machines, surgical tools and mechanical devices, and unveils the cultural and historical context of these discoveries.

Building Respect Through Science

The 1001 Inventions exhibition showcases the influence of the Golden Age of Muslim civilisation on the Renaissance. But much less has been written about eastern influence on the scholars of 17th-century Europe. At this time, Europeam scholars were rejecting the ways of their predecessors. They promoted a ‘new philosophy’ that relied on mathematical demonstration, proof and experiment instead of theory and logic alone. The new scientific revolution sprang from this successful approach, led by scholars like Descartes, Boyle, Newton and Halley.

In this enlightened period, Europe was at an intellectual advantage over the East. The Muslim world was then producing less and less original science, and it might seem safe to assume that Europe’s ‘new philosophers’ would simply reject ancient knowledge. But nothing could be further from the truth. Evidence now shows that the 17th-century scholars of the scientific revolution appreciated and built on ideas from other times and places and honoured their pioneering predecessors.

“The most important lesson I’ve learned from developing Arabick Roots is the meaninglessness of the term ‘Clash of Civilizations’. When cultures learn from each other, they are unlikely to belittle one another,” said Rim Turkmani, curator of Arabick Roots Exhibition. “I now believe that an understanding of science’s international heritage is essential for its progress.”

Arabick Roots was inaugurated by Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, at its premiere at the Royal Society in London last year. The Doha version of the exhibition was specially adapted for the Qatari audience through a collaboration between 1001 Inventions and the Museum of Islamic Art.


Opening Hours

Weekdays 5pm - 10:30pm
(Closed on Tuesdays)
Friday 2pm - 10:30pm
Saturday 12:00pm - 10:30pm

Please note: 1001 Inventions will be closed on the day of Eid Al-Adha


Museum of Islamic Art Park, Doha, Qatar

View Larger Map FOR DOHA SCHOOLS (English): 
The Doha English Teachers Pack: Science Activities 11-16 year olds :دليل المعلم من ألف اختراع واختراع - مدارس الدوحة
The Doha Arabic Teachers Pack: Science Activities 11-16 year olds


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About Qatar Museums Authority (QMA)

Established in 2005 by His Highness the Emir, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al Thani to combine the resources of all museums in the State of Qatar, Qatar Museums Authority (QMA) is a governmental organization whose remit is to develop museums and cultural institutions and provide an effective system for collecting, protecting, preserving and interpreting historic sites, monuments and artifacts. Under the leadership of its Chairperson H.E. Sheikha Al Mayassa, QMA is transforming the State of Qatar into a cultural hub of the Middle East. The Museum of Islamic Art, inaugurated in 2008, is the Authority’s flagship project. The organization won further global acclaim with the December 2010 opening of Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art. QMA’s goal of becoming a “global leader in the world of museums, art and heritage” will be advanced in the coming years with ambitious, world-class projects, including the Jean Nouvel-designed National Museum of Qatar. For further information, please visit

About Qatar Shell

Shell is the largest foreign investor in Qatar investing up to $21 billion in the last 6 years. Qatar Petroleum and Shell delivered two of the largest energy projects in the world in Ras Laffan Industrial City. Pearl Gas to Liquids (GTL) is the world’s largest GTL plant and cements Qatar’s position as the GTL capital of the world. At an investment of $ 18 – 19 billion it is the largest single investment in the Shell Group’s global portfolio.

The Qatargas 4 Liquefied Natural Gas project (QP (70%) and Shell (30%) combines Shell’s global leadership in LNG with Qatar’s position as the world’s largest LNG supplier.

Shell has established a world-class research and development facility and a learning centre, the Qatar Shell Research & Technology Centre, at the Qatar Science & Technology Park. Shell has a financial commitment to invest up to $100 million on programmes at the Centre over a 10-year period.

In 2010, Shell and PetroChina signed an agreement with QP to explore in the pre-Khuff interval in Block D. In December 2011 Shell and QP signed a HOA to jointly develop a world-class petrochemicals complex in Ras Laffan Industrial City.

About 1001 Inventions

1001 Inventions is a leading and award-winning international science and cultural heritage brand reaching over 50 million people around the world.

1001 Inventions uncovers a thousand years of scientific and cultural achievements from Muslim Civilisation from the 7th century onwards, and how those contributions helped create the foundations of our modern world.

Through its award-winning educational programmes, books, blockbuster exhibitions, live shows, films and learning products, 1001 Inventions showcases the contributions of inspirational men and women of different faiths and cultures in a civilization that spread from Spain to China.

1001 Inventions, in partnership with Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives, have produced a world-class range of exciting and engaging educational experiences, productions, products and resources that are all extensively researched by academics and experts from the UK-based Foundation for Science, Technology and Civilisation.

For further information about the 1001 Inventions initiative, images, video etc. please contact 1001 Inventions.