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 started a large documentation project which aims for supporting and empowering women politically by documenting the impact of events in Egypt since the outbreak of the revolution of January 25, 2011 on the participation of women of different ages in the public sphere. WMF researchers conduct interviews with women activists and collect their stories and experiences in a specific period of time. Also, a digital archive of oral history, containing these interviews, has been launched and is constantly updated.
Click the link below to view the archive: