The unearthing of women’s voices through oral histories has led to the revisiting, not only of women’s history, but of history in general. Revisiting women’s narratives can lead to a serious reconsideration of our history and many of our assumptions about the past and the future.
Documenting Egyptian women’s life stories can potentially empower women’s efforts to better their lives and gain their rights. Research in oral history has provided vital knowledge and reflection that has been useful for women’s organizations in various countries throughout the world. Despite the recent resurgence of interest in oral histories elsewhere, few oral history projects exist in the Middle East and North Africa region.
The Women and Memory Forum seeks to fill this gap and provide resources for the wider community of researchers, activists and students through the establishment of an Oral History Library. In the first phase of this project approximately 100 oral interviews were conducted with women over 75 years of age who played effective roles in public life. These narratives have provided the research team with the necessary preliminary data to rethink the project and define some of the possible cultural outcomes that can be achieved. In the second phase of the project, the group has redefined its target group of interviewees using a thematic approach.
Recently, WMF has embarked on a large documentation project which highlights the role of women as leaders and activists as well as participants in the major movements for change in Egypt. Our archive will be made available to activists, human rights groups, university students, youth leaders and the general public primarily through publications as well as our website and social networking media. WMF Online Oral History Archive will be launched in 2015.
Click the link below to view the archive: