Preservation of Photographic Treasures in the Middle East | babelmed
Preservation of Photographic Treasures in the Middle East Print
Preservation of Photographic Treasures in the Middle East | babelmedThe Arab Image Foundation is a non-profit organization established in Beirut in 1997 with the mission to collect, preserve and study photographs from the Middle East, North Africa and the Arab diaspora.
Together with the Art Conservation Department at the University of Delaware, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Getty Conservation Institute, the Arab Image Foundation are announcing a three-year project to promote the preservation and awareness of photograph collections in the broad Middle East, from North Africa and the Arab Peninsula through Western Asia.
The conservation and preservation of photography of the Middle East is still in its infancy despite the existence of many invaluable photograph collections. Collection assessments and surveys, carefully developed educational workshops from basic to advanced, and translations of key preservation texts are urgently needed to preserve the often under-valued photographic treasures from this region of the world.
The scarcity of formally trained photograph conservators in this region makes the need for informed preservation professionals essential to care for the wealth of photographic heritage dating from the early nineteenth century to the present.
This project aims to identify significant photography collections in the region and develop, organize, and administer three eight-day Photograph Preservation Institutes tentatively planned for Beirut, Doha, and Cairo hosted by regional universities and cultural institutions. Each Institute will be combined with carefully monitored distance learning and final follow-up meetings to share insights, compare results, and plan for the future. It is anticipated that custodians of major photographic collections throughout the region will participate.

These combined initiatives will introduce and advance the practice of photograph preservation throughout the Middle East and promote photography in its diverse countries. As the initiative progresses, additional partners from the region may join the effort and expand its reach.
Preservation of Photographic Treasures in the Middle East | babelmed
Zeina Arida, AIF Director observes, “The Arab Image Foundation is pleased to be an integral part of this photograph preservation initiative. Among its many missions, the Foundation seeks to develop a community of all associated with photography and its exhibition, collection, and care. We look forward to partnering with colleagues and building momentum in the preservation of the many important repositories for photography that document and celebrate the history and culture of the Middle East.”

For further information:
Arab Image Foundation
Starco Center, bloc C, 10th floor
Beirut Central District, Lebanon
Tel: (+961) 1 36 13 73
Fax: (+961) 1 36 93 73