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Why there's a need to drive thirst for knowledge in the middle east

08 February 2016


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“We all acknowledge there is a problem today with scientific achievements in the 21st century in the Arab world. Some view street signs with suspicion as imposed by the West and less than half of a percent of the GDP of many Muslim countries is spent on R&D, woefully little compared to the rest of the world,” stated Prof. Jim Al-Khalili, Professor of Theoretical Physics & Chair Public Engagement in Science at the University of Surrey.  

The recognised half-Iraqi/British professor enlightened delegates at the World Government Summit, about the achievements of the 9th century ‘Golden Age of Science’.

“Scholars back then believed profoundly that God had given them brains to seek knowledge to understand the world to better, to understand the words of the Quran – they were curious about the world. This is the most important thing about science,” he explained.

According to Al-Khalili there was no reason why the region couldn’t revive the thirst for knowledge.

“Driving the thirst for knowledge is the way how we solve problems for the betterment of humanity,” he stated, adding the picture today wasn’t entirely bleak, citing examples of knowledge seeking in the region, such as educational cities in the Gulf and scientific research facilities in the Levant.