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Sunday 20 March ,2016

National Archives to train staff to be guides in Sheikh Zayed Hall

Collections present comprehensive panorama of UAE history

National Archives to train staff

to be guides in Sheikh Zayed Hall

The National Archives has prepared a training programme to qualify its employees as guides in the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Hall at its headquarters. The hall, which provides a comprehensive panorama about the history of the United Arab Emirates over more than five centuries, includes historical documents and rare archaeological and heritage collections that tell the story of the country from the pearl searching phase till today.

The training programme is an important step in the preparation of a complete employee. Participants will be trained by qualified experts with historical knowledge and previous experience in accompanying delegations that came from different parts of the UAE and from various countries of the world.

The training will be in Arabic and English, underscoring the role of Sheikh Zayed Hall as a showcase of state archive collections. Visitors will be exposed to different forms of historical material, including written documents, photographs, old maps, press clippings, and some archaeological collections; visitors may also take a tour of the different sections and departments of the National Archives. Of special focus are the developmental aspects of the UAE and the Gulf region, highlighted through samples of rare books and documents on important historical stages, especially the formation of the Union and the efforts of the great founding leaders in building the nation and its prosperity.

A special wing of Sheikh Zayed Hall includes collections of the Canadian nurse, Gertrude Dyke, known as Dr. Latifa. These are archival collections and rare pictures gifted to the National Archives by the family of the late Dr. Latifa, who worked at Al Waha Hospital in Al Ain since its inception. These images and collections tell the story of a vital stage in the history of Abu Dhabi and the UAE.

Employees participating in the training programme will undergo a detailed orientation to the hall in order to become familiar with every document and the events and developments witnessed during each period of the country. They will also be introduced to the methods of displaying the valuable collections in the hall, including rare photos, and the interactive screens that detail the lives of the great leaders of the UAE.

The National Archives ascribes particular importance to Sheikh Zayed Hall because it is a unique addition to national efforts in keeping and fostering the memory of the UAE. In brief, Sheikh Zayed Hall opens a window through which citizens, residents and visitors can gain an overview of the deep-rooted history of the country. Indeed, the collection interweaves the sequence of historical periods in its archives with the history of the state, including the 1968 documents relating to the 9-state Union, the bilateral Union agreement between Abu Dhabi and Dubai of February 18, 1968, and the documents related to 7-state talks starting in 1968 up to December 2, 1971, heralding the establishment of the Union.