Al-Sirah Al-Hilaliyya

·         Safeguarding and Protecting the Oral Epic Tradition of Al Sirah Al Hilalyya- Phase One:

o   Al Sirah Al Hilaliyya (Epic) is a poetic tradition popular throughout most of the Arab world. Narratives about this epic have been passed down orally from generation to generation. Although it is now seldom practiced in urban centers, it continues to be performed in rural areas.

o   After studying the logistics of field operation, ESFT began collecting the different versions of the Sirah.

o   The field activities necessitated purchasing technical equipment, training field workers, field surveys for information on poets, documentation of various narrations, and evaluation of the project. Narratives of the Sirah were collected and documented from the governorates of Sohag, Assuit, Qena in Upper Egypt, Cairo and the Delta.

o   The Impact of the contributions to the preservation and accessibility of the documentary heritage:

§  The data was collected by three graduate students as part of their MAs (2) and PhDs (1), and the Archives covered field expenses. Their dissertations on the topic are now accessible.

§  This project was significant because it digitally collected unique versions of the epic narrative. It preserved a traditional cultural element that is relevant to the Arab world and was in need of safeguarding.

o   ESFT received two financial awards for this documentation project:

1.       The Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Award (70,000$)

2.       The Sheikh Ghassan I. Shaker Award (50,000$)