Dr.Saleh Al Ojeiri
The name of the astronomer Dr. Saleh Mohammed Al-Ojeiri is closely associated with the field of astronomy in the Arab world. Al-Ojeiri is considered the founder of this science in Kuwait. His calendar, which was launched in 1938, is the primary reference for the State of Kuwait and the Gulf region due to the scientific experiences it contains. These experiences have made him a prominent figure in this field.
Al-Ojeiri's calendar has received generous support and high appreciation from the State of Kuwait, as it is considered the official and approved calendar in the country for all matters related to calculating timings, lunar months, and astronomical phenomena, especially with the blessings of specialists in this regard in the Arab and Islamic worlds.
In our belief in this scientific journey and our quest for development, we embark today on the scientific institutional work for this prestigious calendar.
Dr. Saleh Mohammed Al-Ojeiri is considered one of the first generation leaders of Kuwait and rightfully regarded as one of the prominent figures in its history, known for his significant contributions to its scientific and intellectual advancement. He played a pivotal role in its establishment and is considered one of the distinguished individuals in the Gulf region who greatly contributed to the emergence and progress of Arab Gulf countries.
He enriched the Gulf and Arab scientific library with numerous unique scientific works in the field of astronomy. He provided scientific consultations and delivered lectures on astronomy and meteorology, clarifying accurate scientific facts and debunking myths within society. He was committed to promoting the scientific study of astronomy while steering clear of astrological practices. Additionally, he offered numerous scientific proposals and solutions to various astronomical issues, where many Arab and Muslim scientists held diverging opinions.
He was a distinguished representative of the Arab world in international forums, acclaimed for his excellence, valuable insights, and advanced scientific research. He actively participated in international conferences on astronomy, further enhancing the field's prominence. Dr. Saleh Mohammed Al-Ojeiri made significant and direct contributions to the establishment of an astronomical observatory in Kuwait, which became a permanent headquarters for astronomers, specialists, enthusiasts, and researchers. Through his efforts, numerous scientific achievements were accomplished, such as Kuwait's participation in observing Halley's Comet. On the evening of October 25, 1985, the first observatory in the region observed the comet, marking a scientific milestone. He also tracked and photographed planets and their moons within the solar system, in addition to establishing a star dome that effectively and directly contributed to the dissemination of astronomical knowledge across all layers of society. His scientific endeavors extended beyond specialists, enthusiasts, and researchers to encompass citizens, teachers, students, and even the general public. Despite not being able to actively pursue his office's activities, he opened his home in the morning and evening to welcome students who wished to meet him. He also delivered daily lectures at educational institutions and met with any knowledge-seeking student at his residence.
Furthermore, he diligently followed annual, monthly, and daily astronomical events, such as the appearance of the new moon marking the beginning of each Arabic month. He disseminated his predictions regarding astronomical phenomena such as solar and lunar eclipses, as well as climate-related events such as rainfall, dust storms, and seasonal temperature fluctuations. Additionally, he provided accurate prayer times and determined the direction of the Qibla (Mecca) for Muslims. He also presented scientific, cultural, and social programs through various media outlets such as television, radio, and newspapers.
First: Books and Works by Al-Ajiri
"Taqweem Al-Quroon" (Chronology of Centuries for Corresponding Hijri and Gregorian Dates).
"Kayfa Tahsib Hawadith Al-Kusoof wal Khusoof" (How to Calculate Solar and Lunar Eclipses).
"Khariitat Al-Ma' Najoom As-Samaa" (Map of the Brightest Stars in the Sky).
"Al-Ihtida' bil Nujoom" (Guidance by the Stars).
"Muznib Haali" (Halley's Comet).
"Duroos Faleekiyah lil Mubtade'een" (Astronomy Lessons for Beginners).
"Al-Mawaqit wal Qibla - Qawa'id wa Amthal" (Prayer Times and Qibla - Rules and Examples).
"At-Taqweem Al-Hijri wa Kayfa Hisab" (The Hijri Calendar and How it is Calculated).
"Ilm Al-Meeqaat" (The Science of Appointed Times).
"At-Taqawwim Qadeeman wa Hadithan" (Calendars, Ancient and Modern).
"Jadwalat Al-Waqt" (Time Scheduling).
"Dawrat Al-Hilal" (The Lunar Cycle).
"Tarikh Al-Kuwait Yawm Bi-Yawm" (Kuwait's History Day by Day).
Second: Astronomical Research:
• "At-Tahqeeq Al-Ilmi li-Maw'id Tuloo' Al-Fajr As-Sadiq" (Scientific Investigation of the Accurate Timing of Dawn).
• "Istikhdam Al-Hisabat Al-Faleekiyyah fi Ithbat Ar-Ru'yyah Ash-Shar'iyyah li'l-Hilal" (Utilizing Astronomical Calculations to Confirm the Legitimate Sighting of the Crescent).
• "Al-Jadwalah Ash-Shamilah lil-Mawaqit fi Shata Baqa' Al-Ard" (Comprehensive Scheduling of Prayer Times in Various Parts of the Earth).
• "Al-Manakh wal Mawasim Az-Zira'iyyah fi Al-Kuwait" (Climate and Agricultural Seasons in Kuwait).
• "Al-Khutoot wal Dawa'ir" (Lines and Circles).
• "Ahmiyyat Mil ash-Shams" (The Significance of the Sun's Inclination).
• "Mudakhilat Az-Zaman" (Time Intervals).
• "Wasa'il Ta'ayyin Al-Jihat" (Means of Determining Directions).
• " Tahweel At-Tawarikh Al-Mukhtalifah" (Conversion of Different Dates).
• "Muznib Haali... Hadith Kawni wa In'ikas Insyabi" (Halley's Comet... A Cosmic Event and Reflective Flow)
Third: Books Reviewd and Supervised
"Guide to Constellations and Stars" by Abdullah bin Abdul Rahman Al-Musnid, 1410 AH.
"Astronomical Organization" by Ahmed Ali Shawar Al-Falaki, 1989 AD.
"Al-Ajiri Observatory: From Idea to Reality" by Mohammed Salem Hajazi, 1986 AD.
"The Torn Ozone Layer" by Mohammed Salem Hajazi.
"Astronomical Puzzles" by Dr. Abdul Rahim Badr from Jordan - Published by Kuwait Institute for Scientific Progress, Kuwait, 1984 AD.
"Star Positions" by Ahmed Ali Shawar Al-Falaki, 1995 AD - Egypt.
"Horizons of Astronomy" by Dr. Mohammed Ahmed Suleiman - Egypt.
"In the Realm of the Universe" by Mohammed Fayadh Allah Al-Hamidi - Syria.
"Study of the Planet Mars" by Dr. Mohammed Ahmed Suleiman - Egypt.
"Alternatives to Three Theories about the Moon" by Mohammed Salem bin Doudou - Mauritania.
"Number of Years and Calculation" by Mohammed Salem bin Doudou - Mauritania.
"Wonders of Mars" by Dr. Mohammed Ahmed Suleiman - Egypt.
Fourth: Annual Publications:
"Table Memo Pad."
Fifth: How the Journey started:
Dr. Saleh Alojeiri became interested in astronomy through various paths. Firstly, during his childhood, he had a fear of natural phenomena such as strong winds, darkness, rain, thunderstorms, and lightning. This fear led him to explore the field of astronomy as a means to understand and familiarize himself with these celestial phenomena. Additionally, his father, may he rest in peace, sent him to the desert at a young age to learn horsemanship, archery, and rugged survival skills. During his stay as a guest of the Al-Rashaydah tribe, he was captivated by the majestic and beautiful desert sky, with its luminous sun, radiant moon, and sparkling stars. This experience deepened his love and passion for the field of astronomy. Furthermore, he displayed a natural aptitude for mathematics and geometry from a young age, excelling in these subjects. This inclination towards mathematical thinking played a significant role in his pursuit of astronomy and facilitated his entrance into this scientific discipline with competence.
Sixth: His Definition of Astronomy:
Astronomy is closely intertwined with human life, as we observe, witness, and experience it in various aspects of our lives. In my role in the field of astronomy in my country, Kuwait, I have authored numerous astronomical books. Through my long practice in this field, I have presented many opinions related to lunar sightings. I was assigned in one of the conferences to calculate a unified Islamic calendar. I have conducted research on twilight, the gradual decrease in the sun's altitude, and opinions related to the Islamic biography and events. On special occasions, I provided necessary information regarding seasonal changes, celestial events, weather conditions, tides, the appearance of the crescent moon, eclipses, lunar eclipses, and prayer times. Additionally, I served my community in India following World War II, where I derived a right-angled triangle for builders from the theory of Pythagoras. I have ongoing research that is progressively published in various visual, auditory, and written media. Astronomy is an ancient science that humans have been interested in since ancient times, and it is an integral part of our daily and social lives. The Chinese, Chaldeans, and ancient Egyptians had a strong foundation in this science.
The Greeks also made significant advancements in astronomy, from which the Arabs and Muslims acquired the fundamentals of this science through translation during the Abbasid era. However, Muslims did not stop at translation but incorporated this knowledge with astrological theories and added innovative principles. Later, the Western world learned from Muslims. In our region, astronomy declined with the decline of the Islamic state, but in the later centuries, people realized this shortcoming and started to revive and revive this great heritage, studying and benefiting from it.
Seventh: His Teachers and Sources of Information:
Throughout his astronomical career, which exceeded 75 years, he established connections with Bedouin Arabs, seafarers, and scientific institutions in Arab countries, Europe, and America. He continuously communicated with them, accumulating a wealth of knowledge in the field of astronomy. Some of the esteemed individuals who enriched his knowledge are:
The late Admiral Ahmed Al-Khashiti, who held a British Admiralty Certificate in 1938.
The late Abdulrahman Al-Hajji, who trained him in using the celestial navigation instrument.
The late Dr. Abdelhamid Samaha, the director of Helwan Observatory.
The late Professor Abdel Fattah Wahid Ahmed, an astronomer in Cairo, who was a student of the late Professor Abdelhamid Morsi Gayth, an astronomer.
The late Mohammed Jabel Allah Sayed, the president of the Astronomical Union.
United States Naval Observatory.
Helwan Observatory, with the support of Professor Dr. Mohamed Ahmed Suleiman (head of solar research) at the Qattamia Observatory, among many others