Monday, March 07, 2005

US$2 million to boost research in Muslim world

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) has approved a significant increase in funding for its programme offering scholarships to Muslim scientists, and has called for the creation of a foundation to give further support to gifted researchers from the Muslim world.

In a meeting held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia from 4 to 7 February, the IDB board of executive directors approved the allocation of an extra two per cent of the bank's annual net income (a minimum of US$2 million) to its Merit Scholarship Programme (MSP) for doctoral and post-doctoral research.

This is in addition to the IDB's existing investment of nearly US$1 million each year.

Also at the Jeddah meeting, Faisal Abdul Aziz Al-Zamil, the IDB's executive director, called for the establishment of a foundation to award fellowships and travel grants to researchers in Muslim countries. The foundation, he said, should be financed by the private sector in Muslim countries.

The MSP provides scholarships to scientists of member nations of the IDB to undertake training in research institutes in industrialised nations, in emerging high-tech Asian countries and in centres of excellence in the Muslim world.

According to a report by Ahmed Mohamed Ali, the bank's president, 80 per cent of IDB member countries and 172 institutions have benefited from the scholarship programme.

However, he says the programme's budget is not sufficient because of the increased cost of scientific training and education in Western countries and of the falling value of the US dollar.

The report indicated that the 57 predominantly Muslim countries have 23 per cent of the world population but less than two per cent of the world’s scientists.


At March 07, 2005 9:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It must have struck many people, of the very large number of Middle Easterners with doctorates. Sometimes it seems that almost every person in the ME is a doctor of some sort. I had supposed that these doctorates, were for the most part in islamic studies, and thus not worth the paper they were written on. In keeping with this, I innocently assumed that Arab PhDs in science would have some value.

Below is an excerpt of an interview of Dr. Abd Al-Baset Al-Sayyed of the Egyptian National Research Center. Al-Majd TV aired this interview on January 16, 2005

Islamic Science: Neil Armstrong Proved Mecca is the Center of the WorldDr. 'Abd Al-Baset Sayyid: The centrality [of Mecca] has been proven scientifically. How? When they traveled to outer space and took pictures of the earth, they saw that it is a dark, hanging sphere. The man said, "Earth is a dark hanging sphere – who hung it?"

Interviewer: Who said that?

Dr. 'Abd Al-Baset Sayyid: [Neil] Armstrong. Armstrong was basically trying to say: Allah is the one who hung it. They discovered that Earth emits radiation, and they wrote about this on the web. They left the item there for 21 days, and then they made it disappear.

Interviewer: Why did they make it disappear?

Dr. 'Abd Al-Baset Sayyid: There was intent there…

Interviewer: So it may be said that this suppression of information was significant.

Dr. 'Abd Al-Baset Sayyid: It was very significant, since…the Ka'ba [in Mecca]… They said it emits radiation. This radiation is short-wave.
Read it all


Note that the esteemed doctor is employed by the Egyptian National Research Center.

In this news of this supposed boost to scientific research in the ME, is the unstated presumption that real scholarship does actually exist in the ME, and of sufficient strength to actually merit state funding.

There is a plethora of muslim scholars in the West, all claiming scolarship when in fact they are nothing but apologists or missionaries for islam.

What really annoys me is that the Arab world borrows the symbols of Western thought and attainment but only the symbols. And by adorning these symbols of scholarship at any and all occasions, they devalue the very essence of scholarship.


Thank you Fjordman, for a little rant. But really, I'm fed up with all these Drs from the ME.


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