The Palestinian Oral History Archive, lest we forget . . .

May 15, 2015

Today marks the 67th Anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, a day of commemoration and remembrance of nearly seven decades of dispossession for the Palestinian people, and a day of celebrating the resilience of the Palestinian communities everywhere, and their continued struggle against injustice.

Today, the Palestinian Oral History Archive (POHA) at the American University of Beirut has released a short video “Lest We Forget”, providing a glimpse into its rich collection of the testimonies of first generation Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.

POHA is a joint project between the Arab Resource Center for Popular Arts (ARCPA/AL-JANA), the Nakba Archive, AUB’s Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs and the AUB University Libraries. The Archive will be launched in 2016, and will produce an online searchable state-of-the-art digital platform that will feature over 1,000 hours of testimonies with first-generation Palestinians in Lebanon.

The Archive, which will be housed at the AUB Libraries in Beirut, will digitize, index, catalog, and preserve the material, and make it accessible to scholars, educators, artists, and community organizations around the world to stimulate research and engagement on public history research, education, and cultural preservation.

The archive, will be accessible to scholars, educators, artists, and community organizations around the world to stimulate research and engagement on public history research, education, and cultural preservation.

For over a decade beginning in the 1990s, our partners the Arab Resource Center for Popular Arts (ARCPA/AL-JANA) and the Nakba Archive collected over 800 interviews with first generation Palestinians in Lebanon. The University Libraries are the custodians of the archival collection, and together with Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs, they are entrusted with constructing the archive.

The project is governed by an Executive Committee and an Advisory Board, each made up of renowned scholars, librarians and practitioners from a variety of disciplines. It is jointly funded by AUB (Issam Fares Institute and the University Libraries), the Welfare Association, the Delmas Foundation, and the Heinrich Böll Foundation.

To find out more please visit our webpage: http://www.aub.edu.lb/IFI/PROGRAMS/POHA/Pages/index.aspx.

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