Israel, UAE Sign MOU for Archival Collaboration

Dr. Abdulla M. Alraisi, head of the National Archives of the UAE (right) and Oren Weinberg, head of Israel’s National Library.

The National Archives (NA) of the United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi and the National Library of Israel (NLI) in Yerushalayim have signed an historic agreement for collaboration in preserving cultural heritage.

The memorandum of understanding “commits the two organizations to work together in support of mutual and separate goals and for the benefit of the international cultural and documentary heritage sector,” according to the agreement signed by the institutions’ directors, Dr. Abdulla M. Alraisi and Oren Weinberg.

Some seven months into the Abraham Accords, the MOU, which will be valid for an initial three-year period, lays out a number of areas for collaboration, including digitization and digital sharing of holdings and research materials; professional knowledge sharing; cultural exchange such as conferences, workshops, trainings, study tours, exhibitions, and more.

The NA is one of the oldest cultural institutions in the UAE and the largest documentation organization in the Arabian Gulf region. It collects historical material relating to the United Arab Emirates in particular and the Arabian Gulf states in general, and also documents, indexes and translates the materials collected; publishes specialized historical research; and hosts and organizes conferences, symposiums, and exhibitions domestically and internationally.

The NLI is Israel’s leading research library, while offering a range of educational, cultural and digital initiatives. NLI holds the world’s largest collection of textual Judaica, as well as a significant collection of Islamic manuscripts and Arabic materials, and one of the region’s leading research collections on the Middle East. The landmark new NLI campus – with state-of-the-art facilities for research, as well as cultural and educational programming – is on schedule to open in Jerusalem in 2022.

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