Idea Competition

Creating a Postcolonial Research Hub & Archive

Archival Project

In late 1957, Egypt under the leadership of Gamal Abdul-Nasser hosted the First Afro-Asian Peoples Solidarity Conference, which led to the establishment of the Afro-Asian Peoples’ Solidarity Organization (AAPSO) with a Permanent Secretariat in Cairo. The delegates, activists, writers, and intellectuals associated with AAPSO hailed from different anti-colonial liberation movements and postcolonial political parties in Africa and Asia.

Uncover a forgotten chapter in Arab history

In order to shed new light on this recent yet forgotten chapter in the postcolonial history of the Arab region, AGYA member and winner of the AGYA Idea Competition 2022 Prof. Dr. Anaheed Al-Hardan establishes a research hub for postcolonial studies at the American University of Beirut (AUB) in Lebanon. One aspect of this research hub is to build and integrate an archive of material from that time using the infrastructure of the AUB library.

The archive will be one of its kind in terms of its scope and content. It will activate an AGYA Postcolonial Studies Research Hub, through which AGYA members can engage in research on this era, and enable innovative humanities and humanistic social science research on an important period of Arab history by Arab, German and international scholars more broadly.

Anaheed Al-Hardan, AGYA member

Since 2021, Anaheed Al-Hardan and her team are identifying, collecting and purchasing documents and source material from the African-Asian anti-colonial movement published trilingual in Arabic, English and French. The archive material is based on publications by the AAPSO such as bulletins, academic and writers’ journals, commissioned studies, and organizational materials. Additionally, theoretical and literary publications of thinkers, researchers, and activists close to the organization and its goals of anti-colonial national liberation are collected and archived. In the framework of several field trips to Cairo, the team has already curated an impressive collection for the archive, continuing throughout 2022.

The launch of the archive is planned for 2023. The archive will be maintained and expanded by the AUB University Libraries in collaboration with Afro-Asian Future Past (AAFP), a Mellon-funded research program that Anaheed Al-Hardan leads as Principal Investigator together with colleagues at AUB and African universities.

Archive Materials

AGYA/Clara Kossaifi

Disciplines Involved
Sociology, Political Science, History, Literature
Cooperation Partner
American University of Beirut
AUB Libraries
Mellon Foundation
Project Title
Activating an AGYA Postcolonial Studies Research Hub in Beirut (Part I + Part II)
Funding Scheme
Idea Competition
Countries Involved
Germany, Egypt, Lebanon, United States of America

Creating a Postcolonial Research Hub & Archive

Listen to Prof. Dr. Anaheed Hardan talking about her idea to create an archive and research hub about an almost forgotten chapter in Arab history!

Video Cover