The Golden Age of Islam/Baghdad -- Global Learning for Kids -- Middle Eastern and North African Heritage Month

August Multicultural Kid Blogs celebrates Middle Eastern and North African Heritage Month. This post is part of this series as well as the first of our Global Learning for Kids for August. Global Learning for Kids is exploring Iraq this month. This summer Hazel has really gotten into the Magic Tree House series and I was very excited to find one that takes Jack and Annie to Iraq. It was the perfect way to introduce this country to Hazel.

In this book Jack and Annie travel in the magic tree house back in time to the Golden Age of Baghdad (which is often called the Golden Age of Islam). If you do not know the Magic Tree House Series by Mary Pope Osborne, she bases all of the books on facts and they are educational fiction. Jack and Annie, brother and sister, discover a tree house in the woods near their house and it appears and disappears. When it appears there is a special mission for them to go on. They are sent by Merlin and Morgan le Fay. Of course there is magic in every adventure. In this tale Jack and Annie meet a caravan and the leader helps the kids try to get to Baghdad, but they are separated in a sandstorm. The kids have the precious treasure that the leader was trying to bring to Baghdad. The kids discover it is a book by Aristotle. Not knowing what to do with this amazing treasure they decide to bring it to the caliph. The caliph is the leader of Baghdad. The caliph in this story was based on two real caliphs: Harun al-Rashid and his son Abdullah al-Mamoon. The caliph in the story was also the caravan leader. He wanted to get the precious treasure and not let anyone else have control over it so he had disguised himself as a caravan leader. When the kids bring the treasure to him he shows them the House of Wisdom.
Portraits are from Commons Wikipedia

The House of Wisdom was a home to scholars from all over the Eastern world. It was a library and more. It stored many of the different writings and works of great thinkers from all over the world. They would translate the various languages into Arabic so all could read them and learn from the great thinkers of the past. Another book that helped us learn about the House of Wisdom by Florence Parry Heide and Judith Heide Gilliland called The House of Wisdom. It tells the story of Ishaq, a boy who grew up in the House of Wisdom.

The House of Wisdom was a place where Muslims and non-Muslims came to study the works from China, Africa, Persia and others. It was the center of learning in the 9th through the 13th centuries. Two famous scholars who studied and worked here were al-Kindi, a great philosopher, mathematician and scientist and Abū ‘Abdallāh Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī, known as the father of algebra. al-Kindi and al-Khwarizmi is also known for bringing the Hindu-Arabic numerals we use today to the world. 

During this Golden Age of Islam there were other great advances in mathematics. Al-Jayyānī was an Islamic mathematician that wrote about spherical trigonometry including the law of sines which is still taught today.
Law of Sines By Benutzer:Wieschoo (erstellt mit Latex-Quellcode
(siehe unten)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Alhazen was born in Basra, another city in Iraq. He was known for his work in optics but also as an early proponent of scientific method where the hypothesis must be proven by scientific experiments or mathematical procedure. This was 200 years before the Renaissance scientist would understand it. He also found the sum formula for the fourth power as well as other mathematical contributions. 

The amazing contributions that came from this time in Baghdad as well in the Islamic world is amazing. Thanks to Harun al-Rashid and his son a center of learning and sharing was developed by the House of Wisdom. These great leaders honored education, poetry and thought. The stories in The One Thousand and One Arabian Nights are based about al-Rashid and this time period.

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Welcome to the second annual Middle Eastern and North African Heritage Month series from Multicultural Kid Blogs! Follow along all month long for great resources on teaching children about the heritage of this region, and link up your own posts below. You can also find even more resources on our North Africa and the Middle East Pinterest board:

August 8 A Crafty Arab on Multicultural Kid Blogs   August 12 Tara's Multicultural Table on Multicultural Kid Blogs   August 15 Crafty Moms Share   August 17 A Crafty Arab   August 22 All Done Monkey

Link Up Your Posts!

An InLinkz Link-up

This post is also part of the Global Learning for Kids series for August. Please be sure to check out all of these great posts about Iraq and share any posts you have about Iraq!!