Yousef Dartaha is an architect who finished his bachelor degree in Architecture &Urban planning from Birzeit university in 2009, he worked as a Designer for residential , commercial buildings in Palestine before he started working with RIWAQ in 2011 as an Architect& Restorer, until now he is mainly working on restoration& rehabilitation of single historical buildings in west bank &Gaza, which includes: survey, prepare Design& bid documents in addition to upper supervision , and his interest in photography brought him to hold the responsibility of Developing RIWAQ photo Archive, Through what he learned from MEPPI network.
Maha Ali is a lecturer of photograph conservation at the Conservation Department, Faculty of Archaeology, Cairo University, in Egypt. She received her doctorate in Conservation of Antiquities from the Faculty of Archaeology/Cairo University in 2016. She is also a researcher in a joint research project between the Faculty of Archaeology – Cairo University and the Department of Chemical Sciences – University of Catania in Italy entitled “A Scientific Approach to the Conservation of Printed Photos”. Maha further teaches the photograph conservation course at the Faculty of Applied Arts – Helwan University in Egypt as part of a joint International Master’s Program in Conservation of Antique Photographs and Paper Heritage between the University of Catania and Helwan University. She has also held many workshops with the aim of raising awareness on the importance of visual heritage in Egypt and the Middle East and how to preserve it for future generation. Maha has written several papers on the conservation of photographs in English. Recent publications include “A New Method for the Preparation of Gelatin Nanolayer: A Possible Approach to the In-situ Consolidation of Damaged Gelatin Photographic Emulsions, Appl. Phys. A (2016) 122:552”. She is also an alumna of MEPPI Amman 2014.
Mohamed Soliman is Head of Cultural Outreach Sector, Bibliotheca Alexandrina (BA), with a wide range of experience in manuscripts cataloging, documentation, preservation and description; heritage; multimedia publishing and digital preservation (20 years). One of the founders of the Manuscript Center in the BA (1996), and participated in the development of the Restoration Lab and the Manuscript Museum (BA). A Manuscript Consultant for the Islamic Development Bank for Mali Manuscripts Collection (2008); Center for Research and Study in Kuwait (2012-present); Institute of Arabic Manuscripts; Al-Azhar Al-Sharif; National Library of Libya; King Abdul Aziz Foundation in Saudi Arabia. A teacher of manuscripts in the Faculty of Fine Arts (2009- present) and supervises Masters and PhDs in the same field. Participated in many trainings and workshops in the field of manuscripts and Arabic heritage. Participated in the development of the Manuscripts Exhibition Hall, BA (2002). Participated in many paper and electronic publication in the BA.
Zeina Arida is the Director of the Nicolas Sursock Museum in Beirut (www.sursock.museum).
From 1997 to 2014, Zeina Arida was the Director of the Arab Image Foundation (www.fai.org.lb). There, she set-up and managed the Arab Image Foundation and took actively part of many artistic and photographic preservation projects, including the Middle East Photographs Preservation Initiative (MEPPI: www.meppi.me).
Arida served as a board member of the Arab Fund for Arts and Culture from 2006 until 2012 (www.arabculturefund.org), and was a member of the Prince Claus Fund Network Partner Committee from 2007 to 2013 (www.princeclausfund.org).
She’s a member of the Beit Beirut Museum Scientific Committee since 2010 (www.beitbeirut.org).
Dr Zaki Aslan
Dr Zaki Aslan is the Director of ICCROM-ATHAR, an international body that works to conserve cultural heritage in the Middle-East. He is a conservation architect by trade and has managed ICCROM’s cultural heritage conservation in the Arab region programme from Rome since 2003. Aslan provided technical advice to the Arab States in the Mediterranean and Gulf countries on heritage conservation, management and planning, World Heritage procedures, national heritage strategies and governance, as well as education. Aslan holds a Ph.D. in Heritage Conservation and Management from the University College London. He previously worked as consultant for UNESCO, European Union, and ICCROM on heritage conservation and management in the Near East and Arab countries, including World Heritage education, training and development projects. He is a regular commentator on the destruction of heritage in the Middle-East and is seeking an internationally coordinated response.
Head of Collections, Sursock Museum
Yasmine Chemali graduated from the École du Louvre with a focus on preventive conservation and Islamic arts. From 2011 to 2014, she was the collection manager of The Fouad Debbas Collection, a photographic collection comprising over 30,000 images from the Middle East from 1830 till the 1960s.
At the Sursock Museum, Yasmine is responsible for studying the collection, and ensuring that it is kept in optimal conditions for its preservation. She is also taking care of the Fouad Debbas Collection, which is kept on a long term loan agreement within the Sursock Museum and exhibited at a rhythm of three exhibitions per year under multiple themes. There, she has curated multiple small shows including one on Portraiture, Music, the Human Scale, Aerial Views, or Beirut’s Hostels.
Sinem Ayşe Gülmez Saydam is a senior archivist at SALT. She has been working on archival process of SALT Research collections since 2012. She graduated from Istanbul University Information and Records Management Department. She is currently preparing a thesis on cataloging and digitizing of Architect Mustafa Şemsettin Şeniz Archive which is a part of SALT Research.
Shamoon Zamir is the associate Professor of Literature and Visual Studies at New York University Abu Dhabi. His research is focused primarily on the literature, intellectual history and photography of the United States. But he is also the Director of Akkasah: Center for Photography at NYUAD. The center is developing a photographic archive, and also a conference and publication program devoted to photography, with a primary focus on the Middle East and North Africa. He has published books on the African American writer W.E.B. Du Bois and photographer Edward S. Curtis. He has recently co-edited a volume of essays on The Family of Man exhibition and is at present co-editing a collection on photography from the Middle East.