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Summary of the Achievements of the Section of Oral History and Genealogy Studies since its Inception to Date – June 2018

National Archives Logo United Emirates


Statistics and Numbers:

Project:           Interviews Conducted

Number:         890

Remarks:         This project covers the seven emirates. The interview topics focus on narrators’ memories regarding specific projects such as grazing, fishing and the island of Al Jazirah Al Hamra etc.


Project:           Number of narrators interviewed from inception of the project to date June 2018.

Number:         898

Remarks:         This project targets all those who contributed in the development of the UAE. Narrators include UAE nationals, GCC, Arab and other foreign nationals.


Project:           Number of indexed interviews

Number:         301

Remarks:         In Colloquial Arabic, and fluent Arabic.


Project:           Number of people attending lectures and training workshops on oral history and heritage.

Number:         1635

Remarks:         Presents held for schools and university students and other interested parties.


Printed and Electronically Published Materials:

  • Publishing of Oral History Interviews – UAE Memory through Oral Narrative – in the semi-annual academic journal (Liwa) published by the National Archives of the UAE Ministry of Presidential Affairs for the following narrators: Mr. Khamis Zaal Al Rumaithi, Ms. Bakhita Bint Qanoon Al Falasi, Sheikh Sultan Bin Ali Bin Saif Al-Khatteri and Ms. Aisha Ahmed Ali Al-Shahyari.

The Electronic Magazine’s link:


  • Posting of old local colloquial words extracted from the oral history interviews that are no longer in use, with the explanation of their meanings and roots perArabic dictionaries – in the National Archives accounts on the social media channels: (Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook).
  • The Book “Their Memories Our History”: in which (15) narrators recount their memoirs.

Projects with External Parties Associated with Oral History:

  • Supervising and judging the “Young Historian” Award – Oral History Branch – A student competition sponsored by the National Archives in cooperation with the Ministry of Education with the aim of preserving the history, culture and heritage of the UAE.
  • Restoration and Developing project the buildings of Al Jazirah Al Hamra (an island) in the Emirate of Ras Al Khaimah. The purpose of the project  is acquaint the people of Al Jazirah Al Hamra with the restoration and development project, the preparation of the plan of oral history interviews, interviewing the people of the island and providing the restoration team with the information the narrators have cited to facilitate a proper restoration process, defining  the location the buildings for exploration and training Zayed University students on the methods of collecting oral history of Al Jazirah Al Hamra.
  • The State of Grazing project in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi for the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi. Preparation of a list of interview questions and accompanying the concerned team in the agency to conduct oral interviews on this subject. Ms. Sherina Qubaisi prepared a detailed report on this subject.
  • Hili Oasis Documentation Project in Al Ain. The training the female students from Zayed University in Abu Dhabi, and the staff in the Department of Historical Buildings and Cultural Zones in the Department of Culture and Tourism in Al Ain – on the methods of conducting oral history interviews for the project.

Cooperation with Government Agencies to Conduct Interviews with Narrators:

  • General Women’s Union, Abu Dhabi.
  • Family Development Foundation (Adult Education) – Al Bateen Branch.
  • Heritage Village – Emirates Heritage Club, Abu Dhabi.
  • The Atelier at the National Theater of the Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu Dhabi.
  • Zayed Center for Research and Studies, Abu Dhabi.
  • The Atelier – Emirates Heritage Club, Abu Dhabi.
    • Abu Dhabi Women’s Center – Emirates Heritage Club.
    • Al Haboos Arts and Folks Society, Ras Al Khaimah.
    • Bin Majid Society for Folk Arts, Ras Al Khaimah.
    • Al-Nakheel Society for Folk Arts and Heritage, Ras Al Khaimah.
    • Umm Al Quwain Museum.
    • Ajman Museum

Attending Forums and Events to Introduce the Oral History Project and to Invite Narrators for Interviews  at the National Archives’ Stand, or To Visit Them at the Places They Propose:

  • Mazayina Al Dhafra Camel Festival,(2010).
  • Workshop on Strengthening National Capabilities for Conservation of Moral Cultural Heritage: Training of Trainers in the Arab World, (2011).
  • Liwa Date Festival, (2010-2011).
  • Liwa Ajman Date Festival, (2011).
  • Abu Dhabi International Hunting and Equestrian Exhibition (ADIHEX), (2010-2011).
  • Emirates International Date Palm Festival (EIDPF), (2011).
  • Abu Dhabi International Book Fair, (2010-2011).
  • Cultural Convoys, (2011-2012).
  • Sheikh Sultan Bin Zayed Camel Festival, (2012013-2015).
  • Emirates Heritage Festival, (2012).
  • Qasr Al Hosn Festival, (2013).
  • Sheikh Zayed Heritage Festival, (2014-2015-2016).
  • Participation in the National Traditional Handicrafts Festival in Al Ain, (2014).
  • Participation in the 4th International Festival of Falconry, (2017).

Lectures and Workshops Organized by the National Archives in the Field of Oral History and Heritage for the Following Parties:

  • Higher Colleges of Technology: Abu Dhabi and Sharjah. A Lecture on Oral History in the UAE and methods of its collection, (2013).
  • Tourist Summer Camp, (2013).
  • Juvenile Welfare Centre of Abu Dhabi Police General Headquarters, (2015).
  • Zayed University – Abu Dhabi, (2015-2016-2017).
  • External Researchers in the National Archives, (2015).
  • Emirates National Schools – Female Students, (2015).
  • Students in Bahia Primary School, (2014).
  • The Staff members of the Department of Culture and Tourism, Section of Historic Buildings and Sites in Al Ain, (2017).

Lectures, Conferences and Workshops in the Field of Oral History and Heritage in Which the National Archives Participated:

  • A workshop on the Preparation of UNESCO Periodic Report on Safeguarding the Intangible Cultural Heritage of the United Arab Emirates, (2012).
  • A lecture entitled “Oral History”, at the UAE University, at the Heritage Day event organized by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, (2014).
  • Attending the 4th Forum organized by the Arab Open University in the Sultanate of Oman and the National Records and Archive Authority entitled: Omani History: Readings and Analyses, (2014).
  • Three lectures at the headquarters of the Oral History Association in Bangalore, India, (2015).
  • A paper-in-progress on “The UAE Experience Represented by the National Archives in Employing Oral History” at the 1st Gulf Conference on Heritage and Oral History held in Abu Dhabi, (2015)
    • Attending the 2nd Gulf Heritage and Oral History Conference (Monday and Tuesday), 12-13/10/2015.
    • A paper at the “UAE Heritage Research Conference: Current Trends and Future Prospects,” sentitled, “Al Jazirah Al Hamra: History and Memories”, (2017).
    • A lecture on “Oral History” to the teachers of Islamic Education and Social Studies at the Forum of Educational Materials in the Emirate of Ajman, (2018).
    • A workshop on the methods of oral history collection by Maitha Salman to the New York University – Abu Dhabi and Zayed University – Abu Dhabi at the Bin Majid Society for Folk Arts in Ras Al Khaimah (2018)A lecture entitled “People of the Past and Stories of Their Success”, for the Islamic Affairs Authority’s event the Intergenerational Communication Forum of Generations – Dubai, (2015).

    Hosting Researchers:

    Dr. Shohei Sato, Associate Professor, University of Kanazawa, Northern Japan, joined the Oral History Team at the National Archives to complete his academic research on: The Use of Water Resources in the UAE from a Historical Perspective, (2014-2015-2016).


    Visits to the Following Parties to be Keep Current  with the Best Standards and Practices  Used in Collecting Oral History.

    • Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development – Heritage and Arts Management – Abu Dhabi, 14/12/2015.
    • Zayed Center for Studies and Research – Abu Dhabi, 15/12/2015.


    Enhancing Cooperation, Common Objectives and Exchange of Expertise with Government and Semi-Governmental Agencies: