Lebanon: Disaster Planning for Arab Image Foundation

 The Arab Image Foundation (AIF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the collection, preservation and study of photography from the MENA region. The AIF holds a unique collection of more than 600,000 photographs from the mid-nineteenth century to 1970. Through this project, the AIF proposes to prepare a disaster plan for its own collection, with the idea of sharing the experience and methodology with its national and regional network of photo collections.


Progress so far
The AIF has established a good relationship with the Blue Shield through the
president of its French Committee, Christophe Jacobs, who helped the AIF identify
institutions in France at different stages of implementing a disaster plan for
photograph collections.The AIF was also approached by a group of Lebanese professionals willing to create a Lebanese Committee for the Blue Shield. Director Rima Mokaiesh attended a preliminary meeting for the creation of this branch.
AIF’s collection manager, Ralph Nashawaty, undertook a one-week study visit in France where he had the opportunity to visit a number of institutions including the Archives Nationales, the Centre Georges Pompidou and the Bibliothèque Nationale de France. AIF director Rima Mokaiesh was also able to attend some of these visits.
Following Ralph’s return to Beirut, a taskforce was put together to draft the AIF’s emergency plan. At this stage, the team has completed a first and extensive draft of the emergency preparedness plan. This draft includes
• An identification of major risks, their gravity, their probability, their potential
• Salvage procedures for each of these risks
• A list of short-term measures to be implemented in prevention
• A list of mid- and long-term measures to be implemented, pending additional budget
• A draft of priority list for the AIF collections
• List of supplies to be included in the emergency cache
• A bibliography of relevant publications related to emergency preparedness
Next steps
To complete the project, two important steps will take place by the end of 2015:
Christophe Jacobs will visit the AIF in Beirut, assess the emergency plan draft and
give recommendations for its completion.
The AIF team, along with Katy Glen, will offer a workshop to key stakeholders, to
include emergency responses institutions such as the fire department, Red Cross, civil
defence, as well as representatives of other collections, and selected volunteers.