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National Library of Israel, UAE counterpart sign MoU

CM 06/05/2021

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The National Library of Israel and the National Archives (NA) of the United Arab Emirates have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) committing “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,” the National Library announced in a statement.The MoU represents the most significant institutional agreement between Jerusalem and Abu Dhabi since the signing of the Abraham Accords just over half a year ago – in which the UAE normalized relations with the State of Israel – as the National Library and the National Archives both stand as “central institutions of national memory for their respective countries,” the Israeli organization said in a statement.”I have no doubt that the real leap forward in ensuring sustainable peace and cordial relations over time will be in the realm of cultural ties, and in the importance of respect for other cultures,” said chairman of the Board of Directors for the National Library of Israel David Blumberg. “I am certain that close collaboration between the National Archives of the UAE and the National Library of Israel will serve as a cornerstone in ensuring warm relations for the mutual benefit of both countries into the future.”The MoU itself will be valid for the next three years, and draws out numerous areas for collaboration, including the digitization and digital sharing of holdings and research materials; professional knowledge sharing; cultural exchange such as conferences, workshops, trainings, study tours and exhibitions, among others.”The National Archives has spread its wings around the world to reach the most advanced global archives and libraries, to obtain the documents that come at the heart of its interest as it documents the memory of the homeland for generations, and here we are today trying to complete our mission by reaching the holdings of the Israeli National Library to enhance the holdings of the National Archives with more documents, books and periodicals that were issued in the Hebrew language, which has become of great significance to intellectuals and those interested in history, heritage and contemporary sciences,” said National Archives of the United Arab Emirates Director-General Dr. Abdulla M. Alraisi.The National Archives, like the National Library of Israel, is one of the oldest cultural institutions in the UAE, collecting historical material pertaining to the UAE and the Arabian Gulf. It also documents, indexes and translates materials collected by the organization, publishes research and host educational discussions, both domestically and abroad.

“We are dedicated to opening access to our treasures for diverse audiences in Israel and around the globe,” said head of collections for the National Library of Israel Dr. Raquel Ukeles. “Each year, tens of thousands of researchers from across the Middle East utilize our digitized collections of rare manuscripts, historic press and other materials. “Our new regional partnership with the National Archives of the UAE will advance our shared goals of preserving and opening access to cultural heritage for the benefit of users of all ages and backgrounds in Israel, the UAE and across the region and the world.”
Source: Jerusalem Post

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