Ibn Al-Haytham Festival

A totally different festival that reminds us of the glorious past of Islam took place recently in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Abdulla bin Bandar bin AbdulAziz, Deputy Governor of Makkah region launched the “1001 Inventions and the World of Ibn Al-Haytham” exhibition as an anchor attraction at the family entertainment Oswa festival created by the award-winning event company Benchmark in partnership with the Saudi General Entertainment Authority and MiSK Foundation.
The world-class 1001 Inventions exhibition about 11th century thinker al-Hassan Ibn al-Haytham aims to entertain, educate and inspire audiences with its highly engaging experiences that present the Arab pioneer as a positive role model for young people. This is in line with the direction in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to host purposeful entertainment events that focus on youth engagement spearheaded by MiSK Foundation and the General Entertainment Authority.
A representative of the Saudi General Entertainment Authority said: “We are pleased that Oswa festival is a cornerstone of GEA’s calendar in Jeddah. We aspire to bring to audiences in the Kingdom activities with purposeful entertainment – bridging education and entertainment to provide an engaging platform for families with world-class experiences.”
The exhibition is part of a global educational campaign launched by 1001 Inventions in partnership with UNESCO to celebrate the International year of Light 2015. The campaign has engaged more than 30 million people around the world since its launch in January 2015.
Zaki Hassanian, Managing Director of Benchmark Events said: “Our aim is to bring to people in Jeddah world-class entertainment and educational activities. Our partnership with 1001 Inventions enabled us to present to families a highly engaging global exhibition about a personality from the history of this region. Ibn al-Haytham is an inspiring role model that truly represents what Oswa is aiming to achieve – for Oswa in Arabic means ‘a good example’.”
Ahmed Salim, Co-founder and Director of 1001 Inventions said: We are delighted to partner with the award-winning event company Benchmark, MiSK Foundation and the Saudi General Entertainment Authority to celebrate the Arab pioneering scientific thinker in Jeddah. Ibn al-Haytham lived during a golden age of creativity in Muslim Civilisation where men and women of different faiths and cultures achieved breakthroughs that still influence our world today. 1001 Inventions aims to bring to life 1,000 years of stories that are designed to entertain, educate and inspire young people.”
Considered by many as the ‘Father of Optics’, Ibn al-Haytham made important contributions to the understanding of vision, optics and light. His methodology of investigation, in particular using experiments to verify theory, shows certain similarities to what later became known as the modern scientific method.
As a fun and educational experience, the Exhibition that spans a massive 5,000 sqm space, offers family audiences of all ages a highly interactive and engaging experience that includes an exciting short film starring legendary actor Omar Sharif featuring a music hit by international artist Sami Yusuf, interactive exhibits, hands-on activities, workshops, digital games, live performances, book reading sessions of the Ibn al-Haytham children’s book by National Geographic, story-telling, art gallery, and engaging science shows.
Through the Ibn Al-Haytham campaign 1001 Inventions aims to inspire children and young people and equip them with a mind-set that enables them to build a better future. 1001 Inventions led tribute events for Ibn al-Haytham at UNESCO in Paris, United Nations in New York, Royal Society in London with Prince Andrew Duke of York and in more than 10 other cities around the world.

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