In the 17th century, the Europeans rediscovered many of the “Arabick” scientific writings, particularly the writings of 11th century scholar Ibn al-Haytham. At the Museum of Islamic Art, a special exhibition “Arabick Roots” explores the impact these Arabic writings had on the Western scientists, and notes that in some cases “scientists and Arabists became one, as, particularly among astronomers, it became vital to directly read original Arabick texts.”
Another influence of the Arab culture came through the trade routes, and coffeehouses became particularly popular in the late 17th century. In London, the coffeehouses were nicknamed “penny universities,” as “for the price of a cup of coffee” one could “hear the great minds of the day discuss the big issues.” London, Tripoli and Constantinople exchanged ambassadors, and the Royal Society elected one Libyan and two Moroccan ambassadors to their select body by virtue of their interest in science.
As one enters the exhibit, there is a kiosk where one can hear a welcome from one of the female members of the Qatar COP 18 presidential team. Relating the exhibit back to COP 18, she welcomes the opportunity for Qatar to help advance science and climate change, and to lead the debate for policies, green technology and capacity building.
For more, check out www.1001inventions.com/ArabickRoots.
And, absolutely check out the remarkable museum itself: http://www.mia.org.qa/landing/index.php/en/