The Bedoun Archive: A Public Archive Created for the Northern Tribes Bedouin of Kuwait
Keywords:Arab Spring, archive, Bedouin, citizenship, Muslim stereotypes, neo-Orientalism, Orientalism, social movements, sociology of knowledge
This article describes the creation of the Bedoun Archive at the Australian Data Archive, managed by the Australian National University.Â The Bedoun are a Bedouin minority comprising stateless members of the main tribes of Kuwait. They have been subjected to â€œOtheringâ€ in scholarly literature, indicative of both Orientalism and neo-Orientalism, approaches that have contributed to their oppression by the state and omission from the official histories of Kuwait and the academic literature.Â The theory and methodology behind the creation of the Bedoun Archive, based on the principles of humanistic sociology and collaborative research with Indigenous Peoples, are discussed. The archive provides safe storage for data analysed in the project, which can be used by others in future.Â This article contributes to improving understanding of the impact of Orientalism and neo-Orientalism on perceptions of the people and history of the Middle East in general, and the Arabian Gulf and Kuwait in particular. It also contributes new knowledge regarding the complex situation currently faced by the Bedoun, the role of intellectuals in the Arab Spring social movement and subsequently, their contribution to developing formal systems of knowledge about their own culture.
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