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Sunday 16 October ,2016

The National Archives launches Three Innovative Apps at Gitex 2016

Al Nayhan Family Tree, Government Websites Archiving and “Smart Watheq”

The National Archives launches Three Innovative Apps at Gitex 2016

H.E. Dr. Abdulla Al Raisi, Director General of the National Archives, confirmed that the NA has launched a number of smart applications at its pavilion, under the auspices of the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, at Gitex 2016. This was in response to the directives of H.H. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, that development should be based on science and innovation.

H.E. said that the NA works hard to take advantage of the information era in providing its services in the context of the UAE’s history and heritage. And this is in accordance with the instructions of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who emphasized that “the UAE has adopted innovation as an institutional approach and social culture…. It is an ongoing process with no time limits”.

Al Raisi confirmed that, according to the directives of Sheikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minster, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of NA’s Board of Directors, to concentrate on development and innovation, the NA has launched three advanced smart applications at its pavilion: An advanced interactive application named “Al Nahyan Family Tree”, local and federal government entities websites archiving application, which is the largest one of its type in the region, and the national electronic project application (Smart Watheq), which reflects the national campaign to document personal records “Watheq” launched by the NA across the UAE to encourage citizens to create personal archives.

Al Nahyan Family Tree contains hundreds of people starting with Yas, all the way to the sons and grandsons of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. This Family Tree is characterized by its interactive switching from one figure to another, and that its content can be shared via email or social media.

Al Nahyan Family Tree application provides an overview of the most prominent figures of Al Nahyan, highlighting the prominent figures who ruled the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, along with the available photographs of sheikhs, particularly those who built Abu Dhabi and became rulers of an Emirate that reached, during their reign, its maximum expansion and power, and became the major power on the Coast, and whose achievements and the role they played in developing the Emirate of Abu Dhabi and the Coast were recorded by history.

The home page of Al Nahyan Family Tree application contains a photograph of Sheikh Zayed and his sons. He was the ruler of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, which witnessed during his reign a great development due to his experience and good management. The establishment of the United Arab Emirates was a result of his tireless efforts, along with his brothers Rulers of the Emirates.  His sons adopted his approach to maintain the UAE and its accomplishments.

H.E. Majid Al Mehairi, Executive Director of the National Archives, said regarding Al Nahyan Family Tree:  The National Archives realized the importance of Al Nahyan Family Tree in the history of Abu Dhabi in particular and of the UAE in general. Therefore, the NA intended to introduce it electronically in an advanced way, with many additions and notes, since it was  provided earlier on paper with each copy of the book “Qasr Al Hosn: The History of the Rulers of Abu Dhabi”.

H.E. added: Al Nahyan Family Tree in its smart and interactive form will introduce the current and next generations to the rulers of Abu Dhabi, as well as the UAE, and to the rulers’ permanent imprints on its glorious history and bright present. Viewing the immortal accomplishments of those great leaders will enhance loyalty and belonging to homeland and foster the national identity among citizens. This is the NA’s core mission.

As regards the second application, aiming at archiving local and federal government entities’ websites, and government entities and sheikhs twitters, the NA has archived the websites of about 200 local and federal government entities.

In respect of this project, the NA’s Executive Director said: The achievement of the NA in terms of conserving and classifying the government entities’ websites is the largest of its kind at the regional level, and it aims at preserving a significant part of the Nation’s memory. The UAE is one of the leading countries in the world to start websites archiving. The NA has a website that provides researchers with access to the archived digital information.

The official websites archiving project comes in line with the NA’s interest and role in preserving and documenting the Nation’s memory. It pays considerable attention to the digital documentation of websites due to their significance, and because they cannot be retrieved in case of removal by any other entity.

The National Archives of the UAE takes advantage of Gitex to launch its national electronic project (Smart Watheq), which reflects the national campaign to document personal records “Watheq” launched by the NA across the UAE to create personal archives.

The application “Smart Watheq” provides each citizen and resident with a storage capacity of 2GB. Users can upload their personal files in PDF format via smart phones or tablets and can save them in the NA’s servers, so concerned parties at the NA can have access to these files. This smart electronic application has 7 volumes, and the user can divide them as desired and upload his/her documents in his/her preferred classification. The main documents that can be saved in this smart application are official documents, such as identity and health cards, academic certificates, experience certificates, passports, photographs, purchase and sale contracts, property titles, trade registers, manuscripts, family photographs, and other documents which families are keen to keep for long period, or refer to them when required. This is in addition to some historical documents that had been handed down from generation to generation and constitute part of the nation’s history. In this regard, citizens are encouraged to submit to the NA some of their valuable historical documents, in order to preserve and provide them to researchers of UAE’s history and heritage.

H.E. Majid Al Mehairi stated that the National Archives launched its national project “Watheq” at the end of 2014, primarily targeting local families, because they are the main component of the Emirati society. Smart devices spread widely in the Emirati society as more than 90% of families has at least one smart device. Therefore, we have to explore the society’s smart infrastructure and accordingly pay considerable attention to the technological aspects. We found that launching “Watheq” project in its electronic version will have a great benefit in the preservation of personal archives, which are ultimately part of the Nation’s memory, in electronic files that are indexed, classified and preserved in confidential information systems, and we should do our utmost to keep them safe.