1001 Night of Lights Poster Competition at the 21st LAAS International Science Conference in Lebanon

The 21st LAAS International Science Conference, held in Lebanon on 15-17 April, organized a special session devoted to the celebration of the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL 2015). To celebrate the achievements of Arab scholars throughout history, a poster competition «1001 Nights of Lights» was organized by the Faculty of Sciences of the Saint-Joseph University in Beirut and the Lebanese National Commission of UNESCO in collaboration with «Ibn al Haytham» International Working Group (IWG).


More than fifty high-school students responded to the call and submitted posters illustrating the work of Ibn Sahl, Ibn Ishaq al-Kindi, Ibn Firnas, Ibn Al Haytham, Kamal ad-Din, Hassan Kamel Al Sabbah, Ahmad Zewail, and other Arab scholars.

Dr. Marie Abboud Mehanna, associate professor at the Faculty of Sciences of the Saint Joseph University, and Professor Azzedine Boudrioua of Paris 13 University chaired the jury of scientific experts. The posters evaluation criteria ranged from relevance and poster content to innovation and creativity in the poster design.

The awards ceremony took place on Friday, April 17th. It started with speeches by Pr. Zahida Darwiche Jabbour, Secretary General of the Lebanese National Commission for UNESCO, Pr. Toufic Rizk, Dean of the Faculty of Sciences of the Saint Joseph University, and Pr. Azzedine Boudrioua, coordinator of the International Working Group «Ibn al Haytham».

The first prize, a LEYBOLD optical apparatus that enables experiments to be conducted in geometrical optics, color theory, wave optics and polarimetry, was won by Al Kawthar High School. The College Sagesse Brasilia - Saint Jean section came in second position on the podium, winning a MOTIC binocular microscope. The third prize-- a DIDALAB red laser--was granted to the College Soeurs des Saints-Coeurs Ain Najm.

The awards ceremony of «1001 Nights of Lights» was followed by a panel discussion as part of the 21st Conference of the Lebanese Association for the Advancement of Science. Researchers, university professors, doctors and engineers discussed the ability of light and light-based technologies  to provide solutions to contemporary challenges such as energy, education, communication, agriculture, industry, health and even culture.

The LAAS (Lebanese Association for the Advancement of Science) International Science Conference is an annual conference organized this year in cooperation with the Saint Joseph University and the Lebanese National Council for Scientific Research.

The LAAS International Science Conference is a forum for researchers to present and discuss recent advances in the various fields of science and education. The scope of the conference includes several topics covering life science, physics, chemistry and many other fields.

This event was sponsored by the LABISE, a local Lebanese company specializing in scientific equipment for research and for the classroom.

About IYL 2015

The International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies (IYL 2015) is a global initiative adopted by the United Nations (A/RES/68/221) to raise awareness of how optical technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to worldwide challenges in energy, education, agriculture, communications and health.  With UNESCO as lead agency, IYL 2015 programs will promote improved public and political understanding of the central role of light in the modern world while also celebrating noteworthy anniversaries in 2015—from the first studies of optics 1,000 years ago to discoveries in optical communications that power the Internet today.  The IYL Global Secretariat is located at the Abdus Salam International Centre of Theoretical Physics (ICTP).

The Founding Partners of IYL 2015 are the American Institute of Physics (AIP), the American Physical Society (APS), the Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (DPG), the European Physical Society (EPS), the Abdus Salam International Centre of Theoretical Physics (ICTP), the IEEE Photonics Society (IPS), the Institute of Physics (IOP), Light: Science and Applications, the lightsources.org International Network, 1001 Inventions, The Optical Society (OSA) and the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE). 

Patron Sponsors include Bosca, the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD), Royal Philips Lighting, Thorlabs and UL.


Marie Abboud
Saint Joseph University

Azzedine Boudrioua
Steering Committee Chair
Coordinator of the WG Ibn Al Haytham

Maciej J. Nalecz
Director, Division for Science Policy and Capacity Building
UNESCO Natural Sciences Sector

John Dudley
Steering Committee Chair
International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015

Joe Niemela
Global Coordinator (IYL Secretariat)
International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015