A Discussion Session at AAUP About the Importance of Establishing a Palestinian National Archive

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

The Policy and Conflict Resolution Studies Center at AAUP in Ramallah hosted the German director Monica Moore, one of the pillars of the struggle cinema that came to Lebanon in the 1970s and was engaged in the resistance film movement established by the Palestine Films Unit of the PLO.

A Discussion Session at AAUP About the Importance of Establishing a Palestinian National Archive

Monica Moore is currently working to preserve the oral history and audiovisual testimony of an important era of the Arab-Israeli conflict from 1978-1983, by digitizing more than 100 hours of films made with a 16mm camera.

The discussion took place in the presence of representatives of archival institutions from various sectors on the possibility of establishing a public, accessible and free national archive.

The meeting also discussed the opportunities and challenges facing this initiative. To highlight the importance of these archival materials, Moore presented a short film about the Palestinian Land Day which included archive shots of Haifa and a speech by the Palestinian activist Tawfiq Ziad on the anniversary of this Day.

Ms. Rola Shahwan, Manager of the Center explained the centers high interest in the importance of establishing a Palestinian national archive and stressed that the Center main work is gathering the Palestinian archive, where documentaries, films and historical films about the Palestinian history was collected.

She added that archiving is showing more interest by institutions and individuals at various levels, for its importance in the formation of the novel and national identity and the need to preserve, digitize and facilitate access to information. Therefore, the Center is participating in role to present policies and appropriate methods to institutionalize the work of archiving and standardize the strategies.

Dr. Nahed Habiballah, a lecturer in social sciences at AAUP, said that the issue of memory preservation is a necessity and should be a Palestinian priority. To enhance a unified archival database that facilitates access to information, Dr. Nahed Habiballah stressed that it is not necessarily the standardization of archives in their physical form, but we can work on the methodologies and methods used in the archiving process.

A Discussion Session at AAUP About the Importance of Establishing a Palestinian National Archive