How the Palestinian Museum Digital Archive is Preserving Palestinian Heritage

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In a world consumed by forced forgetting of narratives and erasure of indigenous pasts, preserving heritage and history has been a long-standing battle the Palestinians have had to endure.

In the fight for decolonization and the struggle for liberation, museums and archives — such as the Palestinian Museum Digital Archive — serve as custodians of collective memory. Through careful preservation of letters, photographs, manuscripts, and other significant artifacts, digital archives bridge the past and present — and ensure their accessibility for future generations.

The Palestinian Museum Digital Archive launched its first phase in 2018 to collect various documents including identification papers, official records, letters, diaries, manuscripts, maps, photographs, films, and audio recordings that were under threat of loss, damage, or confiscation.

Since its establishment, the project has initiated partnerships with local and international institutions interested in Palestinian archives.

The project also aims to broaden its geographical scope, relations, and partnerships with the local community. The archive is set to include more than 360,000 freely-available items. The items on the website were digitized and translated in Arabic or English to highlight the different aspects of Palestinian life, history, and legacy.

“A visitor can browse the Archive through exploring the different collections offered by hundreds of Palestinians to be safely saved for future generations,” the digital archive’s website reads.

“One can also navigate the website through topics that summarize many aspects of Palestinian life such as culture & arts, resistance & struggle, displacement & diaspora, social & organizational movement, everyday life, education & extracurricular activities, women, and others” it adds.

The archive includes over two centuries of Palestinian narratives, where various individuals, families, and institutions offered their archives to be made accessible to the world.

By reaching into the past of Palestinains, often overlooked or distanced by history, this project is shedding light on present struggles and igniting thought for alternatives for a different future.

The Hanna Nakkara Collection contains three sections, the first includes family photographs, some of which document the family’s meeting with their relatives in Cyprus for the first time after the Nakba. The second section includes family correspondence and articles handwritten by Hanna Nakkara, and papers related to the associations and non-governmental institutions with which he was involved in working, in addition to some legal and judicial papers of his arguments, as he was known for being an avid advocate of the Palestinians who were subjected to expulsion and displacement and concerned with the issues related to the land confiscation by the Israeli Occupation Authorities in the 1948 Occupied Palestinian Territory, earning him the epithet of “The Lawyer of the Land and the People”. The third section of the collection contains legal booklets.

 

The Nehaya Mohammad Collection contains several documents and photographs of the life of the late activist Nehaya Mohammad, an influential female figure and a mother of three children. She lived a life full of ordeals, challenges and dangers under the harsh conditions of refuge, expulsion and detention. She had an active role in the Palestinian revolution, participating in the struggle against the Israeli Occupation in Beirut and Syria and training girls in military training camps to bear arms, which made her a symbol of the militant woman in Palestine. The collection includes documents and photographs that capture aspects of her personal, social and political life, and reflect the unique path of this exceptional female figure in the history of Palestine.
The William Farah Collection is a part of the family archive that captures the social life of the Farah family and their in-laws, the Zayed family.
The Nehaya Mohammad Collection contains several documents and photographs of the life of the late activist Nehaya Mohammad, an influential female figure and a mother of three children. She lived a life full of ordeals, challenges and dangers under the harsh conditions of refuge, expulsion and detention. She had an active role in the Palestinian revolution, participating in the struggle against the Israeli Occupation in Beirut and Syria and training girls in military training camps to bear arms, which made her a symbol of the militant woman in Palestine. The collection includes documents and photographs that capture aspects of her personal, social and political life, and reflect the unique path of this exceptional female figure in the history of Palestine.
The Khalil Jaraisy Collection contains photographs of him along with his family and friends from Nazareth, and documents his participation in the Scout Troupe during the 1950s.

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Source: egyptianstreets