Riyadh (UNA-OIC) – The Saudi National Center for Archives & Records held on Thursday a scientific symposium themed “National Archives in the Islamic Countries: Distinguished Experiences and Future Directions”, in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.
The General Supervisor of the National Center for Archives & Records, Dr. Fahd bin Abdullah Al-Semari affirmed the importance of the symposium and its future objectives which are to call for the establishment of Islamic archival block to contribute to strengthening joint Islamic action and to provide national archives in the least Islamic developed countries with the necessary support, as well as underpinning ties with the International Council on Archives regarding its efforts to bring peoples and researchers closer and share experiences and skills.
Then the speech of the OIC Secretary General was delivered by the Director General of Cultural and Family Affairs, Dr. Amina Al-Hajri, where he emphasized the significance of intensifying efforts to preserve concealed documentary archives in centers of national archives, as well as the significance of concerted efforts to preserve Islamic archives and strengthen cooperation mechanisms between archival institutions in the Muslim world.
In her paper “the value of archiving folklore in the Arabic region: the Kingdom of Bahrain as a model”, the Director of the Bahraini National Archives Dr. Safaa Ibrahim Al-Alawi showed the value of archival folklore in the Arab region, the necessity of teaching them as curricula in Arab universities, and their usefulness as references for researchers in Historical, social, economic, and architectural studies.
She stressed the importance of archiving and documentation as primary sources of information that must be preserved for future generations, calling for the establishment of joint events in the region, and the creation of channels of communication between (ARBICA) and heritage-based institutions.
Al-Alawi reviewed in her paper the experience of the Kingdom of Bahrain in preserving tangible and intangible heritage.
During the symposium, the United Arab Emirates participated with a paper titled “Empowerment and Archives” delivered by the Director of the Archives Department Hamad Al-Mutairi.
Al-Mutairi highlighted the role of the National Library and Archives in the UAE through accelerators and transformation projects in consolidating the institutional reputation and sustainability of the National Archives and Library, as well as providing digital services and developing, qualifying, and empowering human resources through academic study and specialized courses, in addition to digital platforms, consultations, artificial intelligence and the future in archiving and documentation.
He noted the importance of establishing the Archives Youth Council with the aim of communicating with young people by creating a main platform for them.
While Jordan participated with a paper themed “Center of Documents, Manuscripts and Studies of the Levant, Archiving from the Traditional System to the Electronic System: Reality and Ambition” delivered by the Director of the Center of Documents and Archives at the Hashemite University of Jordan, Dr. Salama Al-Nuaimat.
In his paper Al-Nuaimat explained the role of the center’s holdings and the manuscripts it contains, which numbered more than 40,000 illustrated manuscripts.
He indicated that these manuscripts were collected from the countries of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the United States, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Belgium, Austria, Italy, Bosnia, Turkey, Iran, India, Iraq, Morocco, Egypt, Kuwait, Tunisia, Yemen, Lebanon, Syria, Palestine and Mauritania, with the aim of providing researchers and scholars with what they need to refer to in research and authorship.