Highlight of the month

The Palestinian Museum Digital Archive

The Muhammad Fahd Hammoudeh Collection

1927-1980

The Palestinian Museum Digital Archive has been, from the outset, responsible for retrieving historical realities and representing the marginalized beyond the social dominance theory, traditional knowledge structures, and metanarratives. All by reexamining the relations of power and control, the system of values ​​and perceptions, the networks of social relations and the interaction between the different groups of society and through allowing the “ordinary” people to contribute to the production and formulation of narratives about Palestine, its culture and society through lived experiences, models of daily life, customs, traditions and self-patterns of behavior- also known as history from below.

Since this approach allows the study of the biographies, events, places and interactions of individuals and groups from the point of view of those whose behavior is not followed by researchers and scholars, and do not have the freedom to define their daily lifestyle and the distinctive and different history of their societies, this blog sheds light on an archival material that includes a report written by Muhammad Fahd Hammoudeh, born in 1927 in the village of Lifta in Jerusalem. In his report, Hammoudeh referenced many features of the social history of the Dayr Dibwan village in Ramallah and their patterns of behavior, all after he returned to the town as an immigrant, where he continued to write until he fell ill and stopped his work on the report until his death in 1980.

Handwritten between the late 1950s and early 1960s, this report follows the financial and social habits and norms of the Dayr Dibwan citizens and their professions during the period of documentation, in addition to their activities and lifestyle in the country side. The report also follows their traditional clothing, such as the Qumbaz, Kufiya and Agal for men and embroidered silk thobes for women. On the other hand, the report examines the new generation where men started wearing suits; and following the close geographical distance to the city of Ramallah, ease of transportation and the widespread of education among girls, the report states that women started wearing dresses and modern garments. As for agriculture, poor families depended on olive trees in their livelihoods along with other kinds of seeds while others survived on bread made with pure wheat and olive oil; baked in the Taboon or ovens, before food varied due to the development of the village.

Families of Dayr Dibwan naturally consisted of the father, mother and children, and either the father or the elder brother is considered the one responsible for fulfilling the duties of the family along with his wife. Women, on the other hand, were second to their husbands in responsibility besides their work in tidying and cleaning the house, and cooking. The report shows that relationships between families were based on blood before the relations of marriage and social integration. It also discusses marriage where most men were satisfied with one wife, but some would “have to” marry a second or a third for familial or infertility reasons. Moreover, the report mentions the habit of “exchange”, where a man would marry off his sister or female relative to a man, who in turn would do the same as a sort of marital exchange. Hammoudeh sees that this habit causes some of the worst issues in the village, where if one of the men had a dispute with his wife and sought a divorce, the second man would have to follow suit and divorce his wife even if they were on good terms.

The report also sheds light on many social habits and behaviors, such as the celebration of Mawlids, considering them spreading widely in the village, specifically when a villager moves into a new house, where he does not move until he invites the “Dervish people” to beat their drums as he sacrifices sheep, makes feasts and celebrates until after midnight, which Hammoudeh detests and wishes it stops. He also mentions that villagers would hold “luxurious” celebrations for the Mawlid and bring sweets, as well as another custom like the Mawlid which involves the fulfillment of vows where if a vow comes true, sheep are sacrificed, and people are invited to feast.

The report details the rituals of funerals and their customs, where when a notable person in the village passes away, the neighboring villagers are invited to the funeral, which is attended by men and women, as the deceased is carried to the mosque for prayer after being washed and shrouded, then the men would walk at the beginning of the funeral march and the women would follow, after the burial, another family prepares the food for the mourning family and those who offer condolences from other villages. After the funeral, women start weeping for a month while wearing black silk clothes. The custom is that the family of the deceased does not cook for one or two weeks, where food is sent to women at home while men are invited to dine at a different house every time. The report clarifies that these rituals only apply to deceased men, but not women, where they would just be buried.

Another custom deemed good is the “Aqd” or “house Aqd”, which is finishing the construction of the house roof, where villagers offer to help the homeowner as some of his relatives sacrifice sheep and help him with food, and the rest of them would offer rice and juice or help with finishing up the work. Usually, a white flag is held on top of the house to signify ending the construction of the roof. The report also mentions that the “construction chief” is served a plate full of bread chunks and meat. Another good custom is the “Qowad”; known in Dayr Dibwan and neighboring villages, which is hospitality, where sheep are sacrificed, and food is served on many occasions including death, Hajj or diasporic return. It also points another good custom known as clan courts, where clans aid in resolving most internal issues.

As for education, the report mentions that there is a school for boys in the village which was built as per modern standards with the financial support from the village’s residents and those abroad. Housing eleven teachers, the school teaches all grades up to the third secondary grade (high school). Hammoudeh also says that there is a school for girls, built one year prior to writing this material, from a loan from the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Restoration (PECDAR). Housing six teachers, the school is surrounded with a big plot of land; of which a block was used as a park and another as a basketball court.

Finally, the report mentions that many poor people acquired their livelihoods, while most of the youth immigrated during the last ten years (prior to writing the report) to the United States of America (USA) along with other neighboring villages. This, the report states, participated in increasing the standards in the village, aided the construction of tall buildings, and led the village to be among the richest In Ramallah. Accordingly, several literary works focused on the financials of immigrants, their impact on the socio-economic changes and urban transformations that the villages and cities of the region have witnessed). It also points out the generosity the village was known for, still up until the writing of these very lines; however, it has been noticeably fading away due to the development and sprawling of the Dayr Dibwan village towards the city.

الإضاءة الشهرية

مشروع أرشيف المتحف الفلسطيني الرقمي
مجموعة الأستاذ محمد فهد حمود

1927 -1980

يمسك مشروع أرشيف المتحف الفلسطيني الرقمي، منذ إطلاقه، بزمام مسؤولية استرداد الحقائق التاريخية وتمثيل المستضعفين والمغيبين خارج نطاق سلطة الهيمنة الاجتماعية والبنى المعرفية التقليدية والسرديات الكبرى. ذلك من خلال إعادة قراءة علاقات القوة والسيطرة ومنظومة القيم والتصورات وشبكات العلاقات الاجتماعية والتفاعل بين فئات المجتمع المختلفة، وإتاحة المجال أمام الناس “العاديين” للمساهمة في إنتاج وصياغة روايات حول فلسطين وثقافتها ومجتمعها من خلال التجارب المعاشة ونماذج الحياة اليومية والعادات والتقاليد وأنماط السلوك الذاتية -أو ما يعرف بالتاريخ الاجتماعي القاعدي

ولما كان هذه التوجه يتيح دراسة السير والأحداث والأماكن وتفاعلات الأفراد والمجموعات من وجهة نظر أولئك الذين يسلكون سلوكًا غير متابع بشكل دائم من قبل الباحثين والدارسين، ولا يحظون بحرية التعريف عن نمط حياتهم اليومي وتاريخ مجتمعاتهم المميز والمختلف، تضيء هذه المدونة على مادة أرشيفية تضم تقريرًا كتبه محمد فهد حمودة، المولود سنة 1927 في قرية لفتا قضاء القدس، والذي تناول فيه العديد من سمات التاريخ الاجتماعي لأهالي بلدة دير دبوان- رام الله وأنماط سلوكهم، بعد أن أتى إلى البلدة مهاجرًا، حيث استمر في الكتابة إلى أن  ألمّ به المرض وحال دون إكمال التقرير حتى غيبه الموت سنة 1980

يتتبع التقرير المكتوب بين أواخر الخمسينيات حتى أوائل الستينيات من القرن العشرين العادات الاقتصادية والاجتماعية لدى السكان وأهم الحرف التي انتهجوها في الفترة المؤرخة، إضافة إلى وصف طبيعة الأنشطة التي شغلها الرجال والنساء، وطرائق عيش الأسر الريفية وشكل اللباس التقليدي الذي كان يُلبس مثل القُمباز والكوفية والعقال لغالبية الرجال، والثياب المطرزة بالحرير للنساء. أما الجيل الجديد من الرجال فقد أخذ يرتدي البدلات، ونظرًا لقرب هذه البلدة من المدينة ولتوافر خطوط المواصلات وانتشار التعليم بين الفتيات، فقد أصبحن يرتدين الفساتين والموديلات الجديدة. كما يتحدث التقرير عن النشاط الزراعي في البلدة ويذكر أن العائلات الفقيرة قد اعتمدت في معيشتها على أشجار الزيتون إلى جانب أنواع مختلفة من الحبوب، كما كان الأهالي يتناولون الخبز المصنوع من القمح الصافي وزيت الزيتون والمخبوز في الطابون أو الأفران، قبل أن يصبح الطعام متنوعًا ومنتشرًا في ظل تقدم البلدة

وفي سياق العائلة، يذكر التقرير أن المسؤول الأول عن تربية الأسرة ورعايتها وتلبية احتياجاتها هو الأب أو الأخ الأكبر، بالتعاون مع زوجته، معتبرًا أن نشاط المرأة على وجه الخصوص يكون ضمن كونها المسؤولة الثانية بعد زوجها، وعليها تقع مهام الترتيب والتنظيف وإعداد الطعام. وقد أوضح التقرير أن العلاقة بين الأسر كانت تقوم على صلة الدم ورباط القربى، ذلك قبل أن تنشأ علاقات جديدة بحكم النسب والزواج والامتزاج الطبيعي بينهم. وينوه التقرير إلى أن معظم أهالي البلدة كانوا يكتفون بزوجة واحدة، إلا أن البعض كان “يضطر” للزواج بزوجة ثانية أو ثالثة سواء لأسباب متعلقة بالعقم أو لأسباب عائلية. كما يتناول التقرير عادة “البدل”، وهي عادة متعلقة بقيام الرجل بتزويج أخته أو قريبته لشخص آخر على أن يقوم هذا الشخص بنفس الشيء فيزوج قريبته للشخص الأول كنوع من البدل، ويعتبر الكاتب أن هذه العادة كانت تتسبب بأحد أصعب المشاكل في دير دبوان، بحيث انه إذا اختلف أحد الرجلين مع زوجته وأراد تطليقها، فإن الرجل الآخر سيطلق زوجته، حتى وإن كان متفاهما معها، وذلك ردًا على طلاق بديلتها

ويلقي التقرير الضوء على العديد من العادات والسلوكيات الاجتماعية في المناسبات والمواسم، ويتطرق إلى الاحتفال بالموالد باعتبارها عادة أخذت تنتشر بشكل كبير في القرية، ومنها ما يترافق على وجه الخصوص مع انتقال أحد أبنائها للسكن في بيت جديد، فلا يسكن فيه قبل أن يدعو “جماعة الدراويش” ليقرعو طبولهم، ويذبح الذبائح ويقيم لهم الموائد، ويستمر الاحتفال حتى بعد منتصف الليل، ويمقت كاتب التقرير هذه العادة مقتًا شديدًا وينعتها بالعادة القبيحة التي يجب أن تزول. ويذكر الكاتب أن أهل القرية كانوا يقيمون احتفالات “فخمة” بمناسبة المولد النبوي ويحضرون الحلوى، كما أن هناك عادة تقارب عادة المولد وهي متعلقة بالوفاء بالنذور وذبح الذبائح وإطعام الناس في حال تحقق النذر، على غرار ما يحدث في الموالد

يستفيض التقرير في وصف طقوس الجنازات والعادات المرافقة، مبينًا أنه وعند وفاة شخصية كبيرة من أهل القرية، فإنه يتم دعوة أهالي القرى المجاورة لحضور الجنازة التي كان يشارك فيها الرجال والنساء، حيث يتم نقل الميت إلى المسجد للصلاة عليه، بعد تغسيله وتكفينه، ثم يسير الرجال في مقدمة الجنازة والنساء من خلفهم، وبعد مواراته الثرى، تكون عائلة أخرى قد أعدت الطعام لأهل الميت وللمعزين من القرى المجاورة، وبعد الانتهاء وانصراف المعزين إلى قراهم، تبدأ النساء بالندب والبكاء والعويل لمدة شهر ويلبسن الثياب الحريرية السوداء. وقد جرت العادة ألّا يطبخ أهل الميت لمدة أسبوع أو أسبوعين، ويتم إرسال الطعام لأهله من النساء إلى بيوتهن، أما الرجال من أقاربه فتتم دعوتهم لتناول الطعام طوال هذه المدة لدى أحد أهالي القرية، وتكون الدعوة عند شخص مختلف في كل مرة. ويوضح التقرير أن هذه الطقوس كانت حكرًا على الرجال من الموتى، ذلك أن المرأة المتوفاة تدفن ولا يحدث لها كما يحدث للرجل، بل ينصرف الناس إلى بيوتهم بعد انتهاء الجنازة

عادة أخرى أشار إليها التقرير بوصفها عادة حسنة وجيدة، هي عادة “العقد” أو “عقد البيت” أي إتمام بناء سقف البيت، وفيها يقدم أهل القرية المساعدة لصاحب البيت، فيذبح أقرباؤه الخراف ويساعدونه من ناحية الطعام، أما بقية الأهالي فقد يقدمون الأرز والشراب، أو يساعدون في إنجاز العمل، وعادة ما يتم رفع راية بيضاء فوق البيت للدلالة على إتمام العقد، ويذكر كاتب التقرير أنهم كانوا يخصّون “معلم البناء” بطبق مليء بالفتيت واللحم. كما أتى التقرير على ذكر عادة “القْواد” بوصفها عادة متفشية في دير دبوان والقرى المجاورة، وهي عادة متعلقة بإكرام الضيوف وذبح الذبائح وإعداد الطعام لهم في مناسبات عديدة كالموت أو الحج أو العودة من المهجر، وتطرق أيضا إلى المحاكم العشائرية معتبرا أنها عادة حسنة تساهم في حل معظم المشاكل الداخلية

وفي سياق التعليم، يذكر التقرير أن في القرية مدرسة للذكور مبنية على الطراز الحديث، وفيها أحد عشر معلمًا وتدرس حتى الصف الثالث الثانوي، وقد بنيت هذه المدرسة على حساب أهالي القرية ومغتربيها. وكذلك توجد مدرسة نموذجية للإناث، والتي بنيت في العام السابق لكتابة التقرير على أساس قرض من مجلس الإعمار، وفيها ست معلمات، وحولها قطعة أرض كبيرة تم تخصيص قسم منها للحديقة، والقسم الآخر تم استخدامه كملعب لكرة السلة

ويستذكر التقرير أن قسمًا من الفقراء كانوا يعتاشون من الزراعة ويعتمدون عليها، إلّا أنه يشير إلى أن معظم الشباب لحقوا بمركب الهجرة خلال السنوات العشر الأخيرة (السابقة لكتابة التقرير) وهاجروا إلى أمريكا على غرار ما حدث في بقية القرى المجاورة، فارتفع مستوى المعيشة في القرية وشهدت بناء عمارات ضخمة، وأصبحت دير دبوان غنية جدًا حتى ظن كاتب التقرير أنها أغنى قرية في قضاء رام الله (ومن الجدير بالذكر أن هناك العديد من الأدبيات التي تتحدث حول دور أموال المهاجرين وأثر تحويلاتهم المالية في التغيرات الاجتماعية-الاقتصادية والتحولات الحضرية التي شهدتها قرى المنطقة ومدنها). ويذكر التقرير أن الكرم كان منتشرًا في القرية واشتهرت به منذ زمن بعيد، ولا تزال كذلك حتى وقت كتابة هذه السطور، ولكن هذه العادة بدأت تتلاشى بسبب تقدم دير دبوان وتطورها نحو المدينة

Highlight of the month

The Palestinian Museum Digital Archive
Vaccination Certificates: The Living Archive

It is certain that the sudden and rampant spread of the emerging coronavirus, since early 2020, has turned the tables and opposed expectations on various levels. Plus, the ambiguity surrounding the management of the pandemic, the acceleration of its transformations, and the uncertainty of its elimination raised many questions, the most urgent and interactive of which are the questions about the nature and origin of the virus, about the feasibility of vaccines, and the extent to which all of this is related to the conspiracy theory and the integrity of the various policies of countries and institutions. All due to the pandemic affecting daily life, penetrating social, economic and cultural boundaries, contributing to the reconfiguration of class structures and affecting many human and institutional practices and behaviours, so much so that vaccination certificates; issued by the competent authorities of any country, became a required necessity for many daily life activities, up to the point that such certificates started to hold control over the freedom of movement, transportation and travel.

Given that the Palestinian Museum Digital Archive, since its inception, has held the responsibility to recovering historical facts and contributing to the production of narratives about Palestine, its culture and society by reviewing lived experiences and retrieving models of daily life, customs, traditions and self-patterns of behavior – known as social history from below, this blog highlights a set of vaccination certificates and cards issued in Palestine, or to Palestinians by different authorities since the Ottoman rule of Palestine.

Ottoman Certificate of Vaccination Against a Contagious Disease, 1911
The Yaffa Cultural Centre Collection

Dated on 1329 Ah, corresponding to 1911, this document shows a certificate of vaccination, against a contagious disease, issued by the Ministry (Nazaret) of Interior and the Department of Royal Medical Affairs and Public Health in Palestine during the Ottoman rule. It is noteworthy that the cholera epidemic had swept the region in that period and caused heavy losses.

Farid Azar’s Vaccination Certificate Issued by ICRC-Nablus, 1949
The Ghassan Abdullah Collection

Issued by the International Committee of the Red Cross in Nablus on 21 September 1949, this archival material documents a vaccination certificate for Farid Yusef Azar, stating that he is from Haifa and holds a refugee card bearing no. 19011, and that he was vaccinated for Smallpox and Typhoid.

The Abdullah Affaneh Collection
Smallpox International Vaccination Certificate for Abdullah Afaneh, 1953

Issued on 25 August 1953 by the Ministry of Health in Nablus, this document shows an International Health Certificate confirming that Abdullah Abdelqader Affaneh was vaccinated for Smallpox on 17 August 1953. Bearing the Jordan Red Crescent Society stamp and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan import stamps, the certificate states that it is valid for three years.

The Omar al-Qasem Collection
Smallpox Vaccination Certificate for Omar al-Qasem, 1962

A certificate issued by the Ministry of Health in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan stating that the shaheed Omar al-Qasim; residing in al-Sharaf Neighborhood in Jerusalem, has received the vaccine against smallpox on 27 May 1962 at the age of 21 years. The bottom of the certificate bears a note stating that it is a local certificate- not valid for travel outside the Kingdom.

The Jawad Hiwwary Collection
Cholera International Vaccination Certificate for Jamal Hiwwary, 1966

Issued by the Ministry of Health in Nablus, this document shows a Cholera International Vaccination Certificate for Jamal Abdelaziz Yasin Hiwwary, stating that he received two shots of the vaccine on 24 and 31 August 1966. Bearing the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan import stamps, the certificate states that it is valid for six months.

The Nakhleh Qare Collection
International Certificates of Vaccination for Khamis al-Qare, 1969

Issued by the Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM), in accordance with the sanitary regulations of the World Health Organization, this international certificate of vaccination shows that Khamis Nakhleh al-Qare, a resident of Ramallah, was vaccinated against Smallpox on 16 October 1969, at the Ramallah Central Health Department at the age of 23. 

The Deya Misyef Collection
International Certificate of Vaccination Against Cholera and Yellow Fever for Jamal Misyef, 1970

Stamped by the Health Directorate of Health in Jericho and printed on 19 August 1970 in English and French and filled in with Arabic, this document shows an international certificate of vaccination or revaccination against Cholera and Yellow Fever in the name of 32 years old Jamal Hasan Misyef.

The Abdelhamid al-Hiwwary Collection
A Vaccination Card for Jihad al-Hiwwary, 1970

Issued by the Ministry of Health in Nablus 1970, this document shows a vaccination card against communicable and infectious diseases, including Smallpox, Poliomyelitis and Measles for Jihad Abbas Yasin Muhammad al-Hiwwary; born in Sebastia-Nablus on 1 December 1969.

The Jawad Hiwwary Collection
International Vaccination Certificates Against Smallpox for Fatima Hiwwary, 1972

Issued by the World Health Organization on 10 December 1972, this document shows international vaccination certificates against contagious diseases including Smallpox and Cholera for Fatima Rafiq Hiwwary.

The Arab Development Society Collection
International Certificates of Vaccination for Mousa al-Alami, 1978

Issued by the Deutsche Lufthansa, in accordance with the sanitary regulations of the World Health Organization, these international certificates of vaccination show that Musa al-Alami was vaccinated against Smallpox at Palestine Hospital on 1 June 1978. 

Highlight of the month

The Palestinian Museum Digital Archive
Prison Notebooks and Movement’s Archive

When colonizers exclude the colonized indigenous memory from the historical record, it is inevitable that other fields of inquiry are affected, causing a gap between the hegemonic authority and knowledge production, which enables colonial powers to dominate and loot the archives of colonized countries, consolidate control, and obliterate the identity and historical narratives of the indigenous.

In this context, this blog post highlights the experience of the Palestinian Prisoners Movement by manifesting its presence in the archive as one of the most prominent components of the Palestinian historical narrative and its emancipatory content, apart from contexts of theoretical coercion.

The colonial authority persists in suffocating Palestinian prisoners in various ways, such as by denying them family visits and preventing them from taking souvenir photographs with their families. However, prisoners managed to obtain this right after conducting numerous strikes in the mid-nineties, whereby they became authorized to take photographs with their relatives once every five years after they reached the age of fifty. In 2019 however, the Israel Prison Service withdrew this right in response to pressure from some Zionist organizations following the publication of a photo showing prisoner Omar al-Abed; accused of murdering three settlers, smiling with his mother on a prison visit. Photographs were then taken by the Israel Prison Service photographer and were restricted to relatives suffering from terminal diseases, provided that the prisoner pays for them and that they are kept with prisoners inside the prison.

Zakaria Zubeidi and Yasser Arafat in Jenin, 2002
Joss Dray Collection

Taken in 2002, this photograph shows Zakaria Zubeidi with Yaser Arafat at the Jenin Municipality during Arafat’s first visit to the city after the end of the Israeli siege of the Presidential Headquarters in Ramallah, the ” Mukata’a”. 

Clippings from ash-Shaab Newspaper on the Arrest of Bassam Shakaa, his trial, and hunger strike, 1979
Bassam Shakaa Collection

This archival item shows a paper with three glued clippings from ash-Shaab Newspaper, two of which are dated 21 November 1979. The first mentions Bassam Shakaa, the former Mayor of Nablus, continuing his hunger strike at Ramla Prison, while the second mentions the Israeli Occupation Forces imposing restrictions on the movements of resigned mayors. Dated 29 November 1979, the third clipping included a title pointing out the beginning of Shakaa’s trial. 

Prisoners Abdel-Alim Daana, Ribhi Haddad and Badran Jaber before the Supreme Court of Israel, 1989
Abdel-Alim Daana Collection

Taken in 1989, this photograph shows three leaders of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Abdel-Alim Daana to the right, Badran Jaber to the left and behind them in the middle is Ribhi Haddad, while two Israeli soldiers walk behind them in front of the Supreme Court of Israel during one of their court sessions. 

A Letter from prisoner Nael al-Barghouthi to “Umm Assef”; wife of his brother Omar, 1998
 Omar and Nael al-Barghouthi Collection

Handwritten on 4 April 1998 AD corresponding to 7 Dhu al-Hijjah 1418 AH, this decorated card shows an Eid greetings letter from prisoner Nael al-Barghouthi to “Umm Assef”: wife of his brother Omar, and her children, during his imprisonment in room 9 of section 2 in Askalan Prison. 

Brothers and Prisoners Omar and Nael al-Barghouthi at Askalan Prison, 2004
Omar and Nael al-Barghouthi Collection

Taken at Askalan Prison in 2004, this photograph shows prisoner Nael al-Barghouthi from Kaubar village in Ramallah with his brother prisoner Omar al-Barghouthi. They were jailed as a result of an operation they conducted that ended with the killing of an Israeli soldier, through a military cell they formed with Fakhri al-Barghouthi in 1978. Omar was released within the prisoner exchange deal carried out by the General Command of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) in 1985, after which he was re-arrested multiple times. Nael was released in 2011 within the prisoner exchange deal known as the “Gilad Shalit Exchange” to be re-arrested in 2014. 

A Clipping from al-Quds Newspaper Documenting Palestinian Prisoners Led to the Courtroom, 1998
Omar and Nael al-Barghouthi Collection

Issued on Wednesday 16 September 1998 AD corresponding to 25 Jumada I 1418 AH, this document shows a clipping from al-Quds Newspaper featuring a photograph of Israeli soldiers leading Palestinian prisoners; of the Abu Mousa Group dissident faction (from Fatah,) to the courtroom in the Bet El settlement. The group members were arrested in Hebron in July 1998 on charges of conducting operations against Israelis. 

Prisoners Marwan al-Barghouthi and Ahmad Sa’adat at Hadarim Prison
Marwan al-Barghouthi
Collection

Undated, this photograph shows prisoners Marwan al-Barghouthi, a Fatah leader, and Ahmad Sa’adat, Secretary-General of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), during their imprisonment at Hadarim Prison, where al-Barghouthi was arrested on 15 April 2002 and sentenced to five life sentences and 40 years.  Sa’adat was arrested on 14 March 2006 and sentenced to 30 years. 

Prisoners Nasr Jarrar and Omar al-Barghouthi with Cellmates at Megiddo Prison
Omar and Nael al-Barghouthi Collection

Undated, this archival item documents a photograph; the top right corner of which was cut. Likely taken between 1994 and 1998, this photo shows Nasr Jarrar, killed on 14 August 2002; to the right, and Omar al-Barghouthi, who passed away on 25 March 2021 of Covid-19, seated on the ground and having a meal with their cellmates at Megiddo Prison. 

A Wreath from the Askalan Prison Prisoners Raised at the Funeral of the Shaheed Omar al-Qasem, 1989
Omar al-Qasem Collection

A wreath from the “Prisoners of the Palestinian Revolution at Askalan Prison” raised at the funeral of the shaheed Omar al-Qasem who was killed on June 4th, 1989.

Highlight of the month

The Palestinian Museum Digital Archive
Poet Abdulrahim Mahmoud Collection

Since its launch in 2018, the Palestinian Museum Digital Archive continues to discover personal and familial archives and put together the pieces of the Palestinian archive in Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon. The project deals with different archival items including photographs, documents, and audio-visual records which shed light on personal experiences, behavioral patterns and social practices during the last two decades.

This blog highlights the Abdulrahim Mahmoud Collection, which the PMDA team succeeded in finding and acquiring – in addition to the many diverse archival collections of Palestinian poets, writers and artists. Work is currently underway to complete the digitization, archival and translation of the collection, so that at a later stage it will be displayed and made available to the public of researchers and those interested on the PMDA website, to complete the material published on the “Palestine Journeys” website – a joint project of the Palestinian Museum and the Institute for Palestine Studies.

Abdulrahim Mahmoud was born in 1913 in Anabta-Tulkarm where he completed his elementary school at the al-Fadiliyah School before moving to an-Najah National School in Nablus where he completed his secondary education and met poet Ibrahim Tuqan. He then worked at the same School as a teacher of Arabic Literature, up until his resignation in 1936 to join the ranks of the freedom fighters before emigrating to Iraq, where he joined the Iraqi Military Academy, graduating with the rank of lieutenant, then returned to Anabta and resumed work at an-Najah School.

In 1947, Mahmoud joined the Arab Liberation Army and fought several engagements against the Zionist forces before he died a martyr in the Battle of the Tree on 13 July 1948. Buried in the city of Nazareth, Mahmoud is considered one of the most prominent Palestinian poets and a pillar of Palestinian resistance literature. Mahmoud left a massive legacy of patriotic poems, of which is a poem titled “The Shaheed (The Martyr)”, starting with one of his most celebrated verses that read “I shall carry my soul on the palm of my hand and toss it into the pits of death”.

A Studio Portrait of Abdulrahim Mahmoud, 1943
Taken in 1943 by Studio Rashid in Tulkarm, this studio portrait shows Abdulrahim Mahmoud wearing a Tarbush, a suit, and a necktie.

Abdulrahim Mahmoud with the Anabta Sports Club Football Team, 1928
Taken in 1928 by Cairo Studio in Nablus, this photograph shows Abdulrahim Mahmoud with his colleagues at the Anabta Sports Club Football Team in their uniforms which represent the Palestinian flag. Mahmoud is seen (second to the right; first row) laying on the ground with the ball next to him.

Abdulrahim Mahmoud with His Teacher and Colleagues at an-Najah National School, Nablus, 1931
Taken in 1931, this photograph shows Abdulrahim Mahmoud with his teacher and poetry enthusiast colleagues in the Arabic Language Club at an-Najah National School. Seen in the photograph in the first row, seated right to left, are Tayeb Bennouna from Morocco; as it was common for students to come from Morocco to study at an-Najah School, Abdulrahim Mahmoud, Nuweihid-al-Hout; High school Arabic language teacher following Ibrahim Tuqan, seen in a Tarbush and seated on a different chair, Dawood abu Ghazaleh, and Burhan ed-Din al-Aboushi from Jenin. Standing in the second row, right to left, are Wasif as-Saliby, unknown, Rouhy al-Ahmad, unknown, Muhammad Sa’ed as-Santarisy, Muhammad al-Fasi, Hamad Benjelloun from Morocco, and Shaher ad-Damin from Nablus.

Abdulrahim Mahmoud with His Teacher and Colleagues at an-Najah National School, Nablus, 1931
Taken in 1931, this photograph shows Abdulrahim Mahmoud with his teacher and colleagues at an-Najah National School in Nablus. Signed by Dr. Saeb Erekat; Director of the Public Relations Department at an-Najah National University for four years between 1982-86, the photograph was gifted to the family of Mahmoud as a souvenir from the ANNU. Seen in the photograph in the first row, right to left, are Musa al-Khammash, Jawdat Tuffaha, Qadri Tuqan; the mathematics and physics teacher at the School, Thabet ad-Dabbagh, Nasuh Haidar, and Jawad abu Rabah. Standing in the second row behind the table are, right to left, Poet Abdulrahim Mahmoud, Muhammad al-Adham, Hussein Khoury, Adel Abatha, Taj ed-Din Arafat, Samih an-Nabulsi, As’ad Hashem, Subhi al-Azzouni, Burhan ed-Din al-Aboushi, unknown, Muhammad Sa’ed as-Santarisi, Sadeq Bushnaq, a man from the al-Budairy Family, and Dawood abu Ghazaleh.

A Letter from Abdulrahim Hanoun to Abdulrahim Mahmoud, 11 March 1933
Handwritten in Arabic on 11 March 1933, this archival document shows a letter from Abdulrahim Hanoun to Abdulrahim Mahmoud addressing his gratitide upon receiving a previous warm-hearted letter from Mahmoud. In the letter, Hanoun wishes Mahmoud success and safety from the envious, as well as reporting brief familial news from Anabta and Tulkarm. He also clarifies that the letter was written in a hurry and that a detailed letter will follow.

“The Shaheed”, a Poem by Abdulrahim Mahmoud, al-Amali Magazine, 1939
Printed in Arabic, this archival document shows a poem by Abdulrahim Mahmoud titled “The Shaheed (The Martyr)” that read “I shall carry my soul on the palm of my hand and toss it into the pits of death” published in the Okaz Column of the 21st issue of al-Amali Magazine; a weekly culture magazine. Published in Beirut on Friday 20 January 1939 corresponding 29 Dhu al-Qidah 1357 AH, the issue sold at five Syrian piastre and featured another poem titled “Qalbi (My Heart)” by Abdelqader Hasan from Marrakesh.

Abdulrahim Mahmoud with Students and Colleagues at an-Najah National School, Nablus, 1942-43
Taken at an-Najah National School in Nablus, this photograph shows students with their teachers, including Abdulrahim Mahmoud during the school year 1942-43. The teachers seen seated right to left in the second row, behind the students seated on the ground, are Aladdin an-Nimry, Abdelwadood Ramadan, Muhammad Ali al-Khayyat, Adel Tuffaha, Sheikh Zaki abu al-Huda, Adib Mihyaar; seated on a different chair as the Principal of the School, As’ad Sharaf, Khalil al-Khammash, Abdulrahim Mahmoud, Muhammad Bushnaq, and Qadri Tuqan. The teacher seen in a Tarbush standing to the far right is Muhammad Rushdi al-Khayyat, while the one on the far left in a Tarbush, a suit and a necktie is Muhammad Sa’id as-Santarisi.

“Palestine Poetry Festival”, an Invitation, 14 November 1946
Printed in Arabic, this archival document shows an invitation to the biggest poetry festival titled “Palestine Poetry Festival” held by the Dajani Scientific Committee and sponsored by Judge Aziz Bek ad-Dawody; Dean of the Dajani Family Council. Held at 04:00 PM on Thursday 14 November 1946 corresponding 19 Dhu al-Qidah 1365 AH at the Young Men’s Christian Association in Jerusalem, the Festival featured teachers; the names of which are either printed or handwritten on the invitation, including Sa’ed al-Isa, Kamal Naser, Meneh Khoury, Muhammad Hasan Aladdin from Jerusalem, Muhammad al-Adnani and Ahmad Yousef from Yafa, Hasan al-Buhairy from Haifa, Seif ed-Din Zaid al-Kilany, Abdulrahim Mahmoud, Waheeb al-Bitar, and Abdelqader as-Saleh from Nablus.

The Palestine Poetry Festival, Jerusalem, 14 November 1946
A photograph taken during the Palestine Poetry Festival held on 14 November 1946 by the Dajani Scientific Committee at the Young Men’s Christian Association in Jerusalem. Featuring Palestinian poets, the festival was broadcasted live by al-Quds and the Near East radio stations. Seen seated to the right are Amin Hafeth ad-Dajani; Secretary of the Dajani Club Cultural Committee, Hasan al-Buhairy, Abdulrahim Mahmoud, Waheeb al-Bitar, Abdelqader as-Saleh, Ahmad Yousef, Mustafa ad-Dabbagh, Muhammad al-Adnani, Sa’ed al-Isa, Seif ed-Din Zaid al-Kilany, Meneh Khoury, Muhammad Hasan Aladdin, Kamal Naser, and Musa ad-Dajani; compere of said Festival. Aziz ad-Dawody is also seen in the photograph delivering a speech on behalf of the Dajani Family Council. Appearing in the background is the Flag of Syria with the flags of Lebanon, Kingdom of Iraq, Kingdom of Egypt, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the Arab Kingdom of Syria to its left.

The Nablus Municipality Official Letter to Name a Street After Abdulrahim Mahmoud, 12 August 1976
Printed in Arabic on 12 August 1976, this document shows an official letter from Bassam Shak’a, Mayor of Nablus, to the Nablus Municipality engineer requesting that he abides by the Municipal Council’s resolution no. 6 put forward during the 10 August 1976 session regarding naming the offramp street leading to the Hamzeh Toqan’s house through Rafedia Main Street after the shaheed Abdulrahim Mahmoud.

Highlight of the month

Hanna Nakkara,Lawyer of the Land and the People
Explore his collection on the Palestinian Museum Digital Archive

Since its launch in 2018, the Palestinian Museum Digital Archive continues to discover personal and familial archives and put together the pieces of the Palestinian archive in Palestine, Jordan and Lebanon. The project deals with different archival items including photographs, documents, and audio-visual records which shed light on personal experiences, behavioral patterns and social practices during the last two decades.

In the special light of the Digital Archive, we present the Hanna Naqqara Collection, known as the Lawyer of the Land and the People, which the Digital Archive team succeeded in reaching, along with tens of other archives from the 1948 Occupied Palestinian Territory. Nowadays, the team is working on completing the digitization, archivation and translation of the collection, so that it would be soon available to the public on the Digital Archive website.

Hanna Naqqara was born in 1912 in Rameh village, to the north of Acre City, he then moved with his family to live in Haifa in 1919, then to Lebanon following the 1948 Nakbeh. The Collection includes several photographs and documents, which dates the life of Hanna Naqqara, along with his professional and political career, and shows him through his work as a lawyer and a politician in the Communist Party.

Naqqara is considered to be the founder of the Communist Party and a founder of the Committee for the Defense of Arab Lands. Since 1948, he has defended the right of Palestinians who were expulsed and displaced, and the rights of the Galilee people in cases against the Israeli Military ruling. He met with several Palestinian leaders such as Rasheed Hajj Ibrahim, Ahmad al-Khalil, a supreme judge in Haifa, Ahmad Shuqairi, poet Abdel Karim Karmi (Abi Salma) and Emil Habibi, where they discussed the issues facing the thousands of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.

Taken in the 1960s, this photograph captures Hanna Nakkara wearing the Russian Ushanka (a traditional Russian fur hat) during his visit to Moscow with the Communist Party of Palestine.

Printed in Arabic in the late 1950s, this document shows Hanna Nakkara’s business card featuring his phone number, house address, and the address of his office in Haifa.

Taken in 1957 at the Moscow Kremlin, this photograph captures Hanna Nakkara with friends from the Communist Party on a trip to Russia.

Taken in Cyprus in 1961, this photograph captures the first meeting between Hanna Nakkara and Salma Bahou Vincenti, his sister-in-law, since the displacement of both families in 1948; as some stayed in Lebanon while the rest managed to return back to Haifa.

Taken in 1964, this photograph captures Hanna Nakkara with his daughter Na’ela and son Tony during a family trip to Tiberias.

Taken in the 1960s, this photograph shows Hanna Nakkara and his wife Alice with Emile Habibi and his wife Nada at a dinner party in Nazareth.

Taken in 1970, this photograph captures Hanna Nakkara on a family trip to Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus.

Found in the Hanna Nakkara Collection, this document shows the Electoral Program of the Democratic Front for Peace and Equality (Hadash) issued in May 1977. The electoral tour begins from the 10th to the 15th of May 1977 in Lod, Yafa, Nazareth, Ramla, Jatt, Bi’ina and other areas.

A Virtual Journey through Al-Manshiyya – Zain Al-Sharaf Wahbeh

Beneath the visible national territory of Jaffa lies the contested territory of Al-Manshiyya. Once-situated in the North of Jaffa, Al-Manshiyya was a Palestinian neighborhood that faced a perpetual mass destruction under a brutal colonial occupation, between 1948 and the present day. Its vacant expanse was subsequently converted into Zionist commercial real estate.  

To problematise the extinction of Al-Manshiyya’s Arab urbanity, ‘The Image as an Archive’ was founded as an architectural practice that attempts to digitally reconstruct the most relevant components of this now-absent neighbourhood. In opposition to the discursive erasures of Al-Manshiyya’s infrastructure, land, and culture, this project understands the ‘archive’ as a decolonising initiative that renders visible what has been purposely made invisible under the Zionist occupation. To achieve these reconstructions, I referred to an extensive range of scarce photographs and personal testimonies that were collected from interviews and schematic drawings.

Grounded in street level interactions, the following virtual journey not only introduces typical Arabo-Islamic design features like window grills and traditional shopfronts, but also domestic furniture that was characteristic of Arab Palestine before the  1948 Nakba. It charts an alternative territory, by framing the most up-close and personal moments of a once-thriving Palestinian neighbourhood. In doing so, The Image as an Archive aims to address Al-Manshiyya’s destruction from the regional to the material scale, by enabling its audience to experience the neighbourhood’s vernacular past through contemporary modes of visualisation.

Traversing the Reimagined Palestinian Neighbourhood

This project is  committed to promoting a public multicultural discussion with which to document and raise awareness to the untold Palestinian narratives that remain largely understudied in mainstream academia. In these  digital reconstructions, a persistent and unforgettable trace of a seemingly untraceable neighbourhood is carefully  materialised through  architectural tools.  

About the Artist

Born in Jordan and raised in the United Arab Emirates, Zain Al-Sharaf Wahbeh is a London-based Palestinian researcher, designer, and postgraduate Architecture student at the Royal College of Art. She obtained her Part I qualification in Architecture from the University of Edinburgh in 2019.

 As a Part II Architecture student at Royal College of Art, Zain Al-Sharaf has actively confronted the dissolution of the Palestinian vernacular under the Zionist occupation, through multidisciplinary archival practices. To problematise the extinction of Jaffa’s Arab urbanity, she conducts speculative reconstructions of its urban-communal-memories using digital modelling and rendering software. Her forensic and journalistic endeavours have since been invested in promoting social justice, biopolitical inclusivity, and cultural restoration.

Artwork from Gaza – Fayza Yousef

Fayza, a Palestinian mother of three twins, sent us her artwork during the Israeli military assault on Gaza in May 2021.
Fayza describes her artwork:
“This is the real face of the Palestinian mother: a mighty mother with a strong heart, spirit and soul. She protects her children from fear of the brutal occupation and epitomises a mother’s selflessness and sacrifice, her determination to protect the lives of her children and to eliminate any risks around them.”

مجموعة صور – الحجّة عائشة

أرسلتْ لنا الباحثةُ رانيا سعد الله صورًا للحجّةِ عائشة، التي تعيشُ في صيدا، لبنان، مع رسالةٍ تقولُ فيها: “فرجي صورتي لأيّ حدّ في فلسطين، واحكيلهم قلوبنا معكم”.
الحجّةُ عائشة هي أمُّ شهيدٍ فلسطينيّةٌ من بلدةِ قدِّيتا قضاءَ صفد، ولها ابنٌ يُقيمُ في مخيّمِ الرشيديَّةِ في لبنان.

What it means to be a Palestinian from Gaza! – Yara Eid

Yara sent us:
“this is my story of the millions of stories out there! It was so hard for me to talk about this but we don’t talk about mental health enough and that’s why I recorded this video! I want people all over the world to hear testimonies from refugees and people like me who lived through war!”