Ocean of Paper seeks to stimulate new research in the social history of the Sultanate by collecting, cataloging, and publishing the thousands of deeds (called waraqas) produced by Omanis in South Arabia and East Africa during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. These deeds, which exist in private and public collections in Oman and East Africa, recount transactions in money, property, and commodities between Omanis from different parts of the country who engaged in activities around the Indian Ocean. Individually, they tell stories of the lives, fortunes, and trajectories of Omani migrants; together, they constitute some of the richest written records we have on any community in the region, and promise to completely reshape the foundations of Omani social and economic history in the Indian Ocean."
Ocean of Paper is a part of Indian Ocean in World History educational resources project of Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center.
Wednesday, June 26, 2019
Facebook's black market in antiquities : trafficking, terrorism and war crimes
by Al-Azm, Amr ; Paul, Katie A. with contributions by Graham, Shawn.
Publisher: Athar Project
Published: June 2019
"Facebook’s “Groups” feature, which allows users to create and control a contained network of individuals with “shared interests,” has become a facilitator for the expansion of antiquities trafficking networks. The Groups provide a seamless environment for digital interactions and cross-border networking between users interested in buying and selling antiquities, allowing them to communicate efficiently and discretely. The ATHAR Project’s report covers nearly two-years of investigative research and incorporates a case study on Groups based in Syria.
Facebook’s rapid growth and lack of internal policing mechanisms over the past decade have helped the platform become a digital black market where users buy and sell goods, including illicit antiquities, from some of the world’s most conflict-ridden nations. The social media platform has marketed itself as a tool for the global dissemination of ideas and information. In the process, however, it has unwittingly expanded the communication abilities of transnational criminal networks the world over.
Today, Facebook offers a veritable digital toolbox for traffickers to utilize, including photo and video uploads, live streaming, disappearing ‘Stories,’ payment mechanisms, and encrypted messaging. Facebook is the perfect platform for a one-stop-shop black market..."
Wednesday, June 12, 2019
Palestinian Oral History Archive
"About the Archive :
The Palestinian Oral History Archive is a project to digitize, index, catalog, preserve, and provide access (through a searchable digital platform) to an
archival collection of around 1,000 hours of testimonies with first generation Palestinians and other Palestinian communities in Lebanon. POHA documents the life stories of Palestinians residing in refugee camps and different communities in Lebanon. The Archive's main focus is personal accounts surrounding the Nakba, a defining moment in Palestinian history and collective experience. Furthermore, the collection contains life narratives of the pre-Nakba period in pre-1948 Palestine, folktales and songs, as well as stories of the women in Ein el-Helwe camp after its destruction in 1982."
The project is a partnership between the Nakba Archive & al-Jana (collection owners) and Issam Fares Institute at the American University of Beirut and the University Libraries. It was made possible by an award from the NEH, and used the OHMS application and viewer.
Palestinian Oral History Map
"The project is a means to navigate the POHA oral history platform, which contains over one thousand hours of oral testimonies from Palestinians who lived through the Nakba, describing everyday life and culture in Palestine before 1948, as well as their experiences of displacement and exile.
The interactive map allows you to explore the testimonies based on the historic landmarks that they describe—from schools, hospitals and factories to rivers, valleys and mountains—and to see these in the context of detailed historic maps from the 1940s that Visualizing Palestine helped to make available through Palestine Open Maps (POM)."
Monday, June 3, 2019
Arab Image Foundation
[Update: June 3, 2019 :
"Arab photography archive releases 22,000 historic images online
Arab Image Foundation completes $255,000 digitisation initiative and will reopen its Beirut building this summer"]
The Arab Image Foundation is a non-profit organization established in Beirut in 1997. Its mission is to collect, preserve and study photographs from the Middle East, North Africa and the Arab diaspora.
The AIF’s expanding collection is generated through artist and scholar-led projects. The Foundation makes its collection accessible to the public through a wide spectrum of activities, including exhibitions, publications, videos, a website and an online image database.
The ongoing research and acquisition of photographs include so far Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Iraq, Iran, Mexico, Argentina and Senegal. To date, the collection holds more than 600,000 photographs.
East of Jordan: Travellers 'East of Jordan' in the 19th Century
'East of Jordan’ is the title of an upcoming book about 19th century western travellers who made the journey into what is now Jordan. Of particular interest are those who went to Petra, the remarkable Nabataean and Roman city and wonder of the world rediscovered to the West by Burckhardt in 1812, and those who explored the Roman cities and villages of the Decapolis in the northwest. The journals, diaries, sketches, paintings and photographs offer insights into their remarkable experiences, hardships and delights in a mysterious and ancient land, and the peoples and places encountered.