Noor Festival brings IYL 2015 Celebrations to Saudi Arabia

In concurrence with the UNESCO International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015 (IYL 2015), Mishkat Interactive Center for Atomic and Renewable Energy in Riyadh city, Saudi Arabia, organized the festival “Noor” on 15-25 of November 2015. “Noor Festival” provided enjoyment through learning to school students and families and to its visitors in Riyadh city. It offered a unique opportunity to see light from a new perspective, to understand it through a modern concept combined with the festivity of exploration.


Mishkat Interactive center is an initiative of King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy, main objectives; inspiring and motivating the new generations to be the energy pioneers in the future. Thus, Mishkat Interactive Center aimed through the festival of light to raise awareness in the society on light science and techniques, and its’ importance in facing the challenges of energy and sustainable development.

Furthermore, the festival emphasized that every person has the ability to contribute in encountering these challenges and result the society’s evolution. That was through the presented knowledge to its visitors in packages of activities, workshops and events that held every day throughout the festival.

Think ... Experiment … Innovate. Several issues have been considered:

  • The importance of light in our daily lives.
  • The role of light in inspiration in the fields of arts, science and culture.
  • The importance of light science in the scientific studies, and in reaching new scientific opportunities.
  • The great role of Muslim scientists in the formation of the light concept that we know now.
  • Light and its techniques in achieving a sustainable future for energy.

Changing behaviors or habits and investing with energy efficiency guidelines on a personal level might make a difference in improving the future of energy.

Students groups (Age of 3-5 years, Age of 6-12 years, Age 13 and over) by day and with families by night experimented and explored many activities through several workshops developed specifically for NOOR Festival:

  • Home projector
  • Explore Camera obscura
  • Make your own light bulb
  • Try to light up the Origami lotus
  • The mirror and its reflections
  • Lighting up your origami animals
  • Mishkat’s Kaleidoscope
  • The bright city
  • The energy journey
  • The trolley light experiments

NOOR aimed to inspire our young generations for a creative and innovative promising intellect in the vast fields of energy.

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 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.


Reham Al Doss
Mishkat Interactive Center for Atomic and Renewable Energy

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