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Digital archiving in the Arab world: Assessment and challenges

L’archivage numérique dans le monde arabe : état des lieux et enjeux
الحفظ الرقمي في العالم العربي: التقييم والتحديات
Hala Bayoumi and Sébastien Oliveau
p. 13-20


Digital archiving has become a major issue in 21st-century academia. As far as social science is concerned, the particular topic of quantitative data is not immune to this debate. Access to archives is a major issue however, as much as safeguarding data might be. Such is the perspective developed in this article based on the feedback of two entities providing services that enable researchers to access data. The first case dwells on the French data archiving initiative developed within the CNRS to archive and circulate data related to public statistics with the help of academic platforms created for this purpose. The second case is a researcher-led initiative that aims at making data about Mediterranean countries available to the wider public, while ensuring that the highest academic data sourcing and exploitation standards are respected. The article thus refers to the different dimensions of FAIR data, with a particular focus on accessibility.

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Full-text article available to subscribers or on a "pay per view" basis. It will be available on this URL in January 2023.
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The DAAW symposium
The Arab world, archives and the digital realm
Archiving and digital humanities
Putting digital archiving in perspective with the current technics, theories and practices in use in the Arab world
Conclusion: scientific cooperation in the Arab world

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The DAAW symposium

This issue of Égypte/Monde arabe gathers a selection of papers presented during the Digital Archiving in the Arab World (DAAW) international symposium that took place in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) from October 26, to 28 2019. This symposium -the first of its kind- was hosted by Sorbonne Abu Dhabi and the National Archives of the United Arab Emirates. Twenty-six presentations were made, starting with linguist and Arabic digital typography specialist Thomas Milo. The founder of company Decotype (, Thomas Milo discussed the challenges surrounding digital harmonisation of Arabic typography, quoting his experience related to smart and interactive digitalisation of the Quran. Such an opening address underlined the key issue of adapting a cultural area – the Arab world – to a global dynamic-digitalisation.

The symposium was organised around six themed sessions: multidisciplinary approaches to digital archiving; methodologies used to preserve tangible...

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Electronic reference

Hala Bayoumi and Sébastien Oliveau, « Digital archiving in the Arab world: Assessment and challenges », Égypte/Monde arabe,Troisième série, 22 | 2020, Online since 03 January 2023, connection on 27 February 2021. URL : ; DOI :

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About the authors

Hala Bayoumi

Dr Hala Bayoumi is a research engineer at the CNRS France (National Centre for Scientific Research) and head of the Digital Humanities cluster at the CEDEJ. She holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science from EPHE (Paris, France) and a habilitation in Geography from University Jean Moulin (Lyon, France). She is the winner of the CNRS 2017 crystal medal, and ambassador of the program “La Science taille Xxelle”. She published different books and websites and co-edited recently with Karine Bennafla Atlas de l’Égypte Contemporaine, 2020. She coordinated since 2010 a Master's level diploma in Data Analysis and Spatial Analysis Techniques (GIS 4D) for Egyptian officials from CAPMAS (inter-university diploma EPHE-university of Lyon).

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Sébastien Oliveau

Dr Sébastien Oliveau is Associate Professor at the university of Aix-Marseille, holding a habilitation in Geography and conducting research in the Laboratoire Méditerranéen de Sociologie (Aix-Marseille Univ., CNRS, UMR 7305). He is the director of the large research infrastructure PROGEDO (CNRS, EHESS, USR 2006). His work focuses on population and digital humanities.

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