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New initiative: the Dutch Muslim Archive

Since this week, our country has an Islamic archive institution: the Netherlands Muslim Archive. It is an initiative that not only wants to preserve heritage, but also create more awareness of the cultural contribution of Muslims and Islam.


The memory of Dutch Muslims

The mission of the Netherlands Muslim Archive is to give the cultural and religious heritage of Dutch Muslims and the history shared with other Dutch citizens a place in the collective memory of the Netherlands. The cultural and religious heritage of Dutch Muslims means all cultural and religious expressions of Muslims from different Muslim communities that carry meaning and tell a story. By giving this heritage and the shared history a proper place in the Netherlands, we contribute to a more inclusive society, where everyone belongs regardless of cultural and philosophical background.


We do this firstly by collecting or mapping out the material heritage of Dutch Muslims, such as valuable documents, artefacts or mosques. Secondly, by collecting and preserving intangible heritage, such as (oral) stories and memories from and about Dutch Muslims. Stories that humanise, that show the person behind ‘the Dutch Muslim’ in all his diversity. 


In addition, the Netherlands Muslim Archive is a cultural-educational centre, which is a meeting place and makes this shared history and culture accessible and recognisable for a wider audience, both young and old.


You can read more about this initiative on the NMA website or read the interesting interview here with co-founders Kamel Essabane and Nafiye Aydogdu, also about the importance of oral history.