The memory of the League of Arab States is an essential pillar of the Arab national identity and a critical component of the region's collective history and cultural heritage. However, this identity is currently facing a grave threat from deliberate attempts to obliterate, distort and falsify it. Therefore, it has become critical to safeguard the historical memory of Arab unity and protect it from these destructive efforts through the preservation of digitised documentation. This requires the mobilization of all available resources to fulfill this crucial task.
In recent years, there has been a growing global and regional interest in safeguarding cultural heritage, which underscores the need for the League of Arab States to keep pace with these developments and take the necessary measures to preserve the region's rich historical legacy.
Hence, the member states of the League of Arab States deemed the archival preservation of the League as a national Arab undertaking, documenting a significant epoch in the realm of collective Arab action across its diverse institutions. Such an undertaking mandated collaborative endeavours to accomplish this objective, with the purpose of safeguarding this historical legacy. This resolution was promulgated by the Council of the League of Arab States at the ministerial level in March 2014.
The project aimed at documenting the League of Arab States' memory is rooted in the preservation of the journey of collective Arab action since its establishment in 1942. This initiative leverages the power of information technologies and blends them with the art of documentation in a high-quality digital format, with the primary aim of highlighting the League's invaluable contributions to the system of collective Arab action.
The initiative to digitise the documentation of the League's memory began in 2014 to advocate for the interests of Arab countries and advance their causes.
The project covers the thematic fields that the memory of the League of Arab States is replete with, namely:
• The political field and joint Arab action
• The economic field and common markets
• The social field and community affairs
• The cultural field
• Media and social communication
• The legal field and Arab human rights
The League of Arab States' memory comprises a diverse array of information vessels that are stored in various locations, including the General Secretariat's headquarters in Cairo, member states, and the League of Arab States' offices and missions overseas.
Given the dispersed nature of this memory, it has become imperative to collect and centralise it to eliminate the risk of loss due to neglect or improper storage. Some vessels may be preserved without regular maintenance, leading to the loss of information contained within. The different types of information vessels that make up the League's memory include:
• Printed materials such as books, newspapers, and magazines.
• Audio recordings such as speeches, interviews, and broadcasts.
• Visual materials such as photographs, films, and videos.
• Manuscripts and archival documents.
• Artefacts and objects with historical significance, such as flags and medals.
• Official documents
• Postage stamps
• Microfiche slides and Jacket Microfiche
• Audio recordings
• Audio-visual materials (videos)
• Media and news archive
The project to document the memory of the League of Arab States is centred around a particular timeframe that spans roughly 70 years. This period covers the history of the League of Arab States from the early stages of conceptualising its establishment in 1943 to the present day.
The project aims to document and review the League's role in various fields of operation, including the activities of the General Secretariat at its Cairo and Tunis headquarters, as well as the activities of the League offices, centres, and missions overseas. Through this project, the League of Arab States seeks to preserve and promote its rich historical legacy for future generations.