Pitchfork: The Syrian Cassette Archives Explore a Pivotal Era of Middle Eastern Music

Pitchfork: The Syrian Cassette Archives Explore a Pivotal Era of Middle Eastern Music. “In February, he launched the website for the Syrian Cassette Archives, a multimedia project that focuses on a vibrant cassette culture that flourished in Syria from the 1970s to the 2000s. Since founding the project in 2018, [Mark] Gergis and a small group of collaborators have spent countless hours digitizing his collection of around 400 tapes. He’s also amassed new acquisitions of tapes and conducted interviews with artists and tape sellers from Syria.”

Vanderbilt University: Heard Libraries acquire collection of jazz, world music master Yusef Lateef

Vanderbilt University: Heard Libraries acquire collection of jazz, world music master Yusef Lateef. “Vanderbilt’s Jean and Alexander Heard Libraries are now home to a rich collection of research materials from the life and career of Yusef A. Lateef, a Grammy-winning musician who played a pioneering role in bringing Middle Eastern and Asian sounds to American jazz. Lateef also was an author, visual artist, educator and philosopher. He died in 2013, but his cultural significance lives on through his artistry.”

Zawya: Ibtikar enables open access to digital library during UAE Month of Reading (PRESS RELEASE)

Zawya: Ibtikar enables open access to digital library during UAE Month of Reading (PRESS RELEASE). “Ibtikar, a UAE-based Educational Technology company, in cooperation with United Educational Publishing (UEP), a UAE-based Educational Press, has announced that 1,000+ Arabic stories on their reading platform, Al Diwan powered by Akadimi, is now available for access without log-in during the UAE Month of Reading this month.” I’m sorry this is so late in the month but the announcement is dated March 23. You don’t have to register to use the library, just click on a book and start reading.

The New Arab: The road ahead for Israel’s Naftali Bennett and Archiving the Middle East’s Queer Heritage

The New Arab: The road ahead for Israel’s Naftali Bennett and Archiving the Middle East’s Queer Heritage. “In this week’s episode of The New Arab Voice, we will start by covering Iran’s presidential election. Then, we will dive into the profile of Israel’s new prime minister, Naftali Bennet, and what his leadership will mean for Palestine. Finally, we will continue celebrating pride month by speaking to the founder of Takweer, an online archive trying to reshape narratives surrounding the queer community in the Middle East.” 30-minute podcast, I did not see a transcript.

Getty: Online Exhibition Explores Palmyra in English and Arabic

Getty: Online Exhibition Explores Palmyra in English and Arabic. “For centuries the ruins of the ancient city of Palmyra have captured the imagination–testaments to the legacy of the prosperous multicultural center of trade that once dominated the region. Return to Palmyra, a new website presented in English and Arabic, invites audiences to explore the rich history of the city, including an exhibition of rare 18th-century etchings and 19th-century photographs of the site, new scholarship, and a moving interview with Waleed Khaled al-As’ad about the modern-day experience of living and working among the ruins of this storied locale.”

Columbia University: Yarshater Center Launches New Encyclopaedia Iranica Online Website

Columbia University: Yarshater Center Launches New Encyclopaedia Iranica Online Website. “The Ehsan Yarshater Center for Iranian Studies at Columbia University is pleased to announce that the Encyclopaedia Iranica Online is now freely accessible… This new website, hosted by Brill, a leading academic publisher, is the only digital platform authorized by Columbia University for the Encyclopaedia Iranica content produced and curated by the Yarshater Center.”

Announcing the ACOR Digital Archive: Developing a Multimedia Teaching and Learning Resource (American Center of Oriental Research)

American Center of Oriental Research: Announcing the ACOR Digital Archive: Developing a Multimedia Teaching and Learning Resource. “We are delighted to announce that, based on the success of the ACOR Photo Archive Project to digitize and make available online 30,000 images covering a range of thirteen countries across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, the U.S. Department of Education has awarded ACOR an American Overseas Research Center (AORC) Title VI grant for a new project entitled ‘ACOR Digital Archive: Developing a Multimedia Teaching and Learning Resource.’”

Oil Paintings To Vectors: The Archive Finding The History Of Arabic Book Cover Design (Scene Arabia)

I found a more recent story about this Instagram archive, but it’s not a patch on this July article from Scene Arabia: Oil Paintings To Vectors: The Archive Finding The History Of Arabic Book Cover Design. “Throughout the Arab world, there is one artist whose work can be found in every home, whether or not we know it. ‘There is not one household that doesn’t have my paintings,’ the late Egyptian painter Gamal Kotb once said of his ubiquitous work that needed no canvas, no heavy frames, and no galleries to exhibit. Throughout much of the 20th century, Kotb made a name for himself creating the covers for bestselling novels by the biggest names in publishing, including Naguib Mahfouz, Ihsan Abdel Quddous, and Yusuf Idris. The artist became one of Egypt and the Arab world’s most celebrated artists, albeit in a medium that remains wildly underrated today.”

Council on Library and Information Resources: CLIR and Stanford Libraries Announce Digital Library of the Middle East Platform

Council on Library and Information Resources: CLIR and Stanford Libraries Announce Digital Library of the Middle East Platform. “The Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) and Stanford Libraries today announced the release of a public, open platform for the Digital Library of the Middle East (DLME), which aims to become one of the world’s largest online archives of Middle Eastern and North African artifacts. The DLME aggregates, through an ongoing program, digital records of published materials, documents, maps, artifacts, audiovisual recordings, and more from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.”

‘Archives tell us different stories about how things were’: Inside the journey to document Modern Arab art (The Nation)

The Nation: ‘Archives tell us different stories about how things were’: Inside the journey to document Modern Arab art. “On a most basic level, archives help establish what happened, when. For Arab art history, the problems facing a precise or exhaustive chronicle are double: existing archives are often incomplete, damaged or inaccessible, because of conflict in the region. And the analysis made by canonical art history of what was happening in the Middle East and Turkey – written primarily by US academics – views art of the region through the prism of its engagement with western art.”

‘People want a cultural outlet’: Lebanon’s Dalloul Art Foundation launches digital archive amid coronavirus outbreak (The National)

The National: ‘People want a cultural outlet’: Lebanon’s Dalloul Art Foundation launches digital archive amid coronavirus outbreak. “As more countries go into lockdown and governments implore their citizens to remain at home amid the coronavirus pandemic, arts organisations around the world have leapt into action, offering a different kind of outlet to millions. In Lebanon, the Ramzi and Saeda Dalloul Art Foundation is one of them. Its website went live two weeks ago, several months earlier than originally planned, granting free access to thousands of artworks and extensive information about hundreds of artists from the Arab world.”

Art and coronavirus: Middle Eastern galleries to view on lockdown (Middle East Eye)

Middle East Eye: Art and coronavirus: Middle Eastern galleries to view on lockdown. “Museums seeking to expand their online presence could take a leaf from Rijksmuseum in the Netherlands, with its high-quality downloadable digital images, or the fun of creating your own ‘studio’ collection. Meanwhile, on his upbeat Facebook feed, Lebanese art collector Basel Dalloul has been posting lists of other virtual galleries, from the Guggenheim in New York to the Sursock Museum in Beirut. The latter boasts a VR tour of its recent exhibition, Baalbek, Archives of an Eternity. Dalloul himself has just launched a website showcasing the ‘largest archive and collection of Arab art’. With the art world moving online, MEE highlights some of the best collections from the region you can view without having to leave home.”

The National: The Middle East Archive Project puts the Arab world in focus with no filter

New-to-me, from The National: The Middle East Archive Project puts the Arab world in focus with no filter . “The sepia and grayscale tones of the images on the account are no filter effect. The pictures are a true snapshot of bygone era, forming Darah Ghanem’s social media archive of personal pictures from the Mena region. Ghanem, a Palestinian who lives in Dubai, started the project last year. It runs on Instagram and Facebook, posting crowdsourced material from people in the region who are willing to share old family photos, documenting the stories behind them. The project’s Instagram page has started to garner greater attention, with more than 2,000 followers and people sending in new images every day.”

Treasure trove of UAE: Free Gulf Archives now online (Gulf News)

Gulf News: Treasure trove of UAE: Free Gulf Archives now online. “When people think of the UAE, the images that frequently come to mind are the nation’s impressive feats of modern architecture, rapid modernisation and technological development. The Arabian Gulf Digital Archive — a major new digitisation project between the UAE and the UK — provides a fascinating insight into the early stages of this transformation. It provides details of specific projects undertaken, of the political interests that lay behind many of these plans, and of local reactions to the changes that were taking place.”