1001 Inventions events in Egypt to commemorate IYL 2015

On November 2015, 1001 Inventions, in partnership with the Library of Alexandria and Cairo University, organized two events in Egypt to celebrate the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015 (IYL 2015) and Ibn al-Haytham.

In Partnership with 1001 Inventions the Library of Alexandria Celebrates the International Year of Light


On 12 November, the Library of Alexandria hosted an IYL 2015 celebration. The event was organized in partnership with 1001 Inventions and the Egyptian Academy of Scientific Research and Technology.

Attended by school and university students, the event aimed at celebrating IYL 2015 and highlighting the contributions of the pioneering scientific thinker Ibn al-Haytham to the understanding of vision, optics and light.

The day’s activities included hands-on workshops demonstrating the role of light and its applications, science performances (light show and shadows play), and a small exhibition with one of Ibn al-Haytham’s rarest manuscripts.

The fun packed event also featured a visit to the award-winning 1001 Inventions exhibition currently hosted at the Library of Alexandria Conference Center. At the exhibition, visitors learned about the discoveries by remarkable scientists during the Golden Age of Muslim Civilisation including Ibn al-Haytham. The exhibition runs at the Library of Alexandria until December 15, 2015.

Cairo University Celebrates the International Year of Light in Partnership with 1001 Inventions


On 17 November, the Science Heritage Center at Cairo University in collaboration with 1001 Inventions organised a seminar to celebrate IYL 2015 and pay tribute to the contributions of Ibn al-Haytham in the field of optics and light.

The seminar entitled “The World of Ibn al-Haytham and his Journey from Darkness to Light” included talks by reputable professors of history, science and literature.

The event also featured an exhibition of relevant books and a display of bibliography on the work of Ibn al-Haytham with the support of the Egyptian General Authority for Books and National Documents.

The film “1001 Inventions and the Library of Secrets” about the scientific heritage of Muslim civilisation starring Oscar-winning actor Sir Ben Kingsley was screened during the event.

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 Bibliotheca Alexandrina

The Bibliotheca Alexandrina aims to be: a center of excellence in the production and dissemination of knowledge and to be a place of dialogue, learning and understanding between cultures and peoples. The unique role of the Library of Alexandria, as that of a great Egyptian Library with international dimensions, will focus on four main aspects that seek to recapture the spirit of the original ancient Library of Alexandria.

The Planetarium Science Center (PSC) is considered one of the leading Egyptian informal education organisations. It is a hands-on complex designed to stimulate human imagination and innovation through science and technology activities and workshops.  

About Cairo University

Cairo University is a public university in Giza, Egypt. It was founded on 21 December 1908. It is the second oldest institution of higher education in Egypt, notwithstanding the pre-existing higher professional schools that later became constituent colleges of the university, after Al Azhar University. The University currently enrolls approximately 155,000 students in 22 faculties. It counts three Nobel Laureates among its graduates and is one of the 50 largest institutions of higher education in the world by enrollment.

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