The Library of the American University of Kuwait (AUK) launched the Oral History and Documentation Project (OHDP), in collaboration with KIPCO – the Kuwait Projects Company (Holding).
The project, an initiative by AUK’s Center for Gulf Studies led by its former Director Dr Farah Al Nakib, made public its first set of life history interviews with pioneers in Kuwait to mark the launch of the project.
The project was established to actively conduct oral histories on a wide range of topics and themes in order to document the experiences of generations of Kuwaitis and non-Kuwaitis. The launching of the OHDP website marks the culmination of a four-year collaboration between AUK and KIPCO, which has supported the project since the early stages of planning.
The aim of the project is to develop a substantial archive of recorded interviews that will serve as a valuable resource to researchers, students and the general public.
Ms Asma Al Kanan, University Librarian at AUK said:
“It is not uncommon for libraries to nurture such projects. Libraries have always been places where content is created, shared and preserved for generations to come. We are very proud to launch the Oral History Project in Kuwait and make it available to the public through the latest technology of audio recording and archiving. All of this would not have been possible without the strong support of KIPCO and the university administration, as well as the dedication of the project team led by our project manager, Ms Reem Al Ali.”
Ms. Eman Al Awadhi, Group Communications Director at KIPCO said:
“KIPCO is delighted to be supporting this important AUK initiative, the Oral History and Documentation Project. As we all work together to realize the vision of the future of Kuwait, we must look to lessons learnt from the past. Here rests the importance of preserving the voices, memories and experiences of the many men and women who have made significant contributions to shape this nation.”
The OHDP is currently focused on recording the life histories of those born before the 1960s. The recorded interviews explore the memories of individuals who experienced the drastic shift in Kuwait’s society with the advent of oil, as well as their experiences of major historical events such as the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990.
The OHDP interviews can be accessed through the OHDP website: http://oralhistory.auk.edu.kw/