Dr. Abdulla El Reyes, Director-General of National Center for Documentation and Research has launched the Watheq (Document) initiative, which aspires to preserve valuable archive material across the UAE.
Ibrahim Bin Karam, Chief Commercial Officer, Emirates Post Group and Abdul Rahim Batih, Executive Director of communication and government relations at the Abu Dhabi Media Company, were in attendance during the launching ceremony at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi.
Dr. Abdulla El Reyes speaking at a press conference on the occasion said that Watheq initiative, is in line with the directives of H.H. Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of the National Center for Documentation and Research.
"The National Archives anticipates that the Watheq initiative will inspire Emiratis to preserve and safeguard their most treasured historical possessions, as the memories of our nation," he said, adding, "We feel deeply honoured that our nation's leaders have entrusted us with a task of such significance and magnitude, in immortalising our nation's heritage." He told that President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan issued Federal Law No. 7 of 2008, which states that all Emiratis with historical material of national significance should give a copy to the National Archives in accordance with the compensation regulations. This comes against the backdrop of Federal Law No. 5, which states that all preserved material is owned by the state.
Director-General National Archives elaborated that based on these Federal Laws, the National Archives officially takes full responsibility for preserving our authentic heritage and safeguarding a reservoir of accurate and credible information about our nation. "The Watheq initiative has been in the pipeline for over two years, with a lot of preparations being invested in the process." A special box has been created for all Emiratis to preserve their personal historical material. This box can resist any weather conditions. It fulfils the highest international standards, and should be kept in a safe place, he informed. "This initiative did not happen overnight, and its success is built on partnerships with major national institutions, which proved their enthusiasm and cooperation for the benefit of our nation and its rich history." He also thanked Emirates Post, Abu Dhabi Media and campaign partners for their unwavering support to National Archives and said, 'We have also benefited from visiting various countries to study how their archives experiments achieved such remarkable success and efficiency." According to him, the National Archives has adopted the memories of the nation by working day and night to preserve these memories for future generations. "We urge every government entity, UAE citizen and resident who has any historical document or material to submit it to the National Archives as an expression of strong patriotism, and be our partner in protecting our nation's history." "Preserving the UAE's heritage demands sincere, continuous and collective efforts, and the National Archives is keen to collaborate with everyone to collect and protect historical material in the safest place, because our national memories are everyone's responsibility." He concluding by saying, "this will be the most beautiful expression of loyalty and belonging to our nation, while honouring our founding fathers and current leaders." All archived documents will attest to their incredible achievements and their contributions.