|Thursday July 31, 2014||Honorary Graduates > Tuesday 10 July 2007 morning ceremony|
Tuesday 10 July 2007 morning ceremony
Professor Ekmeleddin Íhsanoğlu is Secretary General of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference. Since he took office in 2005, he has provided strong leadership to the Organisation, which has 57 member states and represents the Muslim world.
Professor Íhsanoğlu was born in Cairo and studied at the city’s Ain Shams University where he completed Bachelors and Masters degrees in Chemistry. He then went on to Ankara University in Turkey to complete a PhD. From there he came to the University of Exeter where he spent two years as a Research Fellow.
Professor Íhsanoğlu has pioneered activities relating to research and publishing and has organised congresses in various fields, including history of the arts and sciences and intercultural relations. He became the first professor and founding Head of the Department of History of Science at Istanbul University. He is the founding Director-General of the Research Centre for Islamic History, Culture and Arts and also the founding Chairman of the Turkish Society for History of Science.
He is a member of various international societies, academies and institutes, and editorial boards of many journals. He has written numerous books and papers on the history of science, Islamic culture, Turkish culture, and relations between the Muslim world and the West, some of which were translated into various languages. He has been conferred with honorary doctorates by universities and also civil medals and honours by various countries.
Born Steven Demetre Georgiou, the son of a Greek Cypriot father and Swedish mother, Yusuf Islam grew up in the heart of London’s theatre district. While studying at art college he was auditioned by record producer Mike Hurst. The resulting tracks were so impressive that the young artist – now known as Cat Stevens – was selected to launch the new Deram label, which also signed new British talent David Bowie. Cat Stevens went on to become one of the biggest solo artists of the 1960s and 1970s, penning such classics as Matthew & Son, Moonshadow, Wild World and Father & Son and selling over 50 million LPs.
Following a bout of TB he undertook an ongoing search for peace and spiritual truth. After almost drowning in the Pacific Ocean at Malibu he received a translation of the Qur’an from his elder brother, David. His quest for answers was fulfilled and he embraced Islam in 1977. He changed his name to Yusuf Islam and walked away from the music business to start a new life and raise a family. Today, Yusuf Islam is arguably one of the world’s most famous converts to Islam.
His pioneering work in education and tireless support for humanitarian causes has received international recognition, including being honoured with the ‘Man for Peace’ award in 2004 by a committee of Nobel peace laureates. His critically acclaimed album, An Other Cup, released in late 2006 with the aim of inspiring bridge-building and understanding across cultures and faiths, has attained Gold and Platinum status across Europe. In May 2007, Yusuf Islam was awarded the Ivor Novello award for Outstanding Song Collection.
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