The book, Lest We Forget: Emirati Family Photographs 1950-1999, explores the experiences of Emirati people during the early decades of nation building. Daily life in this rapidly evolving landscape is captured through personal stories and family photographs. These differ from the widely known photographs taken by the government, oil companies, missionaries and travellers. They were not intended to document media events or official protocol; instead these candid images captured private, lasting memories. This is the first publication of such important vernacular material.
A group of eight Emirati female students of Zayed University began this project four years ago, with nearly fifty students gradually contributing their family family photographs and oral histories to a collaboratively designed and authored book. Their professor, Dr. Michele Bambling, and renowned photographer Susan Meiselas guided the students’ creative approach to exploring their family photographs. Documented by their own cameras and told through their own memories, the book offers an Emirati perspective on life in their nation during the second half of the twentieth century.