Narrating Palestine: The Palestinian Oral History Archive Project

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VOL. 47


No. 2
P. 63
Narrating Palestine: The Palestinian Oral History Archive Project

The Palestinian Oral History Archive (POHA) project, based at the American University of Beirut (AUB), was launched in 2011 to digitize, index, catalog, and provide access to over one thousand oral history testimonies by first-generation Palestinian refugees residing in Lebanon. The interviews and other recorded statements provide a valuable lens through which to examine a defining moment of rupture in Palestine’s modern history from an underrepresented social and cultural perspective. This report highlights the methodological decisions that informed the planning and implementation of the POHA project as a grassroots digital archive that seeks to preserve the orality and immediacy of the refugees’ narratives. The archive aims to engage scholars interested in Palestine studies, in particular, and Middle East studies, in general, within the broader framework of a person-centered archival perspective, with a view to furthering a dialogical ethnographic methodology and producing a narrative of the Nakba “from within.”