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About Liverpool Alhazen

Liverpool Alhazen is an online archive of material that documents the City of Liverpool’s Arab communiyt past and present. The aim of the site is to provide a central place for people to contribute material connected in some way with Liverpool’s Arab Community and thereby share it with others.

The site was conceived and built and is currently managed by documentary photographer Christian Petersen, who’s own projects have seen him work closely with the Yemeni community in the city and further afield.

The projects title Liverpool Alhazen is a nod to the great Arabic scholar and polymath Alhazan of Basra. Alhazan or Alhacen (Abū ʿAlī al-Ḥasan ibn al-Ḥasan ibn al-Haytham (Arabic: أبو علي، الحسن بن الحسن بن الهيث) is credited with building the first pinhole camera and camera obscura and his ‘Book of Optics’ were early journeys into examining the properties of vision, anatomy of the eye, refraction, luminosity, dioptrics, the meteorology of the rainbow and much much more. The history of optics and our understanding of the modern camera is very much an Arab story, you can read more about the genius of Alhazen here

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