Sanduq el- Dunia [literally “the box of the world”, meaning “the box of life”] ** is an interactive website that acts as a gateway to Cairo where its historical and future developments are debated, discussed and dreamed about, and where the art technology revives different layers of the city’s history and memory. Sanduq el-Dunia offers an exceptional experience of Cairo’s history by digitally navigating its past also this digital platform allows public to build a dynamic connection to their heritage.
Sanduq el-Dunia enables users to preview and explore the existing database of images, as well as the opportunity to contribute to the database by uploading their own images. It contains images reflecting both ancient and modern Cairo.
The idea of creating Sanduq El-Dunia dates back to Egypt’s 25 January revolution in 2011. The images and stories from Tahrir Square formed the inspiration for this project with the idea that “culture is for all” and the objective to “democratize the production of a collective memory, history and knowledge”.
This project is presented on two platforms:
The first is the website that acts as an interactive platform with a mini cityscape
The second platform –mini Sanduq el-Dunia– presents an interactive preview wall on a 75” touchscreen.
Two main collaborative partners in this project with Sanduq el-Dunia are the Danish Egyptian Dialogue Institute (DEDI) and the Commercial International Bank (CIB). DEDI is located in Cairo and is an intergovernmental body with the goal of promoting political and cultural understanding between Denmark and Egypt and between Europe and the Arab World; The Commercial International Bank (CIB) one of the leading private banks in Egypt.
Sanduq el-Dunia’s mission is to:
“Create an interactive, innovative and multidimensional public platform that reflects the cultural and natural diversity of Cairo, its inhabitants, and their living memory
Celebrate and highlight the immense and diverse riches in archaeology, architecture, arts, culture and social-political movements, amongst others present in Cairo.
Build strong networks among all stakeholders (governmental, cultural institutions, civil society organizations, businesses, educational institutions, artists, Galleries) and democratize the production of and access to collective memory, history, and knowledge.”
The way that Sanduq el Dunia chose to approach the history and culture of the city is influenced by an award-winning project called the “Wall/ Næggen” produced by the Museum of Copenhagen with Gibson Group.
Below one can watch the Sanduq el- Dunia project in Copenhagen:
**Sanduq el-Dunia refers to a well-known form of play (story telling) in the Arab world-which was presented in days past yet continues until today- this form of play works with “schematized, visually abstracted figures, and partly improvised dialogues.” It is linked to an older theatrical performance called shadow play, which is usually being played during occasions, such as private celebrations or religious holidays in cafes. More information in this regard can be found in the following resources:
Shafik, Viola 1998. Arab Cinema History and Cultural I. American University of Cairo, Egypt. link
Haghani, Fakhri, “The “New Woman” on the Stage: The Making of a Gendered Public Sphere in Interwar Iran and Egypt.” Dissertation, Georgia State University, 2008. Link
Raseef 22 [Sidewalk 22 (as the number of countries in the Arab League)] is a collaborative information platform that emerged in the spirit of the Arab revolutions. Officially launched in Lebanon in August 2013, Raseef 22 offers independent and critical news and views on social, political and cultural movements active in the Arab world. In addition to journalists, writers and artists contributing articles, the platform is maintained and its content curated by an editorial board of fifteen people.
The website is bilingual, English and Arabic, however at the time of our visit, there was much more content available in Arabic than in English. One hopes this will be developped in the future.
Navigating Raseef 22 is very easy, thanks to a single top menu highlighting categories of publications: Life, Politics, Culture, Economy, Blog and Videos. Users can also subscribe to receive a weekly selection of topics, and follow Raseef22 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Last, people eager to contribute can submit theit articles (in .docx format) directly from the Contribute page.
DLME is a response to the current threats in the form of destruction, looting and illegal trade to the cultural heritage of the Middle East.
The digital Library of the Middle East aims to federate different types of cultural heritage material consisting of archives, manuscripts, museum objects, media and archeological and intangible heritage collections. The DLME implements international cultural preservation goals by providing accessibility and urging documentation and digitization; contributing to security and sustainability by encouraging inventory creation, cataloguing, documentation and digitization of collections as well as forming a community of interest that seeks collaboration among people, organization and countries who value this heritage; which in returns can help mitigate looting and the illegal resale of heritage materials.
The digital platform of the DLME brings together digital records of accessible artifacts ranging across twelve millennia. It provides metadata for each objects that describes various aspects of the artifact or document, it might include its contested meaning or significance, its history and its provenance when available. This platform is searchable, also the collection is classified based on different criteria such as Language, type, date, creator, medium and etc.The Digital Library of the Middle East is continuously developing and progressing through scholarly inputs, crowd-sourcing and new knowledge discovered through its use.
Launched in 2012, Visualizing Palestine is the first project of Visualizing Impact (VI), an independent, non-profit “laboratory for innovation” (…) aiming at: “breaking new grounds in socially aware data science, technology, and design” and “mainstreaming marginalized perspectives on critical social issues.”
Visualizing Palestine publishes data-driven visual tools, in Arabic and English, providing context and analysis to mainstream coverage of news related to Palestine. The multidisciplinary team (scholars, designers, technologists, and communications specialists) collaborates with both individuals (civil society actors, advisors) and organizations to support their impact in advocating for justice and equality. In addition, their by-weekly infographics are heavily used for teaching in higher education, and exhibitions. Last, Visualizing Palestine regularly facilitates storytelling workshops (in Beirut, Lebanon), and can provide student groups with a VP Toolkit to help raise awareness on campus.
Visualizing Palestine is co-funded by individual benefactors, grants and sponsors, as well as by crowdfunding efforts.
Ganjoor is an online open access collection of Persian literature. This collection provides access to a diverse and extensive collection of the literary works of Persian poets. Ganjoor is the result of a collective effort whose purpose is to gather thousands of treasures from classical and modern Persian literature and to provide free access to this valuable collection. All the provided information in this website is in Persian.
In addition to the main collection, Ganjoor offers several other interesting features such as: Library, Statistics, Music Index, Random line of poetry, and more.
Lists of poets and their literary works are available in the Library, and Statistics sections.
The Music Index section lists poems that were used in different musical compositions or songs. In this section, the list of poems is categorized according to the artist or band’s name.
Ganjoor is even accessible on Facebook, where you can listen to famous poems read by native Persian speakers!
The literary and cultural journal al-Adab was founded in 1953 by the famous Lebanese novelist, short-stories writer, journalist and translator Suhayl Idris (1925-2008). A monthly periodical, Majallat al-Adab is still considered one of the leading literary journals.Since 2015, al-Adab has been published electronically. But back issues (1953-2012) are now also available online, on the al-Adab Archives website. Issues can be browsed by date of publication, and articles can be individually downloaded and saved as PDF, or printed.
The Digital South Asia Library makes openly accessible digital materials for reference and research on South Asia. DSAL is a collaborative program of the University of Chicago and the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), built upon a two-year pilot project funded by the Association of Research Libraries’ Global Resources Program and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. Participants in DSAL include leading American Universities, CRL, the South Asia Microform Project (SAMP), the Committee on South Asian Libraries and Documentation, the Association for Asian Studies, the Library of Congress, the Asia Society, the British Library, the University of Oxford, the University of Cambridge, MOZHI in India, the Sundarayya Vignana Kendram in India, Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya in Nepal, and other institutions in South Asia. More details on the program are outlined in the grant proposal available in PDF or HTML. The Digital South Asia Library can be searched and/or browsed according to the following categories:
Arabic Almanac makes Lane’s Lexicon Arabic dictionary accessible on the App store for iOS devices. Words included in all eight volumes can be searched by looking up for the root letter of the word. This dictionary gives a deeper understanding of a word by providing the meaning of the word, the context with which that meaning is as well as some examples of its uses in literature. This dictionary can be searched either in Arabic, or in Latin characters. Currently, the application only supports Arabic-English translation, however, new versions should include more functionalities.
Al-Mawrid Al-Qareeb is an Arabic-English and English-Arabic Dictionary accessible on the App store for iOS devices and on the Google store for Android devices. With over 33,000 words and many related appendices, al-Mawrid is one of the most advanced dictionaries ever published in the Arab world. The Arabic-English dictionary counts 13,000 entries, the English-Arabic dictionary 20,000 entries, and the English sound module includes 20,000 entries of pronunciation by native speakers. This powerful application offers a variety of convenient search methods (look up for words while reading; full text search; list of similar words in case of misspelling; search for anagrams, etc.), and of useful learning features (English audio pronunciation by native speakers; full linguistic information on words;table of English irregular verbs, etc.)
Almaany.com is an Arabic to Arabic Dictionary only available on the App Store for iOS devices. This application, designed primarily for offline use, contains summarized results. With active internet connections, search can be broadband to online website.
eResearch@Ozyegin is the institutional repository of Ozyegin University. Established in 2010, it now (November 2017) includes approximately 2,500 articles, proceedings, conference papers, book chapters, theses, lecture notes and more written by authors (faculty, staff, students or groups) affiliated to Ozyegin University between 1970 and 2017. Content can be browse by date, author, title, subject, document type, as well as by Faculty.
Results display as a list from where document can be opened as PDF or in their original published form (i.e. link to journal in which the article was originally published). The right column in the results list indicated the number of citations in Scopus, one of the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature.
On the technical side, eResearch@Ozyegin “runs on Dspace, open source software originally developed by MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technolog) in the USA. It is compatible with OAI-PMH (Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting). All items deposited in eResearch@Ozyegin is indexed by Google Scholar, OpenDOAR and ROAR, harvested by OpenAIRE. It uses Dublin Core as metadata elements and the metadata is OpenAIRE and DRIVER compatible.”
The interface is available in both Turkish and English.