What is Multaka-Oxford?

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Multaka in Arabic translates into English as 'meeting point'. Multaka-Oxford aims to create volunteer opportunities and to use museums and collections as a ‘meeting point’ for bringing people together. The project is funded until September 2019 by the Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund.

Multaka-Oxford is being delivered jointly by the Pitt Rivers Museum and the History of Science Museum. It's run in collaboration with the local organisations Asylum Welcome, Connection Support Syrian Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme and Refugee Resource. Nuha Abdo from Syrian Sisters is the Community Ambassador. Volunteers are at the centre of the project.

Multaka collections
The Multaka team of staff and volunteers are working with two collections:

  • History of Science Museum: Islamic scientific instruments
  • Pitt Rivers Museum: Textiles from the Arab World (a recent donation from Jenny Balfour Paul).

Together they are researching, learning and discovering other perspectives about these collections. This wealth of knowledge and understanding is being added to the museums’ databases and is shared with a wider community through multi-lingual events, tours, blogs and displays.

The project is inspired by Multaka: Museums as a meeting point, which is based in Berlin. It provides opportunities for individuals to create Arabic tours across four museums in the city.

يهدف إلى خلق فرص التطوع للمهاجرين قسريًا واستخدام المتاحف والمقتنيات “كنقطة التقاء” لجمع الأفراد معًا

ملتقى أكسفورد هو مشروع ممول مادياً من صندوق ازمي فيربين كوليكشن حتى أيلول سنة ٢٠١٩

.سيكون هناك تعاون مشترك بين متحف پيت رڤيرز ومتحف تاريخ العلوم، جنبا إلى جنب مع منظمات المجتمع المحلي والجماعات الشعبية والأفراد

.ملتقى اكسفورد يهدف إلى إشراك النازحين في العمل اليومي للمتاحف من خلال خلق فرص عمل تطوعي شاملة وسيتم تمكين فريق المتطوعين لتقديم جميع جوانب المشروع – من أبحاث المجموعات الى المشاركة العامة

.ويركز المشروع على مجموعتين من مقتنيات المتحفين: المجموعة الاولى من الأدوات الفلكية الإسلامية في متحف تاريخ العلوم، ومقتنيات الثانية من المنسوجات المكتسبة حديثاً من الشرق الأوسط في پيت ريڤيرز

هذا المشروع مستوحى فكرته من مشروع ملتقى متاحف برلين: المتاحف كنقطة التقاء، والتي توفر الفرص للأفراد لإنشاء جولات في المتحف باللغة العربية عبر أربعة متاحف في المدينة. كلمة العربية تعني “نقطة التقاء” واهداف مشروعيأكسفورد وبرلين و هي إنشاء مكان يمكن للأفراد الاجتماع فيه وتبادل خبراتهم ومعرفتهم ومهاراتهم مع بعضهم البعض ومع الموظفين.

.ومن خلال ذلك، نهدف إلى تعزيز التفاهم وسرد الروايات والمشاركة فيما يخص مقتنيات المتحف، كذلك دعم المتطوعين في بناء الثقة واكتساب الخبرة العملية ودعم التكامل المجتمع



The team

The Multaka-Oxford Team are:

Abdullah, Abi, Ali, Chaitanya, Dhamyaa, Dot, Duncan, Farida, Ghazala, Hadi, Hannah, Hussein, Khalil, Mariam, Mohamed, Mohammad, Navigator, Nawar, Nicola, Niran, Niveen, Nuha, Rachel, Rana, Rawan, Richard, Roushin, Safaa, Safaa, Sarah, Shaimaa, Suheer, Thabo, Tammam and Waed.

Get in touch


Phone: +44 (0)1865 282 456



The majority of volunteers come to the project through community partners. There are also volunteer roles advertised through the Joint Museums Volunteer Service. If you would like to volunteer, you can register on the Gardens, Libraries and Museums website.

In the news

If you've seen coverage of the Multaka-Oxford project in the local, national and international press and want to find out more, take a look on the Gardens, Libraries & Museums website.


"When I came to the History of Science Museum, I found these objects here from Islamic world.

I was so happy and I feel so pleased when I show people these are from my country."

Multaka-Oxford volunteer

Vice-Chancellor's Diversity Award for Diversifying Participation 2020

We're so proud to announce that our friends at Multaka-Oxford have won the Vice-Chancellor's Diversity Award for Diversifying Participation 2020 at the University of Oxford. 

Vice-Chancellor Professor Louise Richardson writes: 

'The University is deeply committed to promoting equality and diversity in the workplace and to providing a welcoming and inclusive environment for all members of our community ... The awards recognise and celebrate these pioneering initiatives and the people behind them.' 

One our our Multaka volunteers shared her experiences: 'When I came to the History of Science Museum I found these objects here from the Islamic world ... I was so happy and I feel so pleased when I show people these are from my country."  

Find out more about the Awards

Collections Trust Award 2019

The Multaka-Oxford Team won the 2019 Collections Trust Award recognising the often unsung achievements museum collections managers. 

Rachel Harrison, Volunteer & Community Engagement Coordinator, writes

‘Working with the volunteers has transformed our practice. It’s made us reflect on how we can be more inclusive in everything we do.’ 

The project provides on-the-job training, work experience — and a sense of inclusion and community. 

Abdullah AlKhalaf, a Syrian volunteer, told us: ‘Here at the museum, we see we share a human history and culture. We see we are similar. The museum really is a 'multaka' — a meeting point for culture.’



More Awards for Multaka-Oxford in 2019:


hc  partnership


winner  volunteer



About the Collections

Researching and sharing knowledge about museum collections is an essential element of Multaka-Oxford. At the History of Science Museum, Multaka-Oxford is looking at the Islamic scientific instruments.

Multaka volunteers have incredible knowledge, understanding and connections to objects in the collections.

"I am learning here about my culture. In Syria I didn’t learn about it like this. It makes me feel very proud.

I am pleased the museum has these things."

Multaka-Oxford volunteer