In light of the recent events in the Middle East with ISIS, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, I wanted to showcase the amazing contribution that the Middle East has given to society over the years. Some of the most influential advancements came from the Middle East such as medicine, the idea of higher education, and mathematics.
A man by the name of Al-Razi was the first to diagnose smallpox and measles. He was able to associate these diseases and other with human contagion. From this he was able to create vaccines before the West was able to. He was also the first person to use animal guts as sutures.
Many people interested in Psychology know of freud and his theories about the subconscious. However, a famous philosopher name Ibn Sina was the first man who believed that some illnesses were psychosomatic. Ibn Sina was also the first person that believed that certain events could be relived by our subconscious and explains a person’s present ailment. Without his contributions, present day PTSD and other diagnosis could never have happened.
During the 14th century the black plague had spread across the world. A Syrian named Ibn Khatib discovered that it was spread by contagion and went on to create fundamental principles of pulmonary circulation. Think back to your history books about how many lives the black plague took. Out of all of Europe, a Syrian man was able to discover how it spread and then went on to try and stop it.
Many of the current herbal remedies that many Americans and Europeans used came from Middle Eastern countries. Herbs such as Basil, oregano, thyme, coriander, and cinnamon are still used in Arab countries today for medical treatment. Without their medical contributions to the world, we may not be as medically advancement as we are now without the brilliant minds of the Middle Eastern doctors.
The very first university to give out degrees was created by a Saudi Princess. She used her vast wealth and influence to recruit some of the most brilliant minds in her country to come to college. The idea of a university that gave degrees based on knowledge and skills spread throughout the Middle East. Think about how many colleges and Universities there are in the United States. If a Saudi Princess had not created the very first degree seeking college our education system all across the world could be very different.
The Middle East can also be applauded for their contribution of mathematics. Surprisingly, the Arab created the number zero or sifr in the Arabic language. Before this the idea of zero had never existed. They also improved on the idea of a decimal system as well as trigonometry. These discoveries helped other scientists with their findings such as Leonardo De Vinci, Leonardo Fibonacci of Pisa and Master Jacob of Florence. A man named Al Khwarizmi has been credited for creating Algebra because he wanted to find a better way of ensuring precise land divisions so the Koran can be more carefully obeyed. In history there have been many different calendars from different civilizations. The Arabs improved upon the one we used today with and estimated margin of error of only 1 day in 5,000 years.
There have been numerous advancements made by the people in the Middle East over the centuries. I did not want to list them all due to the lengthy blog you would be reading but I highly encourage you to visit the reference website. Today’s media focuses on all of the violence, hatred and negative aspects of the Middle East but I hope this blog showed you the amazing contributions the Middle East has given the rest of the world.
Reference: “Arab Contributions to Civilization.” – American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee N.p., n.d. Web. 02 Nov. 2014.
“Middle East.” The Top 10 Facts About the –. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Nov. 2014.