The second edition of the Science and Technology Exchange Program among Muslim Countries (STEP) has seen its fourth day in the Malaysian city of Putrajaya. The event is organized jointly by the Mustafa(pbuh) Science and Technology Foundation (MSTF) and the University of Putra Malaysia (UPM).
“We are here to solve our problems, not to complain about them,” says Omar Yaghi, a chemist from Jordan, addressing the delegates of the forum in a workshop dubbed The Issues Related to Publishing High-Impact Papers.
150 researchers and scholars along with 30 scientists from Egypt, Morocco, Oman, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Malaysia, Singapore and Turkey have participated in the event.
The MSTF has held the event in collaboration with the University of UPM. “This forum will be held on a regular basis, maybe annually or biennially,” said the representative of the MSTF to the STEP.
One of the activities of the MSTF is to honor the achievements of Muslim scientists by awarding them the Mustafa(pbuh) Prize. Prof. Yaghi, was invited to the STEP forum by the MSTF as he was one of the laureates of the 2015 Mustafa(pbuh) Prize.
The STEP forum is aimed at strengthening the bonds between Muslim scientists by providing a “network” where they can meet and exchange views. And this is what has happened during the five-day STEP forum. Through different workshops and panels, Muslims tried to identify the weak points of Muslim communities in improving their scientific standards.
“We are in a privileged position and have responsibility toward our nation,” said Yaghi. He described scientists as “problem solvers” and not “complainers” about the problems. He went on to say “all of us have problems … including any possible discriminations,” but, he opined that scientists are supposed to be “breakthroughs in all aspects.”
The STEP forum began on December 19th, and the closing ceremony is right around the corner, on December 22nd. On the fifth and the last day, the delegates will take a scientific tour at the University of UPM.