Pioneering innovations of the Golden Age of the Islamic World to open at The Tech Museum

‘Islamic Science Rediscovered’ also known as ‘Sultans of Science’, the global traveling exhibition created by Dubai and Cape Town based, MTE Studios returns revamped to United States due to popular demand. Originally started at the Ibn Batuta mall in Dubai – UAE, the exhibition has gone global and has been to various venues in the last few years. The highly interactive exhibits will be showcased at the world renowned The Tech Museum from 3rd September 2011 until end of February 2012 after its successful national premiere at Liberty Science Centre in New Jersey. The exhibition was also hosted by Ontario Science Centre and The TELUS World of Science in Canada.

Long overlooked, the remarkable contributions of Muslim scholars in science and technology have quietly floundered as no more than common footnotes of world history. Abbas ibn Farnas and his flying glider, Al-Jazari’s engineering marvels and Al-Khwarizmi with his pioneering method of study and calculations for the movements of the sun, the moon and the five planets known at the time, all but lost.

“This dynamic exhibition challenges the way we examine history and encourages the need to embrace multi-cultural knowledge in a global society,” said Mike Hackworth, Lead Director, The Tech Museum. “Many of our visitors will be surprised to learn that from these ancient desert cities came the theory of vision, techniques of quantitative chemistry and trigonometry and the numeral systems that we use today.”

Now the visitors can discover the innovation, science and technology mastery of one of today’s most misunderstood cultures at the ‘Islamic Science Rediscovered’, opening at The Tech Museum. The global blockbuster exhibition celebrates the contributions of Muslim scholars during the Golden Age of the Muslim World (700 – 1700 CE), in the arts and astronomy to engineering and exploration – discovery that, in some cases, came centuries before Western innovation.

MTE Studios CEO, Ludo Verheyen said, “Each dedicated cluster will educate and entertain visitors of all ages and expects to attract even bigger audiences at Tech Museum. MTE Studios is honored to be working with such an accomplished and esteemed venue and looks forward to the opening at The Tech Museum which is perfectly located to maximize visitor numbers to the exhibition.”

MTE Studios was commissioned to design a large themed Mall named the Ibn Battuta Mall, in Dubai. During the research stages whereby MTE Studios studied the 14th century architecture of Muslim Spain, North Africa, Egypt, India, Persia and China and came across a most interesting image of an old manuscript, depicting a life-size Indian elephant, with an Arabic castle on top and various sculpted figurines and animals such as Chinese serpents. This was visualized to become a unique sculptural element for one of the courts within the Mall. To our delight we discovered that this beautiful sculpture was, in fact, a clock, an ingenious device named, as per the manuscript, the Elephant Water clock and designed by the 14th Century Muslim engineer Al Jazari.

Studying the mechanics of Al Jazari’s inventions prompted MTE Studios to research more about the inventions, innovations and discoveries of that era in the Muslim world, which finally led to the birth of the iconic exhibition ‘1000 years of knowledge rediscovered’, which is still on permanent display at the Mall. Dignitaries, historians and CEO’s from leading science centers around the world at the launch of the exhibition at the Ibn Batuta Mall in Dubai proposed the idea of taking the exhibition and the knowledge global, encouraging MTE Studios to develop the global travelling exhibition, ‘Islamic Science Rediscovered’.

“The exhibition drew record crowds at previous venues allowing visitors to discover and understand how a great civilization created prosperity across large areas from Spain to China. We are delighted to take it a step further by taking it to various parts of the world. We have had tremendous interest from museums and science centres across the globe and we envision the exhibition travelling all around the world.” added Verheyen.

Interesting inventions and mechanisms from ‘Islamic Science Rediscovered’ were recently showcased at the 7th charity dinner of Qatar Foundation’s Social Development Centre (SDC), an event for a charitable cause held at the Sheraton in Doha. Attending and supporting the event were HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, and HH Sheikha Moza Nasser al-Misnad, together with a number of supporters and sponsors. The charity dinner featured the rich past of one of the oldest civilizations in the world. It captured the ‘Golden Age of Islam’ in a theatrical manner. The foyer, leading to the main venue, featured a series of exhibits, flown in from MTE Studios ‘Islamic Science Rediscovered’, the global travelling exhibition also known as ‘Sultan of Science’. Exhibits such as the robotic man, armillary sphere, the astrolabe, the ‘House of Wisdom,’ an interactive library and the elephant clock were displayed. Perhaps the most unique was Al Jazari’s invention, a towering elephant clock nearly 4m high which was unveiled by HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani before the start of the event.

Influenced from the iconic exhibition, one of the signature projects in MTE Studios’ portfolio is the Museum of Science and Technology in Islam (MOSTI) at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. MTE Studios designed, built and delivered turnkey this iconic museum which is a celebration of various contributions of Muslim scholars in the field of science and technology during the Golden Age of Islam. MTE Studios has also played a major role in the design, manufacture and installation of numerous interactive exhibits at the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, Turkey. In addition to the design of galleries and the development, design, prototyping and manufacture of exhibitions, MTE Studios also offers operational planning and training for science centres and museums.

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Media Information

About ‘Islamic Science Rediscovered’ (‘Sultans of Science’):

‘Islamic Science Rediscovered’ also known as ‘Sultans of Science’ is a global touring exhibition celebrating the contribution of Muslim Scholars in Science and Technology during the Golden Age of the Islamic World and the influence their inventions and contributions has towards modern society.

Focused on increasing knowledge and understanding of these invaluable contributions, ‘Islamic Science Rediscovered’ has been created as a global traveling exhibition in order to enable its message to be far reaching through science centers and museums around the world.

The content features interactive displays with information on inventions, innovations and discoveries covering a broad spectrum of science topics such as astronomy, mathematics, medicine, optics amongst others, which were ahead of its time. Visit for more information.

About MTE Studios:

MTE Studios is a specialized consultancy firm focused on themed architecture and interactive learning experiences. The firm designs, prototypes and manufactures inspiring interactive exhibits for science centers, museums, shopping malls and corporate environments.

MTE Studios translates unique residential, commercial, educational and leisure projects into stimulating lifescapes. Its scope of services ranges from creating a storyline, concept and detail design, documentation, project management and art direction during construction. MTE’s portfolio of completed projects includes museums, shopping malls, theme parks, FEC’s and residential developments.

With offices in Dubai, UAE and Cape Town, South Africa, MTE Studios has an interdisciplinary team of over 50 specialists, including architects, art directors, artists, engineers and interactive designers from over 12 countries. Visit for more information

About Tech Museum:

The Tech Museum is a hands-on science and technology institution designed to engage people of all ages and backgrounds in experiences that educate, inform, provoke thought, and inspire action. Ensconced in the heart of Silicon Valley, the museum captures the spirit of the region through innovative content and programs such The Tech Challenge, our annual team design competition for youth, and the internationally renowned The Tech Awards, which recognizes technology to benefit humanity. Daily, The Tech Museum celebrates the present and encourages the development of pioneering ideas for a more promising future.

For more information, please contact Shereen Shabnam on +971 507690087/504828177/

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