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Ruler of Sharjah Witnesses Inauguration of the Third International Conference on Arabs’ and Muslims’ History of Science

​7 December 2017

His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council, Ruler of Sharjah and President of the University of Sharjah (UoS), on Wednesday attended the Third International Conference on Arabs' and Muslims' History of Science, organized by the UoS at Al Zahri Hall, Faculty of Medicine.

The opening ceremony began with the national anthem, followed by a speech by Prof. Hamid M.K. Al Naimiy, Chancellor of the University of Sharjah (UoS), in which he thanked Sheikh Sultan for his patronage of and presence in the conference and welcomed the scholars and researchers participating in the conference from all over the world.

Prof. Hamid M.K. Al Naimiy said, since its establishment by H.H. Ruler of Sharjah in 1997, the UoS has given scientific research a parallel approach to its academic curriculum, in terms of strength, transparency, and solidity. The Arabic and Islamic scientific heritage has taken the lion's share of the curriculum, and to which the UoS harnessed the latest and most advanced technologies. Attention to the Arabic and Islamic scientific heritage has grown large enough, until the First International Conference was conceived in 2008. The first edition of the conference witnessed substantive participation by top scientists, experts and orientalists from several countries around the world in addition to the Arabic and Islamic region. The Second International Conference on Arabs' and Muslims' History of Science was organized in 2014.

Prof. Hamid M.K. Al Naimiy added, the historic scientific conclusions of the conference in its first and second editions, and their significance in establishing infinite disciplines in the digital revolution the world is witnessing today, increased their influence. The outcomes of the first and second conferences asserted the necessity to organize more conferences and increase their role under the UoS' umbrella. The conference's importance became more profound on an international scale and in the civic and strategic consciousness of H.H. Ruler of Sharjah, who directed to establish the Sharjah International Foundation for the History of Arab and Muslim Sciences at the UoS. The Sharjah Foundation became responsible for examining the Arabic and Islamic scientific history on a global level and embodying all of its horizons, disciplines and virtues in building human civilizations to this day. To prepare the Sharjah Foundation to assume its role on the international scene, H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council, Ruler of Sharjah and President of the University of Sharjah (UoS), agreed to head its board of trustees, which is comprised of several international personalities experts in or in a direct relationship with the history of Arabic and Islamic sciences.

In his speech, Prof. Hamid M.K. Al Naimiy noted the key role of the Sharjah Center for Astronomy & Space Sciences at the UoS, stating that, it will become a remarkable shift as it is a scientific, technological, cultural, education, tourist and training center that strives to educate generations of young enthusiasts about the sciences of the Arab and Muslim forefathers who were experts in astronomy and space sciences.

Commenting on the conference's goals, Prof. Hamid M.K. Al Naimiy stated: "the goals of the conference today reinforce our hope in its promises, as it will strive to connect this output of sciences that existed ten centuries ago with the modern science". "It will embody the importance of those scientific achievements and their impact on today's technology. The conference will also look into the latest theoretical and applied breakthroughs in the history of sciences studies. These goals will be enshrined in the scientific topics brought about by the scientific research of the conference's guests and participants from across the globe. These topics include: the innovative environment and its impact on building a knowledge society in the Islamic civilization, the scientific research, reviving the Arabic and Islamic scientific heritage and connecting it with modernism, the history of medicine and health sciences in the Islamic civilization, architecture and industrial decorative arts, agriculture and irrigation, and the core sciences, astronomy and space sciences found in the Islamic civilization".

Dr. Hussain Al-Mahdi, Chairman of the Organizing Committee of the Conference expressed his happiness to approve the conference to be held periodically at the UoS to be a scientific platform for the scientists from all over the world, to exchange knowledge and scientific achievements and ultimately contribute in fulfilling the UoS' strategic goals to promote scientific inquiry and support innovation.

On addressing the conference's goals, Dr. Hussain Al-Mahdi stated, we tried to formulate today's conference goals to be supplemental to the mission we began in 2008. These conferences aim at reinforcing communication between scientists and experts interested in the Arabic and Islamic history of sciences, reflecting the impact of Arab and Muslim scientists on the advancement of civilizations in the scientific fields, documenting testimonies of non-Muslim scientists on recognizing Arabs' and Muslims' scientific achievements, and reviving the Arabic scientific heritage and connect it to modernism.

Professor, Seer Vizer, the winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, expressed his great pleasure in visiting Sharjah for the first time. He also addressed an aspect of his scientific career, which covers history, geography, physics and chemistry. Prof. Seer Vizer stressed that attention to scientific research and accurate knowledge, that relies on loving and seeking science and benefiting from educational and scientific opportunities and distinguished professors, are some of the most important conclusions he reached in his busy career and travel across the world.

The American Orientalist Professor, Charles Falco Professor of Physics at the University of Arizona, gave a lecture on the Islamic Scientist, Abu Ali Al Hassan bin Al Haytham, who is the real founder of optics. His work is the basis of all modern core research on optics, specifically, on determining the human's vision, processes taking place inside the human eye and their relation to light, among other accurate scientific topics that were top breakthroughs at that time. Prof. Charles Falco noted the conference's importance in shedding the light on the inventions and discoveries of Arab and Muslim scientists, which gave enormous service to their successor scientists in the modern age.

Professor, Bashar Maarouf, a specialist in manuscripts, presented a lecture about the importance of manuscripts, investigating and differentiating between various manuscripts, and attending to the different publications of a book, which means the author's reference to their first book several times, whether by omission or addition; a process called laundering. In his speech, Prof. Bashar Maarouf gave several examples of copies of important manuscripts, which authors wrote several copies of them after adding to or omitting from them. He stated that, specialists usually adopt the author's latest edition. He also noted the importance of manuscripts, as they hold within them a significant and authentic history.

During the conference, the attendees watched a film about the history of the conference and the objectives it is seeking to achieve.

At the end of the Third International Conference on Arabs' and Muslims' History of Science, His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council, Ruler of Sharjah and President of the University of Sharjah (UoS), honored professors including Seer Vizer, Charles Falco, Bashar Ma'rouf and Ahmad Jabar. He also honored the sponsors of the conference including Dr. Sultan Al Qasimi Centre for Gulf Studies, Sharjah Islamic Bank, Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority and Sharjah Media Foundation.

His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, toured the exhibition accompanying the conference, and examined rare manuscripts, archeological artifacts, and the valuable references and books displayed at the exhibition from the UAE.

The three-day event will examine and discuss more than 150 scientific papers, delivered by notable experts, gurus and postgraduate students from over 20+ countries, from all scientific and cademic institutions and in various fields of applied sciences, engineering, medical, health, human and social sciences. The organizing committee prepared a scientific and cultural program that includes 51 sessions distributed throughout the conference days, and 13 lectures given by experts on various topics of the conference.

Attended the conference, H.E. Nasser Bin Thani Al Hameli, Minister of HR and Emiratization, a number of UoS Board of Trustees, H.E. Brigadier General Saif Al Zari Al Shamsi, Commander-in-Chief of Sharjah Police, H.E. Mohammed Obaid Al Zaabi, Head of the Hospitality and Protocol Department, Prof. Hamid M.K. Al Naimiy, Chancellor of the University of Sharjah, UoS Vice Chancellors, and a large number of professors.

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