INTRODUCTION

Posted On: March 20, 2012

The Nakba Archive is an oral history collective established in Lebanon in 2002. Since it’s inception, the Archive has recorded over 650 video interviews with first generation Palestinian refugees in Lebanon about their recollections of life in Palestine and the events that led to their displacement. These eyewitness narratives, with refugees from more than 150 Palestinian villages and towns, recall social and cultural life in Palestine before 1948, relations with neighboring Jewish communities and the British Mandate, the 1948 expulsion, and the early years of exile. The aim has been to document this critical period through the voices and experiences of those who lived through it, and to bear witness in a way shaped not by political symbolism but rather by the rhythms of personal memory.

 

Conceived as a grassroots, collaborative project, the Nakba Archive has been conducted by a collective of Palestinians from the camps; the goal has been not only to compensate for an incomplete written record, but also to involve refugees in documenting community histories in their own terms. The Archive is both a record of the memories of a passing generation of eyewitnesses and an act of witness to the legacy of 1948 and its continuing impact on the Palestinian refugee community in Lebanon. A growing selection of interviews and subtitled excerpts can be viewed online.

 

The Nakba Archive was founded and co-directed by Diana Allan and Mahmoud Zeidan.