Saudi Ambassador to the United States Prince Turki Al-Faisal today received a reproduction of the Franklin Film Archive of the Middle East, the preeminent collection of Middle East film footage in the world. In a ceremony at the Saudi Embassy, Prince Turki accepted the tapes from Ms. Jo Franklin on behalf of the archives of the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies, of which he is a board member.
“This is a valuable gift for the Saudi people that enhances the film archives of the King Faisal Center,” said Prince Turki. “I am grateful for this fine collection of cultural footage.”
The 120-hour film archive, which has never before been made available to the public, is valued at $45 million and has been lauded as an invaluable and unique historical asset. Ms. Franklin called the collection, which include over 70 hours of interviews, “an oral history of Saudi Arabia.”
Ms. Franklin traveled though the Middle East from 1980 through 1994 for several acclaimed documentaries which aired on PBS, including: “Saudi Arabia” (1981), “The Oil Kingdoms” (1983), “Days of Rage: The Young Palestinians” (1989) and “Islam: A Civilization and its Art” (1994).
The King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies in Saudi Arabia, with more than one million books, rare manuscripts, and audiovisual material in its four different libraries, is considered the principal resource in the world on Islamic civilization.