A Palestinian Scientists Dynasty

Mohammed Aref

(On the marble walls of the Library of Congress Main Reading room an anonymous quotation saying «We taste the spices of Arabs yet never feel the scorching sun which brings forth»). My talk is about four sons of a Palestinian farmer running all the way, after the occupation of their village in 1967 to the top of the World of science. The term dynasty means usually sequence of heredity rulers; ex., Egyptian dynasty, or powerful political leaders of the same family; the Kennedy dynasty. It has been used rarely in science to refer to group or community of scientists rather than to sequence of heredity scientists. ex., Robert Kanigel book, Apprentice to Genius: The Making of a Scientific Dynasty›. A scientist›s dynasty phenomenon has been recognized during the Arab›s Renascence in the ninth century:
1. Hunain b. Ishaq, a physician and legendary translator scholar from Greek to Arabic, his son Ishaq b. Hunain, and his nephew Hubaysh b. al-Hasan al-A`sam.
2. Banu Musa; Musa bin Shaker and his three sons; Muhammad, Ahmad and al- Hassan, they were great mathematicians, inventors and part of the famous ‹House of Wisdom› in Baghdad.
3. Thabit b. Qurra, one of the greatest mathematician not only of Islam but of all times, his son Sinan b. Thabit and grandson Ibrahim b.Sinan b. Thabit Palestinian Scientists Dynasty:
Four distinguished professors; Ali, PhD. engineering science, his brothers Adnan, PhD aerospace engineering, Munir, PhD. theoretical physics, nanoelectronics and pho- tonics, the youngest brother Taysir, PhD. industrial engineering . Ali›s sonsTariq, PhD. mechanical engineering and medical sciences, Mahir, PhD engineering. Adnan›s son Basim, PhD. computer science and his Nephew Jamal Faris Nayfeh, PhD.
engineering. Munir›s sons Hasan, PhD. computer science, Ammar PhD electrical engineering and Usama, PhD. electrical engineering. It happened that I met most of them since the nineties and wrote about them several stories and articles, mainly about Munir Nayfeh. First was my first front page story about nanotechnology published in Al-Hayat daily in London, December 11, 1994. It took me many years and more stories to realize that I am dealing with a Palestinian Scientists Dynasty. I recognized that in an article in Kuwaiti popular magazine Al-Arabi, April 2000. My abstract is presentation of a study I am working on about Munir and his family of scientists to be published in English in Contemporary Arab Affairs Journal, Rout- ledge, London and in Arabic Al-Mustaqbal Al- Arabi (The Arab Future), Centre for Arab Unity Studies, Beirut. The most impressing fact is that emerging of Palestinian Scientist dynasty is simple. It is simple to state that Palestinians as other nations has talents for science. It is simple and therefore it is beautiful. It is simple in its human patterns. I do not mean it is simple in it is action. To put together elements of these unique lives it might help famous Richard Feynman definition of The Character of Physical Law, «the motion of the various planets and the perturbations of one on the other can be quite complicated to work out, and to follow all those stars in globular cluster move quite beyond our ability. It is complicated in its actions, but the basic pattern or the system beneath the whole thing is simple. This is common to all our laws; they all turn out to be simple things, although complex in their actual actions».