In the latest deal of the Abraham Accords, the national libraries of Israel and the UAE are joining forces to share digital information of their vast collections and work together in expanding knowledge.
The National Archives of the United Arab Emirates in Abu Dhabi and the National Library of Israel in Jerusalem have signed a historic memorandum of understanding, which “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.
The two centres serve as cultural institutions of national memory for their respective nations. This initial three-year deal sets these organisations to collaborate in a number of areas, including digitizing their collections and sharing them with each other and collaborating in research, such as sharing professional knowledge, and in cultural exchanges like conferences, workshops, exhibitions and study tours.
David Blumberg, Chairman of the Board of Directors, National Library of Israel, said: “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. 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.”
Dr Abdulla M. Alraisi, Director-General, National Archives of the United Arab Emirates: Archives, said: ” 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”.
Dr Raquel Ukeles, Head of Collections, National Library of Israel, said: “We are dedicated to opening access to our treasures for diverse audiences in Israel and around the globe. 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.”