National Geographic and 1001 Inventions Publish "Ibn Al-Haytham" Children's Book

National Geographic Kids and 1001 Inventions announced a new partnership to publish the book “Ibn al-Haytham: The Man Who Discovered How We See” as part of the highly successful National Geographic Kids Readers Series.


The English language publication is planned for release in spring 2016.

The book is a special tribute to the 11th century pioneering scientific thinker Al-Hasan Ibn al-Haytham (known in the West by the Latinized form of his first name “Alhazen”).

Considered by many as the ‘Father of Optics’ he made important contributions to the understanding of vision, optics and light. Ibn al-Haytham’s methodology of investigation, in particular using experiment to verify theory, shows certain similarities to what later became known as the modern scientific method. 

Ibn al-Haytham lived during the golden age of Muslim civilization that spread from Spain to China. During this time many men and women scholars and scientists of different cultures and faiths built on knowledge from ancient civilizations and made breakthroughs that have helped transform our modern world.

We are pleased to continue our partnership with 1001 Inventions to celebrate the scientific legacy and achievements from Muslim Civilization. Our new reader about Ibn al-Haytham teaches kids about the important contributions he made to science and places him along other notable scientists in our series like Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell.

Erica Green, Vice President and Editorial Director of National Geographic Kids Books

We are very excited to further collaborate with National Geographic. This project builds on the strong partnership between our organizations and the success of the two books, ‘1001 Inventions the Enduring Legacy of Muslim Civilization' and '1001 Inventions and Awesome Facts from Muslim Civilization’. Ibn al-Haytham’s inspirational life and his contributions to our world are important to recognize. We are delighted that this book is part of our global campaign ‘1001 Inventions and the World of Ibn Al-Haytham’ that celebrates the United Nations International Year of Light in partnership with UNESCO. Our aim is to connect children from different cultures together, aspiring to help raise a generation equipped with a mindset of mutual understanding and respect hoping for a better future.

Ahmed Salim, Producer and Director of 1001 Inventions

This book will also serve as a companion to the international educational campaign "1001 Inventions and the World of Ibn Al-Haytham" that includes interactive exhibits, workshops, live shows, and a 12-minute film starring the late legendary actor Omar Sharif in his final cinematic appearance.

The film’s trailer can be watched on

The National Geographic Kids Readers Series is a top performer in the competitive beginning reader category.

This book follows upon that success with the same standard of carefully leveled text, dazzling photographs and illustrations and fun approach to fascinating nonfiction subjects, a set of elements that has proved to create a winning formula with kids.

The Level 3 text provides accessible, yet wide-ranging, information for independent readers.

Pre-orders of the book are now available. More information here.

About 1001 Inventions

1001 Inventions is an award-winning, British-based organisation that creates international educational campaigns and engaging transmedia productions aiming to raise awareness of the contributions to science, technology and culture from the Golden Age of Muslim Civilisation.  Over the last decade, 1001 Inventions has engaged with over 200 million people across the globe, with educational campaigns in cities such as in LondonIstanbulNew YorkWashington DCLos AngelesKuala LumpurAbu Dhabi and Jeddah.  1001 Inventions works with a network of international partners and leading academics, and through its academic partner FSTC (UK), to produce world-class experiences, interactive exhibitsfeature films, live shows, books and classroom learning materials that are being used by hundreds of thousands of educators around the world.

About National Geographic Kids

National Geographic Kids teaches kids about the world and how it works, empowering them to succeed and make it a better place. National Geographic Kids inspires young adventurers through award-winning magazines, books, apps, games, toys, videos, events and a website, and is the only kids brand with a world-class scientific organization at its core.

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.


Ahmed Salim
Producer and Director 1001 Inventions

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