Ibn Al-Haytham Show Launches at Muscat Festival

On 14 January 2016 a new 1001 Inventions production ‘Ibn Al-Haytham: A Journey of Science from Darkness into Light’ celebrating 11th century scientist Al-Hassan Ibn al-Haytham launched at Muscat Festival in the Sultanate of Oman.


Born around a thousand years ago in Basra, and known to many as the “father of optics”, Ibn al-Haytham was a pioneering scientific thinker who made important contributions to the understanding of vision, optics and light. His methodology of investigation shows certain similarities to what later became known as the modern scientific method.

This show, produced by 1001 Inventions in partnership with UNESCO and the International Year of Light, features exhibits, interactive games and a fascinating new short film starring legendary actor Omar Sharif who takes viewers on a journey of discovery of the life of Ibn al-Haytham. International Artist Sami Yusuf composed the music score for the film. This short film recently had its world premier at the Dubai International Film Festival.

The organising committee of the Muscat Festival expressed their delight at hosting this special celebration about one of the most prominent scholars from the Golden Age of Muslim Civilisation. They highlighted that the show and film promise to be hugely popular amongst families and young people.

Ibn al-Haytham lived at a very important time in the history of science. A time known as the Golden Age of Muslim Civilisation that will also be celebrated at the Muscat Festival through the global blockbuster 1001 Inventions Exhibition starting 20 January. Our focus on Ibn al-Haytham comes as part of the global campaign that we launched to celebrate UNESCO’s International Year of Light. We are delighted to engage families and children in the Sultanate of Oman with this global celebration. Ibn al-Haytham is a true inspiration to young people of today. His seminal achievements and his wondrous journey will help nurture young people with principles and methodology of pioneers from the Golden Age while instilling pride in their science heritage.

Ahmed Salim, Producer and Director of 1001 Inventions

The United Nations has proclaimed 2015 as the International Year of Light that coincides with the 1,000 year anniversary of the publication of Ibn al-Haytham’s famous Book of Optics (Kitab al-Manzir).

In addition to the Ibn al-Haytham show, Al-Amerat Park will host from 21 January to 13 February, the world famous global blockbuster 1001 Inventions Exhibition which highlights breakthroughs and discoveries made by men and women from different ethnicities and religions who lived in the creative Golden Age of Muslim Civilisation that spread from southern Spain to China from the 7th century onwards.

A music video for 'Shine' was also released based on footage from the short film.

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 Muscat Festival

Since its inception in 1998, Muscat Festival has proved to be more than just a celebratory, cultural and artistic event, or merely an entertaining forum in which civilizations come together, involving multilingual activities. Yet, it is also marked by another magical touch, with a past and present sense spreading all over. It is a festival of all colors. Thanks to its gaiety and warmth of the time and place, various people of different nationalities, blending in continuity, as well as attraction, of the diversity of performances and events, are attracted.

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.


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