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Documentation of Recent Events The Arab Spring Revolutions

Documentation of Recent Events

The Arab Spring Revolutions

 

Introduction 

Objectives:

The Introductory Document aims to explain the project of documenting recent events in what is known as the Arab Spring Revolutions. It will provide interested parties and others with the basic information. This document further explains the need for such a project, its justification, needs, framework and resources.

Overview

This is an objective project that aims to serve the Arab nation at this stage of its history which is subject to different influences and faces various challenges and great risks. The project aims to provide an academic service, employing several groups of researchers specialised in different areas, and working side by side, to ensure coherence and mutual complementarity of the various aspects of the work. Thus, it hopes to present an objective and serios study that takes all aspects into account.

An important area, which is underway, includes research in different aspects of the history of the Arab Spring and its documentation in a completely objective way. It is hoped that this will provide a solid basis for the rise of the Arab nation, taking into account the lessons of past events, a correct reading of the existing situation and future prospects.

Importance

A number of academic reasons and essential needs illustrate the importance of the project with regard to documenting and establishing the true picture of events, as well as the publication of such documents and explaining them. These reasons include:

  • The strenuous efforts that are continuously trying to present distorted images of events, resorting to various modes of lying and deception, so as to spread a general condition of ignorance to serves a tyrannical regime that encourages corruption and ensures that civil organisations and academic circles remain unable to state the truth.
  • There is an urgent need of a positive, specialised and academic work that maintains objectivity in documenting events, highlights people’s sacrifices and records crimes. These must remain clear and well known, so that people will continue to remember events as they happened, and future generations will be able to study them objectively.
  • As events move in quick succession, the circumstances that lead to a major event may be forgotten or ignored. The full picture of some major events may remain unknown for many years, and even decades, as happened with the tragedy of the Syrian city of Hamah in 1982. Western writers wrote about it long before Syrian writers were aware of it. The same applies to many historical events.
  • There is a general scarcity of institutions that record events objectively, based on serious studies by specialised researchers who are able to interact with academic and social institutions, in an open environment.

Expected Outcome

It is expected that this project will have a major influence in the following ways:

  • Building total awareness of the questions of peaceful change and progress, as well as benefiting of the lessons of the Arab Spring and its consequences.
  • Presenting documentary material for researchers that can be used at various levels: legal, social, artistic and historical.

Perspective 

Objectives

The main objectives of the project may be summed up as follows:

  • The collation, classification and arrangement of the events of the Arab revolutions in all political, economic and social fields;
  • Full documentation, recording and archiving of contemporary events; monitoring, narrating and collecting of testimonies of eye witnesses;
  • The production of credible documentary material of events, in printed and digital form. Such material will be of constructive, rather than emotional, sentimental or partisan, nature;
  • The preservation of the memory of the revolution so that it remains alive in the consciousness of the Arab, Islamic and human society. To use it in influencing the future;
  • Strengthening public awareness among individuals and institutions in the present generation of the revolution, as well as future generations;
  • The establishment of an academic research and writing unit that enjoys high credibility, to present objective and serious studies, served by specialised staff members, and able to finance its activities through its own publications;
  • The establishment of a unit that specialises in the preservation, storage and presentation of information, as well as its exchange in research circles, while respecting all rights.

Means

The following table shows the main digital platforms to be used as means of dissemination of the products of this project:

# Major Deliverable Deliverable Description
1 Media Wiki

موسوعة رقمية

Web application to store all media files.
2 Blog

مدوَّنة

Web application for blogging.
3 Blogging style guide

دليل الأسلوب للمدونة

A document style guide for the blog.
4 Glossary + Style Guide

معجم المصطلحات + دليل الأسلوب

2 documents describing the guidelines for writing any related article.
5 Event Map + Classification

خريطة الموضوعات + التصنيف

A document having a tree listing all main events internally with dates and keywords
6 Research centre

مركز البحث

An organization that produces documents, magazines, books, research papers, ..etc.

Duration

The Waey Foundation expects that, provided sufficient resources are available, the following will be completed in four years:

  • The release of 50 documents of different sizes, according to the envisaged topics;
  • A seminar to release, publicise and discuss every completed document;
  • The digital publication of four encyclopaedias (events, persons, institutions, places).

 

Funding

The sources of funding of the project include: donations, sales of publications, advertisements and paid services rendered to other institutions.

Prospects

Several factors will ensure that the project will be a successful one. These include:

  • The availability of Arab and non-Arab, qualified researchers who are able to undertake the tasks involved in this project and bring it to completion;
  • The Waey Foundation provides the legal and professional framework for the project, and will ensure logistic support for all its stages;
  • The objectives of the project have the dual basis of objective study and commitment to ethical and moral values;
  • The Waey Foundation is committed to ensure quality requirements and observe universal academic standards.

Products

Here is a list of the main products of the projects in the initial stage:

  1. The establishment of proper methodology that relies on multi-disciplinary study to document recent events. (A research paper on the subject is ready for publication).
  2. Training a large number of researchers and research assistants in the implementation of this methodology.
  3. Agreeing a plan to publish a set of documentations, according to research priorities.
  4. The establishment of a database that includes the titles of one hundred books and one hundred studies on the Egyptian revolution, with a critical study of these and a brief presentation of each study. These studies are classified under certain headings, such as: documentary, economic, political, etc.
  5. A methodology has been structured to document the testimonies of eye-witnesses, with a proper and complete process that has been put through vigorous trials. More than one hundred hours of recordings of eye-witness testimonies have been completed as a first stage, with the aim to bring the total to one thousand testimonies and one thousand hours of recordings. A database of eye-witness accounts has been started, as these testimonies are greatly varied and given by people of different levels and social status, belonging to a wide range of areas and have different cultural, religious and political backgrounds.
  6. An endeavour has started to preserve the heritage of the Egyptian Revolution, so that its history will not be lost or obliterated. More than 1,700,000 pages of news from a large number of newspapers have been collected and uploaded. All these are directly related to the Egyptian Revolution, from its early indications as far back as 2005, and its developments until 2017. More continues to be collected. Thousands of photos, videos, tweets and articles have been collected and are being manually classified and indexed, and they will eventually be available in digital form.
  7. A map of events has been prepared to document the Egyptian Revolution.
  8. A theoretical framework has been made to publish a digital magazine specialised in interdisciplinary studies. The magazine, which will be published by the Waey Foundation, will be peer-reviewed, adopting high academic standards, and publishing specialised research papers in this area of study.
  9. A website has been started, together with other social media pages, for the research foundation, with varied cultural contents that are in line with the vision and objectives of the Foundation. The website may be visited through this link: awrad.co
  10. The completion of documenting ‘The Massacre at the Presidential Guards Club on 5 and 8 July 2013: The first comprehensive academic documentation’. It comprises around 5,000 medium-size pages. It will be released in a special event to be held in July 2018 in London, when a 400-page summary of this encyclopaedic work will be available.
  11. A documentary video is produced on ‘the Presidential Guards Club Massacre, 2013’.
  12. A video graphis produced on ‘the Presidential Guards Club Massacre, 2013’.
  13. A study has been prepared entitled: ‘The Egyptian Revolution at the Cross Roads: a Preliminary Comparative Reading by the Waey Foundation for Research and Development’.

Further research projects are underway. These include:

  1. A documentary encyclopaedia of the first and second Ramses massacres;
  2. Documentation of events in Egypt during the period 1 June – 3 July, 2013;
  3. The role of legal institutions in the Egyptian Revolution: the Constitutional Court as a model.
  4. Theoretical heritage of the Arab Spring topics: a survey.
  5. The role of women in the Egyptian revolution.
  6. Documentation of the sit-in at Rabia Square.

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