Skip navigation

Wednesday May 2, 2012

Ahmad Yousef al-Hassan Gabarin
Professor of Mechanical Engineering, scholar in the history of Arabic and Islamic science and technology, former Minister of Petroleum, Electricity and Industry in Syrian governments prior to 1971, former President of the University of Aleppo passed away on April 28 in Toronto at age 86. Dr. al-Hassan was born on June 25, 1925 in Mcherfe village, Palestine, to Yousef and Salha of the Gabarin clan. Poverty drove his family to migrate to Haifa where he earned the recognition of his educators, and thus was promoted to continue his high school education at the Arab College in Jerusalem. He then went on to study mechanical engineering at Cairo University. In 1948 he was unable to return to his homeland, and instead settled in Syria where he joined the faculty of engineering, and later became dean of the faculty after obtaining his Master's degree from Imperial College and his PhD from University College, London, England. From 1968 to 1971 he served in the Syrian government, under the premiership of Yousuf Zain, as Minister of Petroleum, Electricity and Industry. From 1973 to 1978 he served as president of the University of Aleppo. In 1974 he established the Institute of Arabic Science at the University of Aleppo. In 1982 he immigrated to Canada. His scientific endeavours earned him many awards including the Ordre National de la Legion D'Honneur of the French Republic. He was a distinguished author on the subject of history of science and technology and his books have been translated into many languages. He served on the advisory committee of the United Nations University, was a Member of the International Scientific Committee of UNESCO on The Different Aspects of Islamic Culture, and the chief editor of Science and Technology in Islam, a visiting professor at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at University College, London, and a visiting professor at the Department of Middle East and Islamic Studies, University of Toronto. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Laila and his three sons, Sameh, Ayman and Omar and three daughters, Sawsan, Randa and Maha.

Back to top