Posted on November 26, 2019

Qatar National Library and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) will host a two-day regional conference, “Supporting Documentary Heritage Preservation in the Arab Region,” on 1 – 2 December at Qatar National Library.

The two-day event will bring together international and regional experts and practitioners to share experiences in regard to the status, issues and challenges currently being faced in the field of documentary heritage preservation in the Arab region.

Speakers will include: Christine Mackenzie, IFLA President; Dr. Fackson Banda, Head of UNESCO Memory of the World Program; Saif Mohammed Al-Ashkar, Secretary General of Mosul University Libraries; Dr. Ibrahim Osman, Sudan National Library Director; Dr.Alaa Abu Al Hassan Al Allaq, Iraq National Library Director; Dr. Nidal Mohammed Al Ahmad, Jordan National Library Director; GelnarAtoui Saad, Lebanon National Library Executive Director; and SidiOuld Habib, Mauritania National Library Director.

Participants will present case studies and best practices as a means of exchanging ideas and providing potential solutions to existing challenges, further highlighting the initiatives and strategies that are currently being implemented at the national and regional levels toward future collaboration. The conference, a continuation of the partnership between the Library and UNESCO, will also present the main findings of their joint project launched in September 2018. It will be an opportunity to shed light on the different awareness and capacity-building activities that are taking place within the framework of this agreement.

Dr. Sohair Wastawy, Executive Director of the Library, said: “We are proud to see that our collaboration with UNESCO is coming to fruition, and this conference is indeed one of its tangible outcomes. We hope that this conference will help strengthen professional networks across the region working to ensure protection, preservation and promotion of documentary heritage in the Middle East and North Africa.”

Dr. Anna Paolini, UNESCO Representative in the Arab States of the Gulf and Yemen, said: “We are honored to organize this regional conference in partnership with Qatar National Library and to provide a much needed platform for conservators, libraries, regional experts, governments and international organizations to share experiences and learn from each other. Having participants from all over the region will be a great opportunity to come together and identify solutions to better protect and preserve the region’ rich documentary heritage”.

During the first day, experts willdiscuss the status of documentary heritage preservation in the Arab region,with afocus on disaster risk preparedness and combatting illicit trafficking. The second day will concentrate on the initiatives around the region, best practices in the area of conservation and preservation, awareness-raising and advocacy, and synergies between regional and international initiatives and national counterparts.

Dr. Mohammed El Ferrane, Director, Morocco National Library; Wael Al-Roomi, Manager of the Arabic Heritage Department at the National Library of Kuwait; Mohammed Hameed Al Slaimi, Head of Preservation and Conservation at National Records and Archives Authority in Oman; Hussein al-Hadi, Secretary General of Al-Ahkaf Library for Manuscripts in Yemen;FeryalSharfeddin, Head of Technical Affairs, Department of Antiquities, Libya; Dr. Youssef Kanjou, Former Director of National Aleppo Museum; AichaChebl, Head of Private Collections, Tunisia National Library; Davidson Maclaren, Director, Islamic Manuscript Association; Peter Herdrich, Project Director, Digital Library of the Middle East; and NoshadRokni, Director of Documentation & Conservation Department, Malek National Library & Museum in Iran will also speak at the conference.

As the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions’ (IFLA) Regional PAC, the Library works closely with institutions in the Middle East and North Africa to equip experts with the skills needed to conserve and preserve the rich cultural heritage of Qatar and the Arab region for generations to come.

To learn more about the conference program and the full list of speakers, please visit: