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Storytelling Iraq's Heritage

Team: Dr. Ahmed Al-Aalyawee and Dr. Dahlia Khay Azeez

Duration: 18 months 

‘Storytelling Iraq’s written heritage’ empowers Iraqi researchers at the House of Manuscripts and those connected to it by studying and researching a section of Iraq’s largest collection of manuscripts and rare books. The project will help overcome decades of neglect of Iraq’s manuscripts and rare books by supporting research, especially Iraqi female researchers, to produce socially and culturally relevant research. To date, Iraq’s manuscripts and rare books have been the target of historical and modern looting, including under ISIS/DAESH, and now a large portion of Iraq’s written heritage is outside the country. Support for Iraqi researchers has been absent and this project, with a view to raising the profile of Iraqi researchers in the country, will work to build an Iraqi knowledge base premised on diversity and the multiplicity of cultures, religions and ethnicities that constitute Iraq.

The project will produce a number of outputs, including a public exhibition (at the Iraq Museum) manuscript content will be presented and celebrated, a series of videos and written material and an academic paper. Another important output is the recent history of those that safeguarded those manuscripts and rare books in 2003 will be documented and their voices and perspectives elevated within SBAH and in Iraq more generally. A learning box will also be produced and seminars, and workshops organised throughout the duration of the 18-month project.