Participant bios

Sadiya Ahmed

Sadiya Ahmed is Director and Founder of Khizra Foundation. A community group established in 2010 to tackle the lack of representation of the Muslim community across the heritage sector. Subsequently, the Everyday Muslim Heritage and Archive Initiative was established in 2013, as an umbrella project that has formally begun to archive of British Muslim life in the UK.

Sumayya Ahmed

Sumayya Ahmed is a Lecturer in Library and Information Studies at University College London - Qatar. Her research interests include the social life of archival documents in North Africa and the place of community archives and oral histories in complimenting documentary records in the Arabian Gulf. She received her PhD in Information and Library Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (USA) and was the co-editor of the 2016 de Gruyter volume, Library and Information Science in the Middle East and North Africa.

Haitham Al-Abri

Dr. Haitham Al Abri is an associate researcher at the ArCHIAM Centre at the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom, and a lecturer at Ibra collage of technology in the Sultanate of Oman. He has a PhD in the history and architecture of Oman from Nottingham Trent University, UK. He is also an expert in the history and vernacular architecture of Oman, where he contributed with ArCHIAM in many research projects funded by the Omani government. His PhD thesis has made an important contribution to Oman Studies by examining the urban pattern and architecture of Omani foothill settlements through the study of Harat al-Wusta (al-Hamra oasis) and Harat as-Saybani (Birkat al-Mawz oasis) in the Dakhliya (Interior) region of central Oman. The two settlements – new towns by Omani standards, established during the Ya’ariba Imamate in the late-17th century – were unique additions to Omani settlement hierarchy, introducing a new category between the ancient, larger oases of the plains and the small, dispersed settlement network of the Oman Mountains. The research focused on two principal factors of settlement formation/ evolution in Arabia: a) the physical topography and geology, providing defensive advantage and access to water; and b) the social history of the settling peoples shaped by an evolving tribal politics.

Sakena A. Al-Alawi

Sakena A. Al-Alawi is a Kuwaiti Graduate Scholar supported by the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training (PAAET) to complete both master’s and doctoral studies in the areas of archival science in general and digital archiving and organizing the digital knowledge in particular. She holds an MA in Information Studies from the University of Texas at Austin (2017) and a MA in Library and Information Science from Kuwait University (2010).

Her master’s thesis aimed at identifying the state and status of the archives in Kuwait before and after the Gulf War (Iraq and Kuwait from the years 1990 to 1991) and analyzed the circumstances of the Gulf War and its repercussions on the Kuwaiti national archives. She is currently a doctoral student at the University of California Los Angeles focusing on archival studies. Her research interest centers on digital archiving and arrangement and description of archival materials in particular original order.

Fady Asleh

Fady Asleh is the General Coordinator and Founder of Khazaaen. He is preparing a doctoral dissertation on the History of the Palestinian Villages that compares the source material available from local Palestinian memorial books with materials held in the Israel Archives. Fady holds a post-graduate degree in Islamic thought from the Free University of Berlin as well as a degree in comparative literature from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Abdulla Al-Hemaidi

Abdulla Al-Hemaidi is a sophomore Mechanical Engineering student at Texas A&M University at Qatar who has an interest in the popular and oral history of his hometown of Al-Khor.

Hadeel Eltayeb

Hadeel Eltayeb is a curator and oral historian from London, UK, and is Associate Curator at The Media Majlis, Northwestern University in Qatar. Most recently serving as curator and arts manager for the Al Riwaq Art Space in Bahrain, other recent Gulf projects include as curator for [Media]tions with Mawane, an independent, non-profit initiative producing contemporary art exhibitions along Bahrain’s coastline, and as a project curator for Recycle, Revive, Relive, a site-specific intervention which was part of the Nuqat Creative Conference in Kuwait City. Following her graduation from King’s College, University of London, with a BA (Hons) in English Literature and Language, Eltayeb worked in Oral History museum and archive in East London, and was a fellow of Columbia University Center for Oral History (CCOH) in 2014, presenting a project on Women’s Cultural Practice in Sudanese Diaspora. She also holds a diploma in cultural heritage (NVQ, UK) and is trilingual (English-Arabic-French).

Andrew Flinn

Andrew Flinn is a Reader in Archival Studies and Oral History. He is the Director of the Archives and Records Management MA programme in the Department of Information Studies at University College London where he has been teaching since 2002 and was the chair of the UK and Ireland Forum for Archives and Records Management Education and Research (FARMER) between 2008 and 2011. In 2012 and 2013 he was Principal Investigator on the ‘Dig Where You Stand’ a UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) funded Research into Community Heritage award which examines a collaborative approach to community heritage activity including archives, archaeology, museums, film studies and digital humanity scholars and between 2008 and 2010 he led another AHRC funded research project ‘Community archives and identities’ which examined the motivations, impacts and challenges of independent and community-led archive and heritage initiatives of African, Asian and other heritage groups in the UK. As a researcher he is interested in further exploring the application of ethnographic, participatory, and community-based approaches to archival research. 

Anne Gilliland

Anne Gilliland is Professor and Director of the Archival Studies specialization in the Department of Information Studies, as well as Director of the Center for Information as Evidence, Graduate School of Education & Information Studies at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). She is also the Director of the Archival Education and Research Initiative (AERI), a global collaborative effort amongst academic institutions that seeks to promote state-of-the-art in scholarship in Archival Studies, broadly conceived, as well as to encourage curricular and pedagogical innovation in archival and recordkeeping education locally and worldwide. Her interests relate broadly to the history, nature, human impact, and technologies associated with archives, recordkeeping and memory, particularly in translocal and international contexts. A native of Derry, Northern Ireland, she holds an M.A. from Trinity College Dublin, an M.S. and C.A.S. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.

Sophie Richter-Devroe

Sophie Richter-Devroe is associate professor at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies, Qatar, and an honorary fellow at the European Centre for Palestine Studies, University of Exeter, England. Her broad research interests are in the field of everyday politics and women’s activism in the Middle East. From 2014 to 2016, she held an Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Early Career Fellowship for her project “Gender and Settler Colonialism: Women’s Oral Histories in the Naqab,” which documents the oral histories, memories, and narratives of women from the often forgotten Palestinian Naqab Bedouin population. She has done research and published work on Palestinian and Iranian women’s activism, Palestinian refugees, Palestinian cultural production, and the Naqab Bedouin.

Mostafa Sheshtawy

Mostafa Sheshtawy is an Egyptian film director and cinematographer. Started his career as photojournalist during the Egyptian revolution in 2011 with work published in various media outlets, including LA Times, Al Jazeera, BBC, ONTV, The Daily News Egypt and many others before moving into motion pictures.

Caroline Simpson

Caroline Simpson lives in London, lived in Ghana (1967-70) and for many periods since 1994 in Qurna, Egypt. Studied archaeology in London and Legon and worked on multi-period excavations in London and the UK. Snce 1994 she her work as focused on the World Heritage Site on the West Bank of Luxor, specifically the communities of the Qurnawi who lived on the hillside: She maintains the websites , about Qurna history and the work of ‘Qurna Discovery’, and a detailed photographic record designed primarily for the re-settled Qurnawi. There is also an Oral history project done on Quran in collaboration with the America University of Cairo that can be found at

Michael Telafici

Michael Telafici is currently an Associate Instructional Professor at Texas A & M University at Qatar, and in his five years there has taught first year composition, computer assisted language learning, oral skills, and study skills courses. Prior to working in education, he spent nearly a decade as a professional writer. His main current pedagogical and classroom research interest is the connection between language, identity, and motivation.

Neon X

Neon X (formerly formerly Alan Gotting) is the founding member of Children of Qatar an online group that shares memories, photographs, and documentary materials of early ( 1950s, 60s, and70s) expat life in Qatar.