The Middle East’s Real Stars of Science

Reality and talent shows are a dime a dozen in the Middle East. The vast majority are cheap knock-offs from the originals created in either Europe or America. We’ve got the Arab version of ‘The Biggest Loser,’ which pits overweight men and women against each other to lose weight with the aim to win a huge monetary prize. Then we’ve got the singing talent show “Star Academy,” a blatant “American Idol” wannabe. For the longest time, no one has come up with an original idea for a reality-based talent show that wasn’t ripped off from someone else.

But the tides have started to turn, and have brought waves of interesting never-before-seen reality TV to viewers in the Middle East. The latest is a science-based talent show that has young budding scientists compete for fame, fortune and glory.

Based in Qatar, at the Science and Technology Park, science enthusiasts ranging in age from 18-30 years old participate in the talent show, “Stars of Science”. Each contestant is given the tools and materials they need to transform all of their scientific theories into lofty realities.

The show is already in its’ second season and has become a hit with viewers. Contestants have the chance to win the grand prize of $300,000 for the best scientific project.

It is a little known fact that the Islamic world has been responsible for some of the greatest scientific discoveries known to man. A Muslim mathematician, for example, invented algebra. However, there has been a lull in innovations coming out of the Islamic world for quite a few centuries. The Stars of Science are seeking to change that.

In the first season of the show, contestants came up with some noteworthy and extremely viable inventions. One was an underwater contraption that harnesses the power of waves and converts it to energy. Another one was a driving vest that can help lessen the effects of injuries from a car accident. However, one of the most important inventions was a wheelchair that reads the brain waves of the occupant to make navigation a whole lot easier.

This new season of Stars of Science will undoubtedly produce even more important inventions that could change the lives of scores of people around the world. And what could be better than that? Scientific discoveries in the Islamic world could be just the right dose of PR to steal the limelight away from those who would sully the good name of the Islamic faith.

Source: Middle East Online



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