UAE Co-Produced Animated Character of Ibn Al-Haytham Revealed as Mascot of China’s Biggest Science Festival

China to host “1001 Inventions and the World of Ibn Al-Haytham” based on a UAE co-produced animated character of the 11th century Middle Eastern scholar, and short film starring Omar Sharif

Abu Dhabi – June 3, 2015: The organizing committee of China’s biggest national Science Festival has announced a partnership with the award-winning organization, 1001 Inventions, to host “1001 Inventions and the World of Ibn Al-Haytham”, as the anchor attraction of the 2015 China Science Festival. The festival will run from 17 July to 2 August 2015 at the Beijing Exhibition Center.


In line with this year’s festival theme, “Light and Colour”, 11th century Middle Eastern scholar, Ibn Al-Haytham, was unveiled as its official mascot and guest of honor. The mascot is part of a larger global campaign and series of media productions titled “1001 Inventions and the World of Ibn Al-Haytham” that is celebrating Ibn Al-Haytham created and produced by United Kingdom-based organisation 1001 Inventions in association with international partners including UAE-based production house, Blink Studios.


This recognition follows many successful international initiatives that 1001 Inventions has launched to educate the world on the scientific and cultural advancements of what is known as the golden age of Muslim Civilization. The award-winning organisation 1001 Inventions participates at the China Science Festival as a Founding Partner of the United Nations proclaimed International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015, a global celebration of light and optical technologies.


Ahmed Salim, Producer and Director of 1001 Inventions, commented, “Linking the Chinese legacy in early optics with the seminal achievements of Ibn Al-Haytham on light and vision theories, offers insights to the significant accumulation of scientific knowledge through the contributions of different civilizations. Such historical collective learning, by people of different languages, faiths and cultures, has laid the foundation for modern science, helping to this day shape our understanding of the universe and impacting our day-to-day lives.” He added, “I am delighted that our successful collaboration in the United Arab Emirates has helped create this international high profile initiative.”

Jane Geng, Director of Science Beijing Network said, “We are pleased to be part of the International Year of Light and host ‘1001 Inventions and the World of Ibn Al-Haytham’ at the second edition of the China Science Festival. The achievements of the renowned 11th century scientist Ibn Al-Haytham and his work in optics will be a highlight of this year’s festival and will offer a unique opportunity for young people in China to learn more about other civilizations and help promote harmony between cultures through science.”

The new 1001 Inventions campaign includes a 12-minute short film that brings to life the story of Ibn Al Haytham’s quest to discover the nature of light and vision. The animated storyline is intertwined with a live-action backstory starring legendary Oscar-nominated actor Omar Sharif, who guides in the quest of discovering Ibn Al-Haytham’s journey to understand how we see, and the principles of light and optical theories.


The world-renowned British musician Sami Yusuf composed the music for the film and the voice of Ibn Al-Haytham is delivered by actor Khalid Abdalla (The Kite Runner). The film is in post-production for release later this year and the high quality trailer for the film is already available online at


Hani Kichi, Producer and Director at UAE-based Blink Studios highlights, “Blink Studios are proud to be part of the UAE’s contribution to producing this global initiative and working with so many international partners. The challenge of producing Ibn Al-Haytham’s animated persona was to ensure his likability on screen bridging east and west by enticing people everywhere to engage and learn of his story and his discoveries.”


In addition to screening of the short film, an Ibn Al-Haytham themed zone at the China Science Festival will include a giant fully functioning camera obscura, theatrical science performances and hands-on demonstrations. The educational experiences aim to engage the public in celebrating the 1,000-year anniversary of Ibn Al-Haytham’s seminal work on optics Kitab al-Manazir (The Book of Optics) and raise awareness of light science and its solutions for humanity.


The global educational campaign ‘1001 Inventions and the World of Ibn Al-Haytham’ launched in January 2015 at the Paris headquarters of UNESCO and is produced by United Kingdom-based organization 1001 Inventions and the King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture in partnership with UNESCO and the International Year of Light.

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