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Wednesday 31 July ,2019

National Archives documents Al Thafra history; Oral History Interviews

Liwa's Dates Festival

National Archives documents Al Thafra history; Oral History Interviews

The National Archives conducted several interviews with narrators in Al Thafra area, during Liwa's Dates Festival.  The festival is one of the most important cultural events that attract culture fans from all over the country.  Interviews are part of NA's efforts to document oral history in Al Thafra, due to interest in this area's past life.

Liwa's dates' festival provided NA with the perfect opportunity to reach out to a huge number of older seasoned oral history narrators who lived through pre-Union era and the establishment of the country.  Oral narration enriches written history.  The National Archives marks down narrations based on scientific criteria, in order to maintain subjectivity of information.  NA is using most modern technology in gathering information, to supplement the memory of the nation.

During the dates' festival NA's specialized interviewers met with elderly citizens to gather information about the deep-rooted history of Al Thafra area.  Interviewers asked about nature of life, social relationships and living resources in the past.  The choice of Al Thafra (in the Western Region of Abu Dhabi) came about due to the existence of many important historical site and ruins in the area.  Al Thafra was the place of origin of Al Nehayan, rulers of the area. The many ancient citadels and towers in the area bear witness to Al Nehyan's great efforts in protecting the country.

The National Archives interviewed seven women and nine men from Liwa and its surroundings; Aidha Muhammed Rashid Al Mazrou'I, Al Khbab Murshid Maktoum Al Mansouri, Bekheet Salem Thebian Al Mansouri, Saleh Muhammed Saleh Al Mazrou'I, Khamis Hamdan Mufleh Al Mazrou'I, Suhail Ali Rabi' Al Mazrou'I, Zayed Ghanem Outaiba Al Mazrou'I, and Faraj Rashid Oubaid Al Mansouri.

NA gathered recordings of elderly narrators who lived before of the establishment of the Union.  They provided significant details about the tough life when economy depended on farming in the western region oases.  National Archives specialists recorded and transcribed interviews, which mainly narrated past events and discussed patterns of living in the Western Region, including dates and culture in Al Thafra.