Culture and youth ministry to oversee plan

Kurdistan Region moves to establish national archives

ERBIL — The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) announced plans on Monday to establish a national archive in a major step towards safeguarding the region’s historical and cultural heritage.

The Ministry of Culture and Youth is leading the initiative, which follows the enactment of Law No. 1 of 2022 by the Kurdistan Parliament. The law, titled “Law on the Protection of National Documents in the Kurdistan Region – Iraq,” assigns responsibility for establishing the center to the Ministry.

The center will function as a central repository for collecting, archiving, and preserving documents and manuscripts of significance to Kurdistan.

According to Article 5, Section 1 of the law, the Minister of Culture and Youth will chair a council responsible for organizing, planning, and implementing the project, with representatives from other entities including the Ministries of Higher Education, Education, Municipalities and Tourism, Endowment and Religious Affairs, Martyrs and Anfal Affairs, and the Directorate of Non-Governmental Organizations.

Namiq Hawrami, spokesperson for the Ministry of Culture and Youth, said the archive represents a significant step in creating a national institution dedicated to collecting, archiving, and preserving the region’s documents and manuscripts.

On Monday, Minister of Culture and Youth Mohammad Said Ali stressed the importance of adhering to international best practices in the archive’s physical construction and operational procedures, emphasizing the need for a building designed specifically for archival purposes, along with robust measures to ensure the security and preservation of collections.

While the Kurdistan Region already houses institutions dedicated to document preservation, such as the Kurdistan Center for Documentation and Academic Research at the University of Sulaimani, the new national archive is envisioned as a more comprehensive initiative built according to international standards.