National Archives Participates in a Specialized International Training Course in Oral History

National Archives Participates in a Specialized International Training Course in Oral History

Organized by the of the Headquarters of the International Oral History Association in the Indian city of Bangalore
The National Archives Participates in a Specialized International Training Course
in Oral History


Dr. Aisha Bilkhair, Director of the Research and Knowledge Services Department, has won the chair representing the continent of Asia at the International Oral History Association. Thus, the United Arab Emirates is the first Arab country to gain this membership.
National Archives Participates in a Specialized International Training Course in Oral History
A delegation from the National Archives of the United Arab Emirates participated in an international intensive training course in the field of oral history organized by the headquarters of the International of Oral History Association in the Indian city of Bangalore with the theme “Boundaries, Politics and Narratives: The Intersection of Oral History, Place and Memory”
The participation of the National Archives in this training course comes from the fact that the UAE is the first Arab country in the association’s General Assembly and as a translation of the National Archives’ interest exchanging ideas and learning modern methods of collecting and saving oral history.  The National Archives’ delegation has reviewed during its participation some aspects of the UAE's Oral History Project. Dr. Aisha Bilkhair, Director of the Research and Knowledge Services Department at the National Archives and the first Arab representative for Asia in the Assembly, presented a paper entitled, "Oral History: Generations Dialogue", in  which she reviewed the historical elements that reinforce national identity in oral societies, which they rely on poetry, prevailing proverbs, customs, body language, and other aspects. She stressed that all initiatives and support given by the wise leadership would benefit in the preserving the memory of the nation. The Director of Research and Knowledge Services Department commended the participation and said, "We are proud to represent the UAE at the International Oral History Association and brief the world about our living history and our national experience as the oral history narratives and the generations insistence to preserve them do explain our happiness as a people and strengthen our allegiance and belonging to our nation."
Researcher Maitha Al Zaabi, Head of the Oral History and Genealogical Studies Section presented the biography of one of the centenarians of Isamah, an area in Ras Al Khaimah, which reflected the main role of women in keeping the details of civilization and history. Researcher Shareena Al Qubaisi, also from the Oral History Unit at the National Archives played a short video, which reviewed the memories of the people who lived the days of Qasr al-Hosn.
The training course had 25 participants who received their training by a team of specialists and experts, prominent historians from within India and abroad. They presented the latest research, research methods, and supported the practical aspects with examples from their experiences. The session, which lasted for ten days, included workshops and projects that reflect the realities of life and the social changes that have taken place in some communities due to the economic transformations, the living conditions and the social values. Academic panel discussions were carried out and that has enriched the exchange of ideas on the great role oral history plays in documenting the lives of individuals and social change.
The training course acquainted the participants with advanced research methods, monitoring of the practical effect of narratives while being broadcasted through the media, and modern technical communications. The course was able to draw the field standards from the debates in the methodology and the criteria in archiving and in credibility and ethical and professional honesty in recording narrations and forms of publishing them.