Abraham Accords leads to historic archives agreement between UAE, Israel

Some seven months into the “Abraham Accords,” this MOU represents the most significant institutional agreement in the field of cultural heritage.

By World Israel News Staff

The National Archives (NA) of the United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi and the National Library of Israel (NLI) in Jerusalem have signed an historic memorandum of understanding.

The agreement “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,” this MOU represents the most significant institutional agreement in the field of cultural heritage. Both the NA and the NLI serve as central institutions of national memory for their respective countries and broader publics.

In recent years, both have launched expansive and diverse efforts to serve scholars and wider audiences domestically and internationally.

The document, which is 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.

A number of specific collaborative initiatives are already under discussion, specifically in the digital realm.

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 the dynamic institution of national memory for the Jewish people worldwide and Israelis of all backgrounds and faiths, serving as Israel’s leading research library while offering a range of educational, cultural and digital initiatives.

It 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.