The Directorate General of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Abu Dhabi hosted the “Watheq” campaign launched by the National archives at the Ministry of Presidential Affairs aimed at preserving and archiving personal records.

Colonel Salim Ali Al Qattam Al Zaabi, Director General of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Abu Dhabi, expressed his pride and appreciation for the national archives for choosing the Directorate General of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Abu Dhabi to participate in the campaign. He stressed the importance of this national project in documenting the UAE's cultural heritage, and preserving personal records, and documents.

Saleh Al Shehhi, Educational Programs’ Officer, gave an introductory lecture about the national archives. He noted that the initiative’s strategic vision is based on building a world-class national archive system according to the best international standards. It is also designed to provide distinguished archiving, documentation and research services and maintain the national heritage, with a view of providing documented and accurate information to decision makers and the public.

He also noted that the “Watheq” initiative comes as the national archives realized the need to preserve ongoing, reference and historical documents that could be valuable in writing the UAE's history. He explained that the campaign is addressed to Emirati families, public figures and educational and academic institutions. It aims at acquainting them with the importance of archiving, and the need to contribute their personal records, documents, artifacts photographs and other precious possessions to the national archives, in order to enrich the national heritage, as well as the individual and collective memory of the UAE. “It is also designed as a knowledge pot to ensure a better understanding of the UAE’s progress and to write its glorious history, therefore all citizens are duty-bound to preserve these documents against loss or damage,” he added.

He pointed that the “Watheq” campaign is based on achieving a number of strategic goals, which contribute to maintaining the collective memory and to enriching the national heritage in all aspects of life.

For his part, Adnan Al Falasi, Chief of the Corporate Relations Section, gave a presentation about the “Watheq” special preservation boxes. “The boxes were designed by the national archives, according to the highest international standards in archiving to help citizens and participants to preserve their documents against damage, moisture, heat and other external factors,” he said.

He also listed the various documents that may be kept in the box, including birth certificates, marriage certificates, ancient manuscripts, old coins, old letters, pictures, old video footage, diaries, old newspapers, old maps, old documents, contracts, and paper currencies.

Moreover, he said that the campaign, since its launch, had been very well received at the countrywide level, by a wide number of institutions and individuals. He said: “The campaign was highly acclaimed due to its distinguished objective and creative vision aimed at maintaining national identity, enriching the cultural heritage and showcasing the cultural side of the UAE.”

Both lecturers answered the questions and queries of the attendees. “Watheq” boxes were distributed to staff members at the Directorate General of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Abu Dhabi. Towards the end of the lecture, Colonel Salim Al Zaabi presented the national archives with a certificate of appreciation for their cooperation with the general directorate, and commemorative gifts were exchanged.

The meeting was attended by heads of departments, chiefs of sections and staff members from the Directorate General of Residency and Foreigners Affairs in Abu Dhabi.

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