Who are we?
Khazaeen is a voluntary independent initiative, centered in Jerusalem, where it first started out in October of 2016 as a result of the collective effort of our Arab youth from different parts of the world. And that effort had this unified aim of establishing a societal archive that documents the daily life of the Arab world combined with people’s stories through gathering ephemera material. Khazaeen considers different archives that documents different aspects and elements; such types included archival newspapers, magazines, films, photographs, cinema, and broadcasts. Regardless of all of the previously mentioned, Khazaeen also realized that there isn’t an archive that contains and preserves daily occurrences that would document the details of daily life the people have lived in all its intensity. There are thousands of materials and documents that are lost on daily basis without anyone paying any attention to them. We are talking about thousands of posters, publications, brochures, commercial and cultural ads, business cards, wedding invitations … etc.
These documents are lost daily without anyone paying their disappearance any attention, but inside these documents we have documentations of places, people, and details that we would never be able to find anywhere else later in life, ever again. They may seem trifle and useless as documents, but in reality they are real-life evidences of places that no longer exist, or people who are martyrs now and long buried in the ground - as the many cases from Palestine and other Arab countries - hence now, this kind of material becomes the sole witness on an important era of our collective history. This material preserves an entire legacy of details and stories of life that no longer exists; where it serves now as a collective memory of an entire community, only to reveal a number of historical facts and alterations through social history.
This material also serves as an opportunity to study the collective social experience, where the name Khazaeen was first inspired from history itself since this term was always used to refer to libraries in the Islamic history. Bayt al-Hikmah Khazaeen in Baghdad, Qayrawan in Tunisia, and Andalusia’s Qurtubah. Second, the name was inspired through the aim itself of this project; which is establishing a societal archive where everyone could contribute and play a role. Each contributor would keep his\her contribution in a special “cabinet” and all of these cabinets together would form the people’s “Khazaeen” (Khazaeen literally translates into cabinets).
And as such, Khazaeen hopes that it would be able to protect and preserve as many of the daily publications as possible, and to present it to researchers and whoever demonstrates an interest in this project. In addition to having the digital archive contribute in starting a social and cultural discussion around critical political and societal issues in the hope of creating a better tomorrow.
Khazaeen identifies itself as a cognitive project that aims to establish a base to rise and ascent in knowledge, where such aim won’t materialize without the collective effort and cooperation of all the academic and cultural institutions and bodies in the field. Accordingly, we also aim - in the near future - to present an initiative that works on developing the Arabic content through activating a cooperation mechanism between archives, research centers, and universities where all of these institutions would contribute in elevating the level of the Arabic rhetoric and scientific research.
Archives alone would not be successful in the rise of Arab societies; in order to do so we need a center of studies to support it, and a library to provide what publication don’t. And so, Khazaeen archives aspires to establish itself as a rich archive (in this current stage of work) where it would be followed by developing an Arabic database that would contribute in developing libraries and scientific research in different locations in the Arab world.