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Commemoration of the 71th anniversary of al_Nakba

12.5 million Palestinains world wide are called to stop for 71 seconds today to remember one of the most atrocities and ethnic cleansing criminality that was committed in 1948 against the original people of Palestine, depriving 2/3 of the people from their homes and lands, sending them to the four corners of the world, and denying them their absolute right to return to their homes of origin. Bernadote, who was behind the 194 international resolution was shot dead, and nowadays, 71 years after, efforts are evident from the zionists and their supporters, that they want to burry these rights under the continued theft of land and building illegal settelements, and producing apartheid laws, raising one group of people over others, in what they call the new national law. When the apartheid laws are dashed to the rubbles of history in South Africa since 1994, others try to implement it nowadays in historic Palestine.

132 years of Algerian colonisation ended; centuries of colonisation in Congo,where a king once owned the whole country as a personal property, killing millions of people as consequence; Vietnam, China, Cuba,  only to mention few examples: all these colonial powers ended in the rubbles of history. Palestine is not an exception. The right of return and restitution is crystal clear, although 71 years since adopted by the general assembly, 194 rsolution is not for negotiations; it is for implementation. POINT.

My village, Lubya, as well as others of the 601 villages partially or totally demolished, will stand as a witness to those crimes committed against civilian and indigenous  people as a result of the complexity of the EuroCentric policies and sense of guilt because of the crimes comitted against a group of people, the Jews of Europe. Out struggle in Palestine was never, and will never be based on  religious claims: it is based on the human rights of people for self determination and freedom from colonial powers that started with Balfour declaration and culminated now to what is names as the Deal of the Century. 

I will resend the film: “Ancestors land” again as a documentary that confirms the solid Will, that we will not forget; we will insist to struggle to achieve justice according to international laws and human rights charter; for the right of return and restitution, and for the freedom of Palestinian People.

For more  documentary films  see:


Comment on ELisabeth M. Jensen´s book: At Se Med Egne Øjne-Mit KVINFO



Elisabeth was and still a pioneer and full of vision in her approach towards one of the most explosive and actuel subject in our modern times: gender equality and womens’ rights; at all political, social, cultural and historical levels. Working with her and under her visionary leadership with Arab women organisations, we succeeded to convene  250 women and few men from 11 arabic countries, gathered in four international conferences in Beirut, Amman, Cairo and Ålborg:with main themes as:  Women in Politics; Women  in Buisness, Women legal status and Women in Research. It was a huge step where all participants have seen and demonstrated that the obstacles of Womens’ Rights are the same, whether in Europe, Africa or the Arab countries: there is difference only in degree , but not in substance. In an ira of naive populism worldwide, the stuggle is relevant yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Also thousands of migrant women, through mentornetwork where I had the opporunity to lead a team in Tingbjerg, have had the opprtunity to integrate and learn to bridge the gap and establish their personal successful life in Denmark against all the propoganda of hijab and Niqab and hetz against emigrant women, especailly targeted those who belong to Islamic faith.

Although I believe in the power of institutions; nevertheless I may say clearly: without the energy, engagement and vision of Elisabeth, these successful initiatives would never have had the opportunity to succeed. 

Thanks Elisabeth  


An article on the 100th anniversary of Palestine Archeological institution: Hamdan Taha


Hamdan. As ususal, you are a pioneer in establishing and preserving this huge and necessary job towards the cultural heritage and museums in Palestine. An excellent and inclusive perception to our past history that trancends the religious and ethnic classifications of our past material culture and historicity. I do hope that one will take the opportunity to translate the article to english, because Hamdan, not only a leading modern archeologist, but was the head of a team who straggeled hard to establish tens of archeological sites and museums and trained many new archeologists in the small part of Palestine where it was possible and permissable. All was was done since 1994 was started from zero, as far as I know.

One note to mention: although Hamdan mentioned that more than 500 villages and localities were demolished, before and after 1948, it was documented now, by Zochorot researchers and others that 601 villages and localioties were demolished. A map on Zochorot homepage is available with all the names, if needed. Khalidi, Sharif Kanaani, Abu Sitta, Nur Masalha, only to mention a few,  have done a lot in this regard. More research is needed to document and preserve what happened in the last century to our modern material culture by trying to eraze the physical body of the villages,, as well as the old past heritage of Palestine, that was and still under huge and constant acedemic falisifications…Few days ago, an Israeli researcher presented a view of what happened in Kufur Kanna in 48, and how vivid and authentic the Palestinian voices who still remember what happened and why the military forces who attacked kufur kanna did not  succeed in occupying the village. Archival materials, especially form the other side are not holy, although necesary to look at. The presented their views and not what took place really.  
Thanks Hamdan

Comment on An Image of Africa

Chinua Achebe’s (1930-2013) critique and accusations of Joseph Conrad’s novella “Heart of Darkness” as a racistic novella is interesting. Although my analysis of this novella concluded that Heart of Darkness was Europe then, nevertheless I agree with Achebe’s analysis about the invisibility of the “negros” and their characterization in the novella. This is a great artistic masterpience; nevertheless, occupied people, whether in Nigeria then, or Palestine today, has absolute right to reevaluate all art or literary work written about them, seen through their authentic views; that is more credible and sincere than the other’s views: especially when they have a black colonial past.

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Friday 5 May 2018- Lecture in KBH Hus on “Oral History Methodologies”


Dr. Mahmoud Issa will give more perspectives on the methodology of oral history with a case study with the Diaspora Lubyans, originally from a now demolished Palestinian village in north Galilee.

LIVING MEMORIES is a free seminar and workshop on the political participation of women in Palestine, the on-going Gaza March and the methodology of oral history.

Writing history is a subjective business. The writing of women’s history even more so, for its exclusion of women from the historical profession over many years. For the past 30 years, Dr. Faiha Abdulhadi has been righting (and writing) wrongs, creating space for women’s histories in what can often seem to be fixed landscape.

During the seminar and workshop, you will be lead by Dr. Abdulhadi through the testimonies of Palestinian women, who fled and fought during the 1948 Nakba and the Six-Day War of 1967. The event will explore new angles on women’s roles in historical Palestinian struggles. Whereas much has been written about women as victims of war, fleeing from conflict, Dr. Abdulhadi’s research has uncovered numerous testimonies, shedding light on women as soldiers, rebels and members of the resistance in their own right.

Contrary to the dominant narrative which has discounted women’s presence on the battlefield and in political life, this seminar will focus on how academics can use Dr. Abdulhadi’s methodologies to uncover new, untold, and previously neglected histories, in Palestine as well as elsewhere.

Dr. Faiha Abdulhadi is the founder and director of the الرواة للدراسات والأبحاث – Al Rowat for Studies & Research and leads the 1948 Displacement Project. She is an author, poet, activist and lecturer, currently living in Ramallah.

Also at the seminar you will meet

Prof. Michelle Pace exploring how memories travel from those who experienced the tragic events of the Nakba to their grandchildren and how they are recounted during the Great March of 2018.

The Palestinian writer and former journalist at Haaretz.com, Muhammad Shehada expands on these themes by analysing the transformation of Palestinian resistance tactics and shift towards non-violence during the Gaza March

Dr. Mahmoud Issa will give more perspectives on the methodology of oral history with a case study with the Diaspora Lubyans, originally from a now demolished Palestinian village in north Galilee.

This event is FREE but to secure your spot, you must sign up via the Billetto link above!

We look forward to welcoming her, and you, to Talk Town 2018!


Programme details to come – stay up-to-date by clicking ‘attending’ here on Facebook.


This event is organised in collaboration with The Danish House in Palestine DAPAWO and the Palestine History & Heritage Project.

The Danish House in Palestine (DHIP) is a non-profit, non-governmental, politically independent organization. We facilitate dialogue and cultural exchanges between Palestinians Danes. Our aim is to strengthen bilateral relations and encourage mutual respect and understanding between Denmark and Palestine.


DAPAWO: Danish Palestinian Women Organization-DAPAWO blev dannet i marts 2013 af en gruppe danske og herboende palæstinensiske kvinder, som en tværpolitisk og uafhængig forening. DAPAWOs formål er at informere om palæstinensiske kvinders forhold i Danmark og i Palæstina, og at støtte projekter til gavn for kvinder i Palæstina.


PHHP: Working under the Faculty of Theology at the University of Copenhagen, the Palestine History & Heritage Project is an international and interdisciplinary research project spanning five countries and 8 research centres. Its focus is the critical revision of Palestine’s history in order to provide the basis for the development of textbooks and teachers’ manuals for the Palestine Authority’s school system.



TALK TOWN – Talking gender, equality & feminism
Talk Town 2018 finder sted 3.-5. maj 2018 i Huset-KBH!
Festivalen er en samtaleby om køn, ligestilling og feminisme; et forum for dialog på tværs af faglig og personlig erfaring; et sted for nysgerrighed, netværksdannelse og dialog. Talk Town er talks, paneldebatter og workshops, krydret med sociale og kunstneriske events som koncerter, fællesspisninger og performances.

Festivalen er gratis og åben for alle – vi ses!!!

Læs mere på www.talktown.dk og følg med på Instagram: @talktown

Information om tilgængelighed for de forskellige scener findes på www.talktown.dk/lokaler-2018/
Hvis du har nogle specielle ønsker, der kan gøre din oplevelse bedre i forhold til tilgængelighed, så skriv en besked til noah@talktown.dk, og vi vil prøve at imødekomme det.

Arrangementet gennemføres med støtte fra Udenrigsministeriets oplysningspulje

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رواية “رسالة من طبريا موسم الثلج الحار” لمحمود عيسى: فردوس الحياة المفقودة…..Review of my novel: (Message from Tabariyya; Season of Warm Snow)

رواية “رسالة من طبريا موسم الثلج الحار” لمحمود عيسى: فردوس الحياة المفقودة…..Review of my novel: (Message from Tabariyya; Season of Warm Snow)   2013/04/17
Review of my novel: (Message from Tabariyya; Season of Warm Snow)—by Salim Najjar)…in Qabaqaosayn.
الصفحة الرئيسية ›
رواية “رسالة من طبريا موسم الثلج الحار” لمحمود عيسى: فردوس الحياة المفقودة
نشره webmaster في 04/17/2013

• عرض كتاب

سليم النجار*

” ليس صمت الحياة، هنا، هو الذي يقول الحقيقة. يقولها صمت الموت.
أيتها الحياة… لا يموت إلاّ الموت.” أدونيس.

شغلني قبل هذه الكلمات على نحو خاص تقديم الروائي محمود عيسى، والحال أن الكلام عن الكلام صعب.
كيف يمكن تقديم روائي نهل من نهر الرواية، وارتوى اللغة من بحر العذاب الفلسطيني؟…
قد يكون الأمر عسراً حين يتراهن التقديم مع التمثيل في مثيراته المهاجرة بين الثوابت الفلسطينية السياسية والتحولات الاجتماعية التي مَرّ بها الشعب الفلسطيني منذ نكبة عام 1948، وحتى كتابة رواية “رسالة من طبريا… “موسم الثلج الحار” للروائي د. محمود عيسى، الصادرة حديثاً عن “مركز صخر حبش للدراسات والتوثيق” في رام الله.
إن الحيز الفضائي في تكوينات عيسى تتعدد فيه الوحدات الروائية ،كالفراغ والنص وصورة الكتلة الاجتماعية، ومن هنا تتأتى إشكالية البحث في هذه العناصر الروائية لتفكيك وحداتها الرامزة للوصول إلى المدلول الأكثر عمقاً، والمتصل بالدلالة الفنية.
هذا التعالق الروائي بين العناصر التكوينية؛ تشكل وفق نظام تركيبي جامع لأشكال لغوية روائية، تتجدد حسب الوحدة الروائية، والتي اتخذت طابعاً إشكالياً تشاكلت بنيتها اللغوية مع البنية الروائية للغة. لغة تتراصف هياكلها للوحدات الروائية، تتكاثف، تتداخل. لتولد نسيجاً إيقاعياً بصرياً منسجماً تتناصف أنظمته الروائية بين الكتابي والمضمون.
عرض محمود عيسى نصه الروائي بمثل هذه الفقرة: [لم أستطع أن أتمالك أعصابي أمام ليلى، وقد كان للحظات يوصيني بها قبل أن يفارق الحياة من حلة رشاش 500 اخترقت صدره، وهو عائد بعد أن استطاع أن يدمر آليتين حضرتا إلى المستعمرة لتطويق مجموعة الاقتحام ، لقد كان اقتراحه أن تتم حفلة العيد في الداخل ووافقنا جميعاً على الفكرة يا أخ فسفوري”( ) ص59.
هذا التعالق الروائي يدل على طبيعة العلاقة التجاوزية بين الرواية والمضمون. فكلاهما يتحكّم في هيكلة وصياغة الحيز الفضائي الروائي، وفق اتزان بصري بالرغم من اختلاف المدركات الحسية للكتل الروائية المتناصّة. هذا التأليف التركيبي بين الهياكل الروائية، والوحدات اللغوية في النص دعّم الحركية البصرية في فضاء الرواية.
بذلك يتعامل محمود عيسى مع الموت كمكّون مهيكل للفضاء الروائي. ولعل ما قام به من تخيير بنيوي في مستوى تأطير التكوين يندرج ضمن إجرائية حديثة خالف بها المتعارف عليها في بناء الرواية الحديثة.
فلم يعد الإطار مجرد برواز لغوي للتكوين، بل غدا مساهماً في دعم توازن التركيبة، مهيكلاً للفضاء الروائي بعد أن كان دوره مقتصراً على إحاطة الكتلة الروائية وحصرها في حيز مغلق.
إن القضايا الإشكالية المطروحة في الرواية، وجدت الاهتمام الكافي (أو القراءات المقنعة) من قبل محمود عيسى في روايته، جعلته يقدم رؤيته الروائية على هذا النحو:
[ “يا شيخ كم مرة الواحد بيموت. عمر سيموت كلها تكلم عن دوريته العتيدة، ألم يخبرك كيف حاولوا القبض عليه بالبيارة؟.. هاهاها. مسكين يا عمر، كان شفناك على التلفزيون وصرت بطل مين داري فيك الآن! مرمي بغرفة بلا سقف ولا باب – قوموا انهضوا؛ قاعدين زي النساك في الغرفة، قوموا شوفوا الصبايا، ودعوهن، غداً صوركم رح تتعلق عالحيطان، على الأقل بتلاقي حدا يزعل عليك غير أمك وأبوك، قوموا ودعوا” ص 76،77.
وما انزياح الإطار الروائي إلى الداخل، إلا دليل على التخصيب الاجتماعي لتقسيم الفضاء الروائي إلى مساحات هندسية اجتماعية مهيكلة بالتناسب.. والتناسب هنا هورصد العلاقات الاجتماعية وتأليف الوحدات الروائية وارتباط الوحدات، ليمتد الإطار الروائي إلى الفضاء الداخلي. وعليه فإن تخصيب عيسى للإطار باعتباره مكوّناً روائياً، أكسبه وجوداً هندسياً اجتماعياً نوعياً من خلال التكوين المهيكل لهذه الوحدة الروائية باعتبارها، متمّما إنسانياً مقفلا لنظام التكوين الروائي. وبذلك يعيد عيسى دلالة الإطار في اللوحة الروائية الحديثة. إذ بتكوين البنية الروائية تتجادل اللغة الروائية والإطار والشكل بإتباع أسلوب إنساني.
هنا تجدد الإشارة إلى أن زج الفضاء المكاني، إلى جانب العلاقات الإنسانية أعلنت صراحة، في الرواية، وبعقل وجداني انفعالي، هذا ما رصده عيسى على النحو التالي: [ بدك تطول بالك يا عم- ايه يا دينا، غيرك بيموت وأنت خزات العين عنك بكامل صحتك، شو صابر عليك؟].
لكن الفسفوري كان غائباً عن العتمة والحوار الدائر، إنه يحيا في غيبوبة رائعة تسرى في خلايا جسمه كاملة، لقد امتدت الأيدي بطريقة عفويةً وتلامست أطراف الأصابع وتشابكت أصابع اليد الواحدة، حاول رفعها لكن اليد قومت، رفعها مرة ثانية وقبلها.
– فسفوري؛ القصف هدأ، استعد حتى نخرج.
– ارتخت أعصابه ولكن يديها ما زالت تمسك بيده بقوة وعندما تحرك قليلاً، أدركت أنه المقصود بالنداء.
شددت على اليد مرة أخرى ورفعتها بهدوء إلى شفتيها وقبلتها بسرعة، وبقيت هكذا وخصوصهاً أن اليد أنت في زاوية مظلمة من الصعب أن ترى من خلالها. ص195،196
هذه التنقيحات المفاهيمة الموصولة بين الحركات الدرامية واصلت تجلياتها التكوينية إلى تركيب الحيز الفضائي الروائي بين التأليف اللغوي، وصولاً إلى التكوين التجريدي الاحتماعي الذي تتذوب فيه أشكال القيم وتنصهر فيه الأجساد، والتي تتحول إلى أشكال هندسية، تم تكوينها بتطويع اللغة الروائية في صور درامية أساسها الأشكال الهندسية المتماسة والمتجاورة، واللغة الدرامية المنفعلة والمتشابكة والمعبرة عن تلك الأشكال، وبتناظم بصري يقسم الحيز إلى بنى حسية من حيث شكلها الهندسي والتي تمثلت بالأساس في هيئة المعاناة الفلسطينية الموشحة بالدهشة والغرابة.
لقد منح محمود عيسى منجزه الروائي البصري خصائص وثيمات فلسطينية، جعلته يتمايز عن التصنيف؛ ليس على التشكيل الروائي الفلسطيني فحسب وإنما على التشكيل الروائي العربي.
ولعل هذه التحديدات اللغوية الروائية تؤكد مشروعية ربط النسيج باللوحة الروائية. مفهوم اقتبسه الروائي من اللغة المحكية ، وحركات اللفظ ليشاكله بصناعة اللفظ المنسوب بالترويسة والحروف المنطوقة باللهجة الفلسطينية الصائتة. طرح أسسّ به عيسى لميلاد كيان روائي اجتماعي فلسطيني، يجمع بين جماليات اللهجة المحكية وأدبيات الروائي ضمن رؤية جمالية تهدف إلى استثمار كل ممكنات صور اللغة المحكية وتركيبها اجتماعياً في بنية بصرية، حيث تبدو اللغة المحكية فعلاً ومفعلاً، جذرّ به مادية الكتابة وجدليتها كجمالية روائية.
فإذا مددنا نظرنا صوب مادة الكتابة الروائية يتضح لنا أن طريقة عيسى الروائي، في تشكيل مادته، تشبه طريقة الشاعر على أساس أن كليهما يهدف إلى إحداث أقصى قدر من التناسب والتآلف والتشاكل والتناسق في صياغة مادته. الشاعر وما تقتضيه الصورة الشعرية من سبك للعبارة وبلاغة وفق تناسب لفظي بين الحروف والكلمات، وعيسى عن طريق ما أحدثه من تناسب وتآلف بين الصورة والكلمات، ليشاكل المعنى بالمبنى وذلك بمداعبته للكلمات ومضامينها وتفكيكها وإعادة صياغتها في بنية درامية قوامها التأليف والتناسخ، وتغدو الصورة اللفظية فصلاً بينهما. ومثل هذا الطرح الفني يستمد شرعيته التشكيلية من السياق الخلدوني ومثلما يقول: ” في الكتابة انتقالاً من الحروف الخطية إلى الكلمات اللفظية في الخيال. ومن الكلمات اللفظية في الخيال إلى المعاني التي في النفس، فهو ينتقل أبداً من دليل إلى دليل، من الأدلة إلى المدلولات”مقدمة ابن خلدون ص 498
لتبدو شعرية القصيدة نوعاً من التشكيل المتحرر من الضوابط البلاغية، وبذلك يتوافق إبداع عيسى الروائي مع جماليات الكتابة. وهو النص وقد أخرجه المؤلف من شاعرية المقاربات الذهنية، ليمنحه متعة جمالية قوامها الشعرية البصرية.، والتي تفوّض تصور المصطلح في اقتصاره على الشعر ليمنحه شرعية التجنيس الفني .
نجد هذا التوجه في نص عيسى الذي حاول فيه بناء هيكلية اجتماعية تشير إلى الدلالة الفنية عبر مشاكله بصرية مدروسة تركيبة وتكويناً.
[ كان الثلج يزداد تراكماً ويتراقص في السماء ويتساقط كما تشاء الرياح الهادئة البرد يتسرب إلى كل أطرافه وهو يقود رجليه باتجاه دفء لم يعهده بعد…ٍ] ص 201
إنها مقاربة جمالية يتراسل فيهاالمنحوت اللغوي من أسلوب الجناس إلى الترصيع الصوري عبر مناصر الطبيعية، ذلك أنه أعطى هيكلاً جمالياً حديثاً للحالة الاجتماعية من خلال البنية الصورية التي وسعت مثيراته اللغوية الروائية، فكانت بذلك نظيراً للبنية الاجتماعية التي ميزت التجربة النضالية الفلسطينية.
لقد نوّع عيسى في اختياراته النصية تصميماً وتطويراً، فكرة وكتابة، ذلك أن نشوءها اقترن بمعادلة اجتماعية قوامها تصوير حركات المقاتلين الفلسطينيين والذين يتحركون على غير علم منا ومنه على حد سواء. لذا كانت خاتمة الرواية على الشكل التالي: [ لقد نسيت المشي والركض وعدت تحبو كالأطفال الغد، ولن تجرؤ على الاقتراب من السلالم العالية، لأنها تطيح بك، تلقيك فريسة الزغاريد والميجنا
ص 242.
محمود عيسى لا يمثل فن الروائي الفلسطيني بل الثقافة القيمة في الكتابة. كتابة يُنسج فيها المعنى فكرياً بخامات لغوية، حيث تبدو الكلمات كأنها فيض لنسيج الفكر الروائي، وكأن عيسى يخطها بالقلم، ثم يعيد نسجها باليد.

* أديب من الأردن.

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جميع الحقوق محفوظة لصحيفة قاب قوسين 2012 – 2010
تصميم وتطوير Sync Jo



Im Rasmi from Lubya Village, interviewed, after 70 years in Exile

Link to the interview:


Im Rasmi, interviewed in her refugee camp in Baalbeck. after 70 years in obligatory exile from her village Lubya: “We will Return, We will not forget our village. If not me, one of my sons and daughters or grand sons and daughters will return”.


My article on Oral History- Forthcoming in a new book soon


Issa.Oral History with bibl. final.rev. 29nov.

                                                                                          Oral History’s Credibility, Role and Functionality: From the Arab Islamic Tradition to Modern Historiography

Mahmoud Issa          



A lot of controversy and debate continue around the credibility and validity of oral tradition and oral history as a scientific discipline.  In the following article, I will try to present the necessity, validity,  richness , and the new knowledge of the oral qualitative interviews which I conducted with Diaspora Lubyans, from the  demolished Palestinian village–in north Galilee, dispersed in fourteen different countries around the world. The interviews reveal the richness of the cultural remains – “les lieux de mémoire”-  of Lubya, and the vitality and vividness of its memory, even seven decades after the Nakba of 1948.  My approach is based on both “Eastern” and “Western”  oral traditions: Steinar Kvale’s “qualitative research interviewing”, Jan Vansina’s work on African “oral tradition as history”, the monumental work of “the collective memory” of Maurice Halbhwachs and Pierre Nora’s  apprehension of “history” and “landscape” as “les lieux de mémoire”.  All these “modern” European disciplines, had their cultural roots in Antique Ages, in Mesopotamia, and Greece, and later in Arab-Islamic culture:  Gilgamesh epic, Herodotus “Histories”, the pre-Islamic oral poetry, named “al-Mu’allaqaat”, and the Islamic scholar Imam al-Bukhari and his methodology of verifying the liability and credibility of the prophet’s words and deeds, collected through oral testimonies in the Hadith. Oral tradition and oral history was and still a main battle field for the impoverished, the marginal, the oppressed and the colonized. History is mainly made by those people, and their voices, whether collective or private, should be heard and registered for the coming generations.


One of the main reasons for choosing this topic on oral history is the ongoing debate about the credibility and sustainability of this methodology as a scientific approach to research interviewing, and to document the history of individuals, whether concerned with past events and reminiscences or with the present.  A number of classical historians reject from the outset an oral approach to the discipline of history. They argue that there are no specific theoretical rules for dealing with the oral account in contrast to a historiography, which entails a strict and well-disciplined set of formulae, particularly when dealing with written archival materials and documents collected by different state authorities and institutions over centuries.


My interest in oral history arose almost two decades ago when I began to investigate the history of the Palestinian village of Lubya,[1] a village, which was one of the 601[2] demolished in 1948, as has been documented by researchers from Zochrot.[3] To my astonishment, I could only find two articles from this period, written by Yousef al Youssef[4] in the Lebanese weekly newspaper: al-Hurriyya which specifically dealt with Lubya, plus a few scattered papers and a single older booklet, written by Ibrahim al- Shihabi, who generously gave me the only copy he had at the time (Al-Shihabi 1994 and 1998). In addition, there was also a one and half page on the village’s history in Al-Khalidi’s All that Remains (Al-Khalidi 1992: 526-527).


Qualitative Research Interviews

In the late nineties, I attended a course in “interviewing as a research tool” at Århus University, with the late Steiner Kvale[5]. Kvale had succeeded in establishing “research interviewing” as a discipline, which fully adheres to the conditions and demands of scientific methodology, especially if one defines the main goals of the research as acquiring new knowledge and modes of understanding society. “Qualitative research involves alternative conceptions of social knowledge, of meaning, reality and truth in social science research”, as Kvale wrote in his introduction to qualitative research interviewing (Kvale 1994: 17). “Research Interview is defined, thus as “an interview, which proposes to obtain accurate descriptions of the lived world of the interviewee in respect to interpreting the meaning of the described phenomena” (Kvale 1994: 3). A series of technical steps and methods are necessary from the very beginning of the research.[6] Adopting one of two contrasting metaphors of the interviewer: as “a miner”, who “unearths valuable metal, seeks objective facts to be quantified”, much as one “seeks nuggets of essential meaning”, without the subject’s interference: accumulating “quantitative data” and “objective facts.” This is totally different from the “metaphor of a traveler”, which describes an interviewer as one who understands his journey; that is, the interview, as a combined and rich tale to be told later by one who explores “the many domains of the country as an unknown territory”. Here, the traveler seeks his own questions, following the old Greek method of “a route, which leads to a goal”, through conversation with the people concerned: “wandering together with them” in accord with “the original Latin meaning of conversation”. The first “metaphor of the miner” brings the interview into the vicinity of human engineering, confirming the modern concept of social sciences of knowledge as given. The second, “traveler metaphor”, brings the interview “into the vicinity of humanities and arts”, confirming the postmodern constructive understanding that involves “a conversational approach to social research” as Kvale has claimed (Kvale1994: 2-3). In my research, I have chosen a methodology, which adheres to the “metaphor of the traveler”, with all of the implications, richness and variations that have produced new knowledge and have provoked new reflections about social issues, in following an interview methodology-which I have employed intensively in reconstructing the social life story of the demolished village of Lubya.


First Physical Encounter             

After my first visit to the ruins of our village with my parents in 1994 and after I had heard the story of the village from my father, reflecting on his understanding of the village, after half a century of forced exile, I was faced with a considerable lack of substantial material for the history of Lubya, in spite of the fact that Lubya had been the largest village in the district of Tiberias and the second largest village in the Galilee, after Safforiya. The constant questioning from others “where do you come from”, convinced me, both theoretically and empirically to start another long journey[7] of discovering and uncovering the hidden stories of this tiny piece of suppressed and marginalized modern historiography, mainly through oral history methodology and qualitative research interviews. This method is totally different than other kinds of professional interviews such as journalistic, philosophic or therapeutic interviews[8]. It entails different goals and structures of questioning and interacting through conversations, and a production of a different kind of knowledge.


My earlier research  resulted in a book in Danish and two documentary films on Lubya, three other inspired international research topics, and a series of articles and lectures in different European universities and elsewhere. This research influenced many others, mainly Lubyan refugees, to redefine their own identities accordingly, especially those who are born outside mandate Palestine, in post Nakba era, in exile. Thus, both personal and collective identities are taking different dimensions and interpretations as expressed by Lubyans in the many electronic sites, documentary films and interviews conducted with them in their different dispersed places worldwide.

That is one of many reasons why I became an enthusiastic supporter of the discipline, even though those who opposed it are still vehement in disqualifying the whole approach and have excluded it partially or entirely from the domain of real history. The stories I documented from the displaced Lubyan refugees from eleven Arabic and European countries are, in my opinion, the most credible and authentic source of lively micro stories, which is a fundamental part in understanding not only the lively stories of the interviewees, but the entire macro story of the historiography of Mandate Palestine as well. The result is not only a comprehensive body of quantitative collections of incidents, statistics, geographical locations, as most objective data demands in the traditional social sciences. Rather, it is a reconstruction of essential parts of the wholeness of human life stories and scattered tales that cover not only the years of exile and its tragic ongoing sufferings, but  personal stories that goes back three and four generations before the 1948 Nakba, together with a series of collective memories about the wider area of Lubya[9].


Engagement in constructive dialogues with the interviewees and their descendants were the appropriate methodology to register and document the micro story of this tiny village: history of its land plots, names of its valleys and caves, marriages, burial customs, and the lively stories of its inhabitants.  The challenge for us, researchers or academics, is how to record these live stories from the interviewee: what questions to ask, how to design the interview, what technique to employ, how to verify information, compare, analyze and finally write the research report. These are the main steps that qualitative research interviewing demand. 


Resisting Oblivion

To quote the words of Jan Vansina, a pioneer in research on oral traditions in Africa, who was hailed internationally for initiating work in the field of ethno-history (Vasina 1985 and 2004): “Official history is exclusive: elite, kings, rulers, emperors, literate. Oral history is immediate history” built up on “reminiscences, hearsay and eyewitness accounts” (Vansina 1985: 8).

In the past, history used to be the property of the winners. Now, however, history and culture belong to everyone. It is no more exclusively reflecting the lives of the elites, kings, rulers, emperors, literate, upper class people, the rich or the few, but belongs also to the marginal: the poor, the illiterate and the colonized as well. Gender perspective and women, – who almost constitute half of the population -, have generally also been excluded. A quick glance at the hundreds of oral interviews by Faiha Abd el-Hadi with Palestinian women in the thirties and fourties of the past century confirm the huge loss in the official archives, which rarely touch upon this vital topic[10]. Colonized people generally, and  Palestinians in particular, have been denied the right to self- determination or the right to tell their lifetime history and experiences, due to the systematic force imposed by the colonial powers against the locals/originals for centuries, such as what has happened in Africa, Latin America and Asia also. Thousands of place names have been replaced by names chosen by the occupants. Even the name of the village “Lubya” has been cancelled and replaced by “Lavi”, when a new settlement was built on Lubya’s land after its demolition. A second settlement named Giv’at Avni was built on the eastern side of the village in 1992-93. The Jewish National Fund (JNF), with support from the Women’s Zionist Organization of South Africa, subsequently planted a pine forest on the remains of Lubya and named it “The Forest of the Republic of South Africa”. Meron Benvenisti wrote on this topic in his book Sacred Landscape (Benvenisti 2002). On the 18th of July 1949, “a group made up of nine scholars, well known in their respective fields of cartography, archeology, geography, and history, gathered at the prime minister’s office in Tel Aviv”. Their mission was “to assign Hebrew names to all the places – mountains, valleys, springs, roads, and so on”. Two members of this committee back to 1920 “were appointed advisers to the British mandate government on all matters relating to the assignment of Hebrew names and had fought to persuade the authorities to restore biblical Hebrew place-names to the map of the country in place of the Arabic ones currently in use” (Benvenisti 2002: 11-12). In this context, the biblical name “Lavi” replaces the name “Lubya”, similar to hundred other places that were renamed to match the biblical names..    



Collective memories and landscape as Lieu de memoire: Other theoretical and practical approaches to oral traditions

On the first of May 2015, a group of South African Jews, together with Palestinian Lubyans from Scandinavia, and People from the Zochrot organization, demonstrated in Lubya to protest against the naming of “South African Forest” on the debris of the demolished village of Lubya[11]- a pine forest that is intended to cover the crimes committed against the people of Lubya, and to bury the material culture and the remaining physical witnesses of the past. The year before, in 2014, around 40.000 people from mandate Palestine gathered in Lubya to protest against the injustices done to the Palestinian refugees and their uprooting from their homes and fields since the Nakba in 1948, when 2/3 of Palestinians were expelled in one of the biggest ethnic cleansing operation after World War II[12].  The event proved that after nearly seven decades, the collective memories of this tiny village are still active and resisting the power of oblivion among its own inhabitants and their descendants together with their supporters.     


The accumulation of quantitative data on events cannot and could not replace the meaning of the lively stories of the people concerned. A vital example to illustrate the necessity of  telling and documenting the stories of the oppressed majority through oral testimonies of the victims aiming  at achieving amnesty, reparation and rehabilitation,  is the experience of the South African Truth and  Reconciliation Commission (TRC) after 1994. This outstanding example must be followed for any just and durable solution for the fate of twelve million Palestinians, 5.5 million of whom are refugees, living in 52 camps in and around mandate Palestine.[13] They are denied, until now, the basic international rights of compensation, reparation and return to their homes of origin. Even in an international attempt in 1993 of what is known as “the Peace Process”, those refugees are excluded from exercising their right to vote for their political aspirations and choices[14]. Hearing the stories from the subjects directly, the refugees themselves would be a key to and setting the terms for a durable and sustainable peaceful solution for all the refugees concerned, as Richard Falk, the special envoy of the UN, has documented after interviewing refugees in UNRWAs refugee camps in 2001.[15] What is history, if it does not document and reflect the peoples’ lives and their aspirations?


The theories of “memory” and “identity” developed by the social-scientific French school, mainly those of Maurice Halbwachs and Pierre Nora, constitute the theoretical and conceptual framework for validating the oral approach and the collective memory as well. Of special importance are Halbwachs’s theory on collective memory (Halbwachs 1992), most notably, his main argument that there is not only an individual memory, but also a group memory that exists outside of and beyond the individual. In this respect, one can observe that the five main historical events that elderly Lubyans most vividly remember and therefore most often recounted among Lubyans are: 1) the battle of Hittin in 1187; 2) Lubya as the birthplace of the famous Muslim scholar Abu Bakr al-Lubyani; 3) the death of Damascus Governor Suleiman Pasha in Lubya, in 1743; 4) Napoleon’s march to ‘Akka  in 1799, and the role of Khalil Ibrahim Azzam, an officer from Lubya, in the battle against Napoleon; and 5) “Hajar el-Nousrani”, the stone of Jesus Christ.[16]  Almost all the elderly refugees I interviewed recounted one or two of the above historical events and myths. Recently, Haj Muhammad Samir Karzoun has drawn after fifty years Lubya’s map, with all the houses and their owners. “I woke up one day at night; I could not sleep. I took papers and start drawing. Here is the map.”[17] When I compared the draft of the mental photo with that of the aerial photo taken by British aviation in 4.10.1945, it is almost identical in all details; but livelier with names and houses of all Lubyans who lived there before the city’s demolishment.[18]

A genealogical tree (Issa 2005: 49) of one Lubyan family goes back to al-Hassan, the son of Khalifa Ali in the seventh century and demonstrates the symbolic attachment to the past and the collective memory that cements identity construction of the roots, especially when living in exile. Another genealogical tree is that of Yousef Abu Dhais of Atwat’s family tree (Issa 2005: 49 and 37).


Pierre Nora’s apprehension of history and “landscape” as “les lieux de mémoire”[19]  in Realms of Memory (Nora 1996: xvii), involves an infinite variety of possible meanings and interpretations, as well as including his classification of three types of memory: archival, duty and distance. 

Through my interviews, listening and questioning elderly Lubyans, they named locations of 126 places in Lubya[20] and the original sources of most of these names and their connotative meanings. Also 9 maqams (religious places), and 5 caves (their precise locations on the map of Lubya, still remembered in exile) confirm Lubyans’s apprehension of “landscape as lieu de memoire”, when these monumental memoires have not been obliterated nearly seven decades later.[21]  


Oral research interviews can be analyzed and interpreted properly and in a systematic way through the post-modern theory of hermeneutic and phenomenology[22] approach, because it is so flexible that people of all ages can adapt the techniques of asking and listening to, create, preserve, and learn about cultural heritage, live stories and historical narratives and interpret the multi- layer meaning of an account.

Talking together, conversation, and interpreting the dialogue are central to post – modern thought of Deridda, Foucault, Leotard and others. Global ideology is no more valid in our modern age. To understand human societies, the individual, whether literate or not, is gradually becoming the center and the goal of social development[23] as clarified by the “traveler metaphor” of Kvale, mentioned above.     

Even in an old and stable monarchy such as Denmark’s, a network of different groups related to the National Museum have conducted projects to record the history of modern Denmark through interviews with elderly Danish people. The interviews will be presented in a special museum as part of modern Danish history, so that later generations can know what their parents and grandparents had thought and done in the past. Other initiatives are incorporating the live stories of the recent refugees in the country, recording their histories as well.



Oral Tradition[24] in Antique Ages: Herodotus- Gilgamesh and Mu’allaqaat

Some scholars argue that oral history and tradition are and will remain one of the main sources of our conceptions and understanding of the different social, personal and historical facts and myths at a specific time in a specific period. A few have argued that oral history is as old as history itself, especially before the advent of writing in Mesopotamia and Egypt in the fourth-third millennium BCE, as a means of communication and later on as a main source for documentation. Such was argued by the early Greek philosophers of the first millennium BCE


The Greek historian of the fifth century BC Herodotus ( 484-425 BCE), who is widely referred to as the Father of History, has been considered the first in ancient times to treat historical subjects and inquiries as a field for investigation, and then to treat the orally collected material systematically and critically as demonstrated in his only book The Histories[25]. Many of his stories were considered controversial by later Greek historians, such as the Athenian comic dramatist Aristophanes (450-388 BCE) and the Athenian historian Thucydides (460-400 BCE) – who was the first to use interviews with soldiers as a new technique in his documentation of the Peloponnesian war between Athens and Sparta. Both these authors dismissed Herodotus as a story teller, in regard to the accuracy of the events. Nevertheless, his dubious status as the Father of History has continued until the present. The tradition of oral story-telling, especially through myths, fables and epics, such as the epic of Gilgamesh is well rooted in the Greek region of the Mediterranean. As stated by William Harris:

“Most modern scholars believe that even if a single person wrote the [Homeric] epics, his work owed a tremendous debt to a long tradition of unwritten, oral poetry. Stories of a glorious expedition to the East and of its leaders’ fateful journeys home had been circulating in Greece for hundreds of years before The Iliad and The Odyssey were composed. But once we began to consider that the Homeric poems could be more or less than a received ancient text as literature, the way was open for other connections and new lateral interpretations. The most impressive of these was the hypothesis that Homer’s writing was in some indirect but interesting way connected with the writings which go under the name of The Epic of Gilgamesh[26].


 The pre-Islamic oral poetry, named al-Mu’allaqaat[27], had common cultural, traditional and linguistic traces with other neighboring countries as argued by the late Arab -Moroccan philosopher Mohammad Abid al-Jabiri in his four- volume books: Naqd al-‘Aql al-Arabi “Critic of the Arab Mind” (al-Jabiri 1984, 1986, 1990, 2001). In the era of the seventh Abbasid Kalif al-Ma’moon (786-833CE), translation and documentation was a flourishing industry. When the classical scholars of Alexandria, Damascus and Bagdad disagreed about a saying or words in a text, they travelled the long distance to Mecca and Medina to hear from the original inhabitants there how they pronounce a word or a sentence directly. Was the illiterate playing the master of the Arabic language through the power of their remembered verses or sayings at the time of the prophet, and mainly through the tongue of Quraysh tribe? The question posed by Al-Jabiri and others is still relevant even today and still open to researchers on this relation between the oral and the written texts, and how words spoken by the Quraysh tribe was made standard for the classical Arab language, which is mostly conserved in the holy text of the Qur’an.   


The oral Tradition has deep roots in the region, whether in classical Greece or in Greater Syria and Mesopotamia. One can hear until nowadays in the Ma’lula village near Damascus how children learn by heart the old Aramaic speech, which is ancestral to the modern Arabic alphabets . Ma’lula and its two neighbouring villages, Jabadeen and Bakhaa, in modern Syria represent the last vestiges of Western Aramaic, which might have been the language Jesus spoke in Galilee two millennia ago.

Homer’s “Iliad” and “Odyssey” stories were circulated for centuries in the region, telling the tales of the glorious expeditions to the east and the heroic acts of its semi-divine heroes returning home.


Al-Bukhari (810-870) a Pioneer in verifying and validating interview tales

The classical examples of poetry and epics mentioned above are only intended as a prelude to present the Islamic scholar Imam al-Bukhari and his methodology of verifying the liability and credibility of the prophet’s words and deeds, collected through oral testimonies in the Hadith.

In the seventh century and later on, a great controversy dominated the interpretation and the authenticity of the collected hadeeth (the oral speeches of the prophet Muhammad) and other prominent personalities, the al-Sahaba, a group of followers/disciples who accompanied him in his prophetic mission. Recollecting all the spoken hadeeths of the prophet from oral resources of his accompanies and the long period that elapsed until the beginning of its registration poses a serious question concerning the preciseness and authenticity of the accounts. It took Islamic/Arabic scholars many years of investigation, analysis, and comparison to come to an agreement of what was believed to be the final version of the exact words of the prophet. Al-Bukhari, the Islamic historian, was one of the most well-known prominent literary figures of the classical period who challenged the authenticity of hundreds of the different versions of hadeeths that were recited by different people after the death of the prophet. In his six volume work, he reduced the numbers of hadeeths to less than 2/3. His analysis demonstrates the highly credible and well-researched methodology that he and the classical researchers had employed in dealing with presenting the most authentic registration of the oral accounts of the prophet and his companions. In many cases, al-Bukhari travelled hundreds of miles on horseback to hear someone who had been recommended by others as a reliable and confident source of remembering the hadeeths of the Prophet. One could say that al-Bukhari was one of the pioneers in establishing the techniques and modes of verifying the oral accounts and histories before writing them down as a credible source of documentation.


Objectivity in historiography?

With the advent and advancement of printing, the role of the written word and the validity of its testimony took almost a religious connotation in the plausibility and authenticity of documents as a reliable source of history. But in recent years, and with the development of colonialist and sub-cultural studies, question marks began to rise concerning the validity of documents as the only source of recovering the historicity of the events. In the end, it is the victorious group who design, write and preserve the archives. Quite a few modern historians, as I mentioned earlier, have begun to question the ‘objectivity’ of the ‘event’, and the influence of the ‘subjective’ when recording or registering the so-called ‘objective’ event. It has become obvious that we are obliged to answer the fundamental question: who made history, and who had the legitimate authority to register events of the past? What about the experiences and the accounts of the ‘illiterate’, the ‘marginal’, the ‘colonised’ and the ‘oppressed’? Can these groups be considered to be an inclusive part of our modern historiography? And what are the best means of registering and preserving their version of histories?

Subjectivity and the personal tendency of ‘those in power’ in presenting their version of historical facts make doubtful the whole concept of “objectivity”. The case of South Africa’s oral testimonies is an example of oral testimony’s validity in history writing.

Only recently, began South Africa’s oral tradition to be established as an independent discipline with its own theories and research methodologies, especially after people realized the inadequacy of traditional historical methods. In November 2003, I participated in a tour to South Africa to study what South Africans have done to the restitution of land and property in the last ten years of the post-apartheid era. Land Commissioner Tozi in Pretoria told us that they will employ the oral history technique in order to identify the plots of land of the black people, who had no written documentation and titles for their expropriated land. Other techniques such as family genealogical trees and marked cemeteries of the individual’s ancestors would be included as proof of the claim.


Lack of proper Palestinian interest in Oral Traditions

The use of oral history is a fundamental issue when we regard our own Palestinian historiography with its huge lack of information concerning our past and modern history. The problem has become paramount, because the strong and dominant discourse of the Zionist movement has prevailed and, to a large extent, succeeded in marginalising the indigenous people’s accounts and narratives. When the Israeli Army entered Beirut in 1982, the first goal of their mission was to confiscate all the documents and archives of the Palestine Research centre[28].

Hundreds if not thousands of books have been written to analyse the Palestinian situation from almost all aspects: historical, social, economic, psychological, and political. Among their authors are some well-known international Palestinian scholars. Nevertheless, apart from a few exceptions, one fundamental and critical aspect is still absent in these writings, namely the recording of history directly from its authentic voices or ‘actors’ (to use theatrical language). The rural majority of the Palestinian people, the fellaheen, the farmers, those who lived all aspects of ‘real’ life in their fields, their houses and their villages,, whether in daily life or in wartime, imposed on them from external forces: , , are absent from historical documentation. They are in the Israeli special term, which has never been used by other colonialist powers called: ‘present absentees’. Not only male, but also female voices are absent, neglected and marginalized in many ways. The narratives of the neglected, the marginalized, the alienated, are almost totally absent from our historiography. Until now, we have only the official Palestinian documentation, apart from the scattered interviews and books based on oral testimonies written recently, and the official Israeli version of the events. But the question still remains: why didn’t the Palestinians accomplish the main task of collecting the oral stories of the thousands who have been expelled from their homes, lands and farms?


Is it because of illiteracy among the rural population in Palestine, among many other reasons? I fundamentally disagree. But let us suppose that this is correct, and then we should ask: where were our intellectuals and revolutionaries? How come those Chinese and Vietnamese intellectuals wrote hundreds of books about the participation of Chinese and Vietnamese peasants in their revolutions, and Palestinian intellectuals did not?

A prior and vital question is: do we really want to know our modern history or not? And second, do we believe in new definitions of culture and history, taking care of the majority of people voices, far from the elite’s concepts and their perspective and version of history?

The following example will concretely illustrate a key point of what I mean: When Sharif Kana’na, Professor of anthropology at Birzeit University first presented his proposal to his colleagues at the university to start a project to record the histories of the destroyed villages, the reaction was cynical and mocking: ‘Looking for the dead debris of the past’? Nevertheless, Kana’na insisted on sending his students to the remains of the villages in Palestine, to meet the survivors, and to record their narratives. The results are impressive, and Kana’na’s recordings comprise twenty-seven demolished villages, the history of which is now fully documented. Other colleagues from the BirZeit University have followed in his steps, among whom is Saleh abd al-Jawad, who felt the necessity of undertaking this huge responsibility to document the villages’ historiography after the 1948 Nakba.[29]


Another documentarist to be remembered is the Palestinian Sahira Dirbas, who alone, without any institutional support, wrote three books about demolished villages in the Haifa district (Salama, Tira and Birwi), based mainly on oral interviews. She is still doing research on her own initiative; especially her impressive documentary films on Palestinian women.[30]

 The question remains: are these private initiatives enough to fulfil the minimum level of rewriting modern experiences and histories, based on personal experiences? After sixty nine years of uprooting and exile in one of the biggest ethnic cleansing operations in modern times, we only have around 130 books with scattered documentary about the Nakba and the demolished villages. To demonstrate the lack of basic information on this recent history, one can see a fundamental gap in our documentation:  for the past sixty five years our academics adopted the number 418 for the villages destroyed in or after 1948. Then Salman Abu Sitta (1998) came up with a well-documented map showing 531 localities, including all the localities and helmets in Negev desert. But in the year 2015, two researchers from the Zochrot office came with the number of 601 demolished villages that were documented.[31] Many thanks as well to the personal engagement of the late Gassan Shihabi, who published a series of books about demolished villages at his own publishing house: Dar al-Shajara- in al-Yarmouk Camp, Damascus.[32] Shihabi was shot dead in the tragic turmoil in Yarmouk refugee camp near Damascus while trying to help people taking their portion of food and medicine,

Given the huge loss of documents due to the sudden uprooting of the population from their houses and lands, there is only one way to fill the gap: to record the lives of the pre-1948 generation through oral history methods as quickly as possible. According to the last estimate of a Palestinian demographer: Palestinians aged over 68 is between 3.3 and 3.9% of the whole population. This would make the pool around 210.000 (counting only those living in Palestine and the Arab host countries, as Rosemary Sayigh wrote in the editorial to Al-Janna magazine,[33] which concentrated on the issue of Palestinian oral history).


The case of reminiscences from Lubya[34] 

“Reminiscences are perhaps the most typical product of human memory….Reminiscences are bit of life history. Everyone holds such reminiscences. They are essential to a notion of personality and identity. They are the image of oneself one cares to transmit to others” (Vansina1985:   8).

More than thirty old men and women from Lubya whom I have interviewed in the last twenty years have passed away. Without their reminiscences, part of the historiography on modern Palestine modern would be lost. However, a lot has perished. One of the main resources of my research Abu Majid, Fayiz el Fawaz, who was not tired of recounting stories that fill up to twelve hours of tape recording, wrote the following piece of passionate poetry, addressing those who were able to visit Lubya and expressing his longing to see Lubya_


The poem in Arabic:

Ya Za’ir In Ruhit la-bladak ziyara                                

Boos trabha boos lihjara

Itha mayyalt ‘a lubya al ‘thbi                                        

byihiznak ya za’ir manthar atharha

Shammil ‘ala ilhara il-shmaliyyi                                    

wi zoor il-balad hara ba’id hara

Lamma jarrabat il-kuwwat il-isra’iliyyi   

‘ala lubya tshin ghara

Dabbabat wa tayyarat wa madfa’iyyi     

wa rashashat tzikh bi ghazara

Kan il ‘adad wahad lamiyyi                                          

wa darat ilma’raka min dar la dara

Wa bkina bihlokhim shoki kawiyyi                               

kat’een il-tareek imshaddidden il-hisara

Ila in ja’at ilkuwwat ilkawokjiyyi                                 

sallamatna bi’amir madroos wa sadir karara….


The poem in English (my translation)


Kiss its soul kiss the stones

If you pass by the sweet Lubya                                    

You will be melancholic at its sad ruins

Go to the northern suburb                                             

And visit the village suburb by suburb

When the Israeli forces tried                                         

To invade Lubya

Tanks and airplanes and mortars                                   

And machine guns shooting rapidly

The numbers was one to one hundred    

The battle was from door to door

We stuck in their throats a pick                                    

Disrupting their roads and strengthening the besiege

Until Qawuqji[35] forces came                                         

And delivered the land by orders from above[36].


Of course there are many theoretical and methodological problems that need to be studied by those who want to work on oral interviews. I faced a series of problems when I began to register the accounts from Lubyan refugees. A few examples of these problems are listed and discussed below.


1.      Methods of qualitative interviews without preparing official questionnaires, but using semi-structured questions instead

2.      Preparation of relevant questions and structuring the topics

3.      Choice of place and time for the interviews without interventions and interruptions mostly from other family members)

4.      Verification and cross-questioning (especially when there are two versions for the same event, which is normal to have in these private accounts from different angles of views). In such case, the different accounts of the same event should be left to the researcher to verify and compare the information to get the wholeness of the scene).

5.      Use of written documented material, whether British, Israeli or other documentation is helpful when available: examples of the attacks to invade and capture Lubya in 1948 was described in details by the Hagana officers with detailed maps, manoeuvres, losses and employed tactics. I also interviewed two Israeli officers who participated in the battle against Lubya, which gives me more chances to compare and verify the credibility of the stories.[37]


 The critical approach to the collected tales should not exclude “scandalous” stories, as Abu Majid named them. For example, a few wealthy Lubyans who were not willing to pay back the debt to a shopkeeper in the village, Muhammad Thyab (from Burj al-Shimali refugee camp in Lebanon, who holds the books of the debt until 1998); the story of the killing of a brave revolutionary, Saleh Taha, by another Lubyan who belonged to a strong tribe in the village, thus not held responsible for his act and escaped justice. A series of other incidents such as “honour killing” was also suppressed, or not spoken about openly in the community. This is the job of the researcher’s critical evaluation to analyse and report after hearing all the views of the different people interviewed.     


When recounting one must consider the psychological impact of remembering the past memories, especially when marked by trauma and tragic events, lapse of time of more than half a century between the event and its newly recorded oral accounts, fear from persecution as a hindrance to vividly remembering the past (one Lubyan: Abu Sameh al-Samadi, was called by the police of a country after giving interview on the spot of what happened in 1948 and received a warning not to come back again, as he told me[38]). All these technical obstacles are easy to master if one takes into consideration all the above mentioned points from the beginning and before starting the research interviews. 


Without the memory and the voices of the elderly Lubyans and their will to resist oblivion and keep remembering their past, there will be a huge loss, both for human history in general, and for personal loss of identities of approx. 50.000 Lubyans, dispersed to the four corners of the world and awaiting for justice to take place by admitting a return to their homeland, reparation and compensation. 


I would like to end up this article by two quotations: one by Euripides (484-407/406) BCE: “There is no greater sorrow on earth than the loss of one’s native land”, and the other by Milan Kundera, juxtaposing memory and forgetfulness: “The struggle of people against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting” (Kundera 1980: 5). Oral History is a continued battle field for millions who have been marginalized, deprived of power, denied the right to recount history of their lives. Imagine a history without the eyewitnesses and reminiscences of the victims of the massacres in: Armenia (1915-1923), Bosnia (Srebrenica, 1995), Algier (war of independence 1951-1962), the Holocaust (1938-1945), South Africa (1818-1994), Kurdistan (Halabja 1988), Myanmar’s Rohingya, where around 800, 000 were displaced from their houses in few months in (2017) – almost identical to the same numbers of Palestinians uprooted from their homes seventy years earlier in 1948- and finally Palestine (1947-1948), where up to 70 documented massacres took place,[39] such as Dier Yassin, Tantura, Sufsaf, Lod, Lubya, Ailaboon, Dawaymi; to mention only a few examples.




Abu-Sitta, Salman. 1998. Sijil al Nakba 1948. London: Palestinian Return Centre. Arabic. Eng. 2000. The Palestinian Nakba 1948. The Register of Depopulated Localities in Palestine. London: Palestinian Return Centre

Al-Jabiri, A. Mohammad. 1984-2001. Naqd al-‘Aql al-Arabi. 4 vols. (Critic of the Arab Mind). Morocco: Arab Cultural Centre.

Al-Khalidi, Walid (ed.). 1992. All that Remains. The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948. Washington D.C.: Institute for Palestine Studies.

Al-Shihabi, Ibrahim. 1994. Karyat Lubya. Bir Zeit University. Arabic. Eng translation: 1998. Lubya. Damascus: Dar el-Shajara.

Benvenesti, Meron. 2002. Sacred Landscape. The Buried History of the Holy Land since 1948. Berkeley: University of California Press,

Dirbas, Sahira. 1991-1993. Series: A Homeland Refusing to be Forgotten. 3 vols. Arabic. n.p.
Eksell, Kirsten. 2006. “Genre in Early Arabic Poetry”. Literary History: Towards a Global Perspective. Vol. 2: 156-198. (eds.) Anders Petterson, Gunilla Lindberg-Wada, Margareta Peterson and Stefan Helgesson. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter.

Hadi, Faiha Abdul. 2006. The Political Role of Palestinian Women in the 1930s. Al-Bireh, Palestine: The Palestinian Women’s Research & Documentation Center / UNESCO.

_________________ 2006. The Political Role of Palestinian Women in the 1940’s. Al-Bireh, Palestine: The Palestinian Women’s Research & Documentation Center / UNESCO.

_______________ 2007. “If I Were Given thee Choice…”. Palestinian Women’s Stories of Daily Life during the Years 2000- 2003 of the Second Intifada. Ramallah: Women’s Centre for Legal Aid and Counseling.

________________ 2009. The Political Role of Palestinian Women in 1950-1965. Al-Bireh, Palestine: The Palestinian Women’s Research & Documentation Center / UNESCO.

Halbwachs, Maurice. 1992. The Collective Memory. New York: Harper & Row Colophon Books.

Harris, William. “Homer in a Changing Tradition. An Ancient Text Entering its Fourth Millennium”. https://community.middlebury.edu/~harris/Humanities/homer.html

Issa, Mahmoud. 1995. Involvement and Detachment in Joseph Conrad’s Fiction. Copenhagen: Regnbue Tryk.

____________. 2005. Lubya var en landsby i Palæstina. Erindringer. Historie. Kultur. Identitet. Copenhagen: Tiderne Skifter.

Kundera, Milan. 1980. The Book of Laughter and Forgetting. Trans. Michael Henry Heim. New York: Knopf.

Kvale,  Steinar. 1994. Interview. En introduktion til det kvalitative forskningsinterview . Copenhagen: Hans Reitzels Forlag

Miller, J.C. 1980. “Introduction: Listening for the African Past” in J.C. Miller (ed.), The African Past Speaks. Essays on Oral Tradition and History. Folkestone

Nora, Pierre 1996. Realms of Memory.  Vol 1: The Construction of the French Past: Conflicts and Divisions. (Transl. by Arthur Goldhammaer  and ed. by Lawrence D. Kritzman). European Perspectives: A Series in Social Thought and Cultural Criticism. New York: Columbia University Press.

Suarez, Thomas. 2016. State of Terror. How Terror Created Modern Israel. Bloxham, U.K.: Skyscraper Publications.

____________ 2017. “The Cult of the Zionists. An historical Enigma”. http://ameu.org/Current-Issue/Current-Issue/2017-Volume-50/The-Cult-of-the-Zionists-An-Historical-Enigma.aspx


Vansina, Jan. 1985. Oral Tradition as History. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press. ___________ 2004. Antecedents to Modern Rwanda, The Nyiginya Kingdom. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.

Vico, Giambattista. 1988. The New Science of Giambattista Vico. Revised Translation of the Third Edition (1744). Ed. and Trans. Thomas Goddard Bergin and Max Harold Fisch. 1948. Itacha New York: Cornell University Press.





[1] Lubya is a village in Galilee roughly 10.5 km south west of Tiberias. The Danish Research Council for the Humanities and the Danish Institute in Damascus have sponsored the research project “Lubya: A Palestinian Village in the Middle East”, 1995- 1996 &1999. Part of the research was published in: Lubya var en landsby i Palæstina: Erindringer-Historie- Kultur-Identitet. Københavnm Tiderne Skifter, 2005.
[2] 601 villages were identified by two researchers from Zochrot. This surpasses the 531 of Salman Abu Sitta’s map and the 418 villages documented by Walid Khalidi in : All that Remains The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948. Washington D.C.: Institute for Palestine Studies, 1992.
[3] Zochrot (“remembering” in Hebrew) is an NGO working since 2002 to promote acknowledgement and accountability for the ongoing injustices of the Nakba, the Palestinian catastrophe of 1948 and the reconceptualization of the Return as the imperative redress of the Nakba and a chance for a better life for all the country’s inhabitants.(http://zochrot.org)
[4] Yousef al Youssef (1938-2013), an author and critic, originally from Lubya, who passed away three years ago in Lebanon after he had left his home in the Yarmouk Camp in Damascus.. 
[5] Steiner Kvale’s definition of qualitative research interview:  Interview is ”inter view”: ”an exchange of views between two persons speaking together on a theme of common interest”. The interviewer can be characterized as a two metaphor Interviewer defined as ” a mine Worker” or as ” a traveler metaphor” (Kvale 1994:2).
[6] The seven main phases mentioned by Kvale (ibid, p.54) are theme, design, interview, transcription, analysis, verification and report.
[7] The first was a sailing journey with Joseph Conrad’s fiction, my Ph.D thesis: Mahmoud Issa“Involvement and Detachment in Joseph Conrad’s Fiction”, Copenhagen, Regnbue Tryk,published, 1995.
[8] Different kinds of interviews: personal-news-literature: drama, novel, novella-religious-journalistic-academic: oral exams-in court-therapy dialogue- qualitative research interview. (Kvale, ibid, p.12). Each of the above mentioned has its own methods and techniques.
[9] Lubya is also suggested by Thomas Thompson  to be a window for “Investigating Palestine’s Subaltern Heritage” (a paper presented to the committee of PaHH – The Palestine History and Heritage project, 2017): “In structuring this theoretical and methodological framework, we wish to describe an inclusive and critical history of the landscape of eastern Lower Galilee as a representative model for the small-region oriented Palestine History and Heritage project. Lubya/ Lavi (Pal. Coord.: 1905.2424) consists today of the remains of a Palestinian village, destroyed in 1948. Some three thousand Palestinians were expelled. This process of depopulation, destruction and dispossession has not succeeded, however, in wiping out the memory of this village and its surroundings. Today, it provides us with a microcosm for the some 600 other demolished villages from mandate Palestine, which have left some 5.5 million refugees today”. And further by Thompson: “The village functions as a looking glass, through which we might glimpse the historical associations which once existed in Palestine from a subaltern perspective. As we understand it, this village, but one of many within the greater landscape of the Galilee, emerges as a palimpsest in which a mosaic of prehistoric, ancient and more recent Palestinian remains visibly mixes with contemporary and twentieth century Israeli architecture”. To see more on Pahh project see: http://teol.ku.dk/pahh/english/about_the_project/
[10] Faiha Abdul Hadi’s four volume books on Palestinian women’s historiography, depending mainly on oral interviews with women, is a land mark in documenting the historiography of Palestinian women since the 1930’s (Hadi 2006-2009). 
[11] Link to CNN report on this event can be seen at: http://mahmoud.dk/?page_id=1315
[12] The committee of the displaced Palestinians in Israel is demonstrating every year in one of the demolished villages in 1948 to keep the memory of the Nakba alive and unforgettable.
[13] According to Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), Ramallah, and Palestine 2013. Two thirds of the Palestinians are living outside mandate Palestine. In Europe alone there are around a quarter million Palestinians.
[14] Diaspora Palestinians had no right to vote during the two elections that took place in Palestine after the Palestinian Authorities took responsibility of the West Bank and Gaza according to 1993 Oslo Accords.
[15] Richard Anderson Falk is Professor Emeritus of International Law at Princeton University and Visiting Distinguished Professor in Global and International Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In 2001, he served on a three person Human Rights Inquiry Commission for the Palestine Territories that was appointed by the United Nations

[16]Lubyans believe that a big stone in Lubya was a resting place for Jesus when he was travelling from Nazareth to Tiberias. Abu Mahir Hajjo, a Lubyan  living in Deir Hanna, accompanied with other elderly Lubyans showed  me this famous stone when I visited the area,  
[17] Interview with Karzoun in Yarmook refugee camp, Damascus, 1998.
[18] See a photo of the map in Lubya var en landsby i Palæstina (Issa 2005. p 30).
[19] A “Lieu de mémoire” “ is any significant entity, whether material or non-material in nature, which by dint of human will or work of time has become a symbolic element of memorial heritage of any community” as defined by Nora in the following link:http://faculty.smu.edu/bwheeler/Joan_of_Arc/OLR/03_PierreNora_LieuxdeMemoire.pdf

A lieu de mémoire (site of memory) is a concept popularized by the French historian Pierre Nora in his three-volume collection Les Lieux de Mémoire (published in part in English translation as Realms of Memory).
[20] The whole areal of Lubya is 39,629 dunams  as mentioned in  All that Remains. The Palestinian Villages Occupied and Depopulated by Israel in 1948 (Al-Khalidi 1992: 526).
[21] To see the names see http://mahmoud.dk/?page_id=554 , pp. 188-190
[22] founded by Husserl, and further developed by Heidegger and Sartre
[23] In this regard, it is interesting to read Giambattista Vico’s vision of the science of the common  nature of nations, and how it moved in three stages from: Gods, Heroes, Human beings . The New Science  (Vico 1988).
[24] “Oral tradition is a narrative describing or purporting to describe eras before the time of the person who relates it”: (J.C.Miller1980: 2; cited by Vansina 1985: 209). Oral Traditions are no longer contemporary, “they have passed from mouth to mouth, for a period beyond the lifetime of the informants”, while the sources of oral history such as reminiscences, hearsy, or eyewitness accounts about events and situations “are contemporary, that is, which occurred during the lifetime of the informant” (Vansina 1985:12).
[25] George Rawlinson 1996. To know more about Herodotus’ predecessors and their influence see: Herodotus, Carolyn Dewald and John Marincola, Cambridge Univ. Press, 2006. 
[26] Fragments of Gilgamesh in Babylonian script can be dated from around 2000 BCE.  The entire tale, however, is mainly known from the twelve cuneiform tablets that were found in the library of Assurbanipal (668 – 626 BCE).  https://community.middlebury.edu/~harris/Humanities/homer.html
[27] The Mu‘allaqāt (Arabic: المعلقات, [al-mu’allaqaːt]) is a group of seven Arabic poems that are considered the best work of the pre-Islamic era. The name means: “The Suspended Odes” or “The Hanging Poems”- The traditional explanation being that these poems were hung on the walls of or in the Ka’ba at Mecca, after being recited orally and chosen to be written and hanged until the following year of poetry festival. It has also been called The Mu‘allaqāt because it is like precious gems that hang in the mind and is watched in silence. (cf. Kirsten Eksell 2006:158). 
[28] Bo Dahl Hermansen, is writing a detailed article on Lubya in this volume. I will therefore not go into details and mention the many historical narratives that confirm the collective remembrance among nowadays Lubyans- especially that of the battle of Salah El Deen El Ayoubi (1137-1197) on Lubya’s land on the 4th of July 1187, and the following resounding defeat of the crusaders.      
[29] More can be seen on demolished villages on the website: http://awraq.birzeit.edu 
[30] An article in Arabic from the al-akbar newspaper concerning Sahira Dirbas’s achievements can be seen at the site ( http://al-akhbar.com/node/272980)
[31] http://zochrot.org/en/site/nakbaMap
[32] Old official Documents about refugees of 1948 are kept in unsafe conditions in Gaza and Amman in UNRWA archives. A recent contract in 2013 was signed between the Danish foreign ministry and UNRWA to digitalize these valuable documents (more than one million) and keep them in safe place at the Danish Royal Library in Copenhagen.
[33] Al-Janna, Arab resource Centre for popular Arts, Beirut, Lebanon, 2002
[34] http://www.palestineremembered.com/Tiberias/Lubya/index.html# Links. (41 articles, 156 pictures, 2 videos, link to Wikipedia, Facebook,  maps and names of  Lubyans living worldwide could be read and seen on the above mentioned link). Also on my homepage http://mahmoud.dk two documentary films: Lubya:” Ancestor’s land”, 1995 & “A village under forest” 2013,  photos and manuscript of Lubya’s historiography can be seen both in  Arabic and English, together with many other relevant articles on Lubya’s historiography.
[35] Fawzi al-Qawuqgi (1890-1977) was the field commander for the Arab Liberation Army (ALA) or what being named in Arabic: the Salvation Army; appointed by the Arab League to lead voluntary forces from different Arab countries to help Palestinians. On the 18th of July 1948, Lubya fell to the Hagana forces after  ALA left Lubya without fight
[36] Unfortunately Abu Majid was one, among hundreds others, who passed away without any possibility neither to see the ruins of his home, nor to receive the minimum gesture of justice that he awaited for more than six decades in his refugee home in Yarmouk camp in Syria.
[37] See link to manus. http://mahmoud.dk/?page_id=554
[38] Interviewed in the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, Nov. 1989.
[39] Name of massacres and dates in the following link: http://www.1948.org.uk/the-massacres/ To know more about other massacres since the Balfour declaration in 1917; why and how they took place, follow the link Thomas Suarez article: “The Cult of the Zionists- An historical Enigma”,  http://ameu.org/Current-Issue/Current-Issue/2017-Volume-50/The-Cult-of-the-Zionists-An-Historical-Enigma.aspx; and see also Suares’ well researched declassified documented book, State of Terror, Skyscraper Publications, U.K., 2016.


استعدادات لمسيرة العودة السابعة عشرة إلى لوبية المهجرة تاريخ النشر: 10/02/2014 –

استعدادات لمسيرة العودة السابعة عشرة إلى لوبية المهجرة

استعدادات لمسيرة العودة السابعة عشرة إلى لوبية المهجرة

في إطار الاستعدادات لمسيرة العودة إلى قرية لوبية المهجرة، ذكرت جمعية الدفاع عن حقوق المهجرين في بيان لها إن جمعية الدفاع عن حقوق المهجرين تدرس المسارات الممكمة لمسيرة العودة المرتقبة.

وقال البيان إن سكرتير جمعية الدفاع عن حقوق المهجرين، الحاج نايف هجو (أبو ماهر)، حصل على صورة جوية لقرية لوبية المهجرة، إضافة إلى خارطة مطابقة أعدت بمهنية، وتشمل تفاصيل ورسومات لكل منازل القرية، والمواقع المختلفة فيها من حواكير وبيارات وكروم زيتون، ومواقع أخرى على أراضي لوبية.

وكان قد استقبل سكرتير الجمعية، وابن بلدته السيد خليل جودة أعضاء الوفد من جمعية الدفاع عن حقوق المهجرين، حيث جرى استعراض المسارات الممكنة لعرضها أمام الجمعية بشأن المسار الأفضل لمسيرة العودة المرتقبة على أراضي لوبية.

وكانت قد نظمت جولة على أراضي لوبية التي ازدانت بالأخضر على عشرات التلال الصغيرة التي كانت يوما إحدى أكبر قرى المنطقة، حيث سكنها عشيّة النكبة أكثر من 3500 نسمة، ويصل تعدادهم اليوم إلى حوالي 50000 نسمة، كما يقول الحاج نايف حجو.

ويضيف أنه بقي منهم على أرض الوطن حوالي 400 نسمة، بينما لجأت البقيّة إلى سوريا ومخيّم اليرموك تحديدا الذي سكنه حتى الأشهر الأخيرة أكثر من 25000 نسمة، وبعضهم الآخر لجأ إلى مخيمات الأردن ودول الخليج ودول الاتحاد الأوروبي.

ويقول الحاج أبو ماهر: “كيفما تلتفت ستجد بئرا، ومتى وجدت بئرا فإن بيتا كان بالجوار، وما أكثر الآبار في لوبية”.  المئات من الآبار التي قامت ما تسمى بـ”دائرة أراضي إسرائيل” بتسييجها، بعد ان قامت المؤسسة الإسرائيلية بهدم أكثر من 1000 بيت وتسويتها بالأرض.

ويشير أبو ماهر إلى موقع المسجد، مؤكدا أن بجواره غُرست 3 شجرات صنوبر جويّة وبالإمكان بكل سهوله تحديد الموقع الواقع بمركز المنطقة المبنية. كما يشير إلى إلى العديد من الأشجار التي كان أهالي لوبية يزرعونها. إضافة إلى عدد من المغر التي انتشرت على أراضي القرية التي وصلت مساحتها إلى أكثر من 50000 دونم، منتشرة في كل الاتجاهات المُحيطة بلوبية.

ويشير أيضا إلى أن القرية لعبت دورا أساسيا في قطع الطريق على المنظمات العسكرية الصهيونية من وإلى طبريا، عام النكبة، الأمر الذي جعل هذه المنظمات تقرر الانتقام من أهالي القرية بهدمها وتسويتها بالأرض ، بما فيها مسجد القرية والمبنى الوحيد المتبقي هو مبنى صغير لأحد الأولياء.

وتوجه سكرتير جمعية الدفاع عن حقوق المهجرين إلى كل أبناء شعبنا بمختلف أطيافه للانخراط في التحضيرات لإنجاح مسيرة العودة، حيث سيقوم بتنظيم لقاء يجمع أبناء لوبية أولا، ومن ثمّ كل الفعاليات الاجتماعية والسياسية لاجتماع تشاوري يُتيح المجال للجميع الانخراط في العمل وإنجاح المسيرة والنشاطات المرافقة لها في هذا العام.

Yusef al-Yusef (1938-2013) on Kanafani Novels


(…) نملك الآن أن نؤكد حقيقة مفادها أن بنية واحدة تنظم معظم روايات غسان، ومحتوى هذه البنية أن الرواية تسير من عقدة الذنب والشعور بالقصور نحو حل العقدة بالتضحية والمواجهة، تماماً كما لو كان يمارس طقساً دينياً يقوم على افتداء الإنسان بالأضحية، وهو طقس ينطوي على التطهر بالدم الحيواني. بل ويمكننا أن نلاحظ ما فحواه أن خط سير غسان كله كان ينطلق من رواية مجمل مضمونها هو الإدانة والتقصير وعقدة الذنب (إذ روايته الأولى لا تحتوي إلا على ذلك وبالدرجة الأولى) نحو رواية مجمل مضمونها هو التضحية كتطهر وتنظيف للنفس مما يضايقها. وفي هذا الاتجاه نلاحظ أن غسان لا يتعامل مع الجزئيات اليومية الدقيقة والصغيرة، أي هو لا يصف تفاصيل الشروط المعيشية والواقعية ليبين مدى مسؤولية هذه الشروط عن بؤس أبطاله، بل نراه يتعامل مع الوضع القائم مرفوعاً إلى آفاق التجريد ومأخوذاً كمجمل. ويصدق هذا القول بشكل خاص على رواية «ما تبقى لكم»، حيث نرى أن الكارثة في المنفى لا تتوقف عند كونها حادثة غيرت تاريخ شعب، بل تتحول إلى سقطة فردية أيضاً، وتتحول إلى كارثة تصيب كل الأفراد بأعيانهم، وتتجلى على هيئة وعي مصدوع ومهشم. إن سقوط مريم الشخصي هو من نتاج سقوط شعب، أو من نتاج سقوط يافا على حد تعبير الرواية. وبهذا تغدو الشخصية خاصة وعامة في آن معاً، أي هي نفسها تجسيد لتاريخ شعب، أو نتاج لتاريخ شعب.
إن أبطال غسان دوماً يعكسون الروح أثناء تطوره في التاريخ، ويعبرون تعبيراً أميناً عن كل مرحلة من مراحل تاريخ الشعب. وفي خدمة هذا الترابط القائم بين العام والخاص، والقائم كذلك فيما بين الشخصيات، فقد جاءت التقنية في «ما تبقى لكم» محققة لتراكز أنسجة الحدث، أي اعتماد معنى اللحظة الواحدة على معاني سواها من اللحظات بقدر ما يعتمد معنى سواها عليها. ويتوافق هذا التراكز مع نهاجية الاسترجاع الخلفي (فلاش باك) الذي تتداعى المعاني بواسطته وتتآلف. وبهاتين الوسيلتين، التراكز والاسترجاع، يتحقق الانسياب المتدفق لتيار الشعور.
وتؤكد المجزوآت الثلاثة الأخيرة أن غسان كان يتطور باتجاه تعميق الرواية الفلسطينية الموضوع، وذلك من خلال استحداث أشكال جديدة، وكذلك من خلال تأسيس لغة روائية تتصف بقدرتها على حمل المعاني العميقة، وبتماسها بقطاع اللغة الشعرية. يؤكد بعض كبار النقاد أن من بين العوامل التي أسهمت في تعظيم الروايات الكلاسيكية هو أن كل واحدة من تلك الروايات تعتمد في بسطها لمضامينها على أسلوبين في آن معاً. أحدهما وصفي أو تقريري، وثانيهما شاعري أو خيالي. والحقيقة أن روايات غسان كانت ستتجه نحو هذا الوضع لو أنه لم تتخطفه يد المنون.
وربما كان المجزوء الذي يحمل عنوان «العاشق» هو العمل الذي كان سيقدر له أن يغدو أعظم رواية فلسطينية على الإطلاق. وما ذلك إلا لأنه كان سيتطور باتجاه ملحمة تراجيدية فحسب، بل لأن غسان قد امتلك فيه القدرة على الصوغ العميق للشخصيات. فهو يوفر للبطل من الفرص ما يجعل منه اسماً عظيماً. وأهم ما نلاحظه هو أن الكاتب يقوم ببسطه عبر الحوار أو عبر تدخلات المؤلف. وهذه خطوة جبارة قام بها غسان، لأنها تأخذ بالحسبان أن الفعل هو إخراج الوعي على هيئة موضوع. أضف إلى ذلك أن ما يطغى على الشخصية هو الصراع مع الواقع. وعلى الرغم من وجود صراع مع الذات، وهو ضرورة ماسة لكل رواية عظيمة، فإن النوع الأول من الصراع أكثر هيمنة. وفي ظني أن هذا مبدأ أساسي في الروايات القادرة على اجتذاب القارىء. وقد استطاعت رواية «العاشق» أن تؤسس المبررات الموضوعية لكل حالة من حالات الذات، ولكل صراع مع الذات. بل ويبدو أن هذه الحالات والصراعات الداخلية ستلعب دوراً هاماً في تطوير الشخصية.
وفي قلب موضوعة كل رواية من روايات غسان يكمن العنصر الاجتماعي أو التاريخي. وهذا يعني أن الكاتب يعمد دوماً، بصورة مباشرة أو غير مباشرة، إلى تبيان السبب الذي من أجله تقدم الشخصيات على الفعل أو تحجم عنه. والحقيقة أن تفاعلنا مع شخصياته يتوقف على القدر الذي تعكس به إنسان البيئة، وعلى القدر الذي تتفاعل به مع هذه البيئة. وبذلك تواظب رواياته على سبر الواقع وارتياد مجاهله واكتشاف ما استتر منه، أو تعميق استيعاب ما هو مكتشف بحيث يغدو أشد نصوعاً من ذي قبل. فنحن نلاحظ أن «الأعمى والأطرش»، التي لا تكشف عن جديد في الواقع الفلسطيني، تستطيع أن ترسخ فينا وعي القهر والشعور بالتمزق وأن تعمق وتوسع مثل هذه الحال الداخلية.
فالرواية الكنفانية تبرز الظاهرة المراد دراستها بحيث يأتي حضورها امتلاء كاملاً يضغط على حواس القارىء ضغطاً يشعره بوجود الظاهرة الحقيقية أو الواقعية الكامنة وراء الحدث الروائي. فالتعامل مع العلاقات والحالات الأكثر سواداً في الواقع الفلسطيني هو الذي يمكن روايات غسان من حيازة الضواغط التي تشد على شعور القارىء بحيث لا يمكنه إلا أن يحس بالموضوع المدروس. وكيما يتيح لنا غسان الفرصة للنظر في نفسية الشخصية وجسّ أمراضها، فقد هيأ لنا الفرصة للنظر عبر مرايا حوارية وحدثية ووصفية تطلع علينا الشخصيات من خلالها وهي تحمل بعض القسمات الواضحة والكثير من القسمات الإلماعية المتروكة لتحليل القارىء. ولقد عرضت هذه المرايا على هيئة مواقف ضمن سياق النص بحيث لم تخلّ باتساقه المتناغم وتساوقه شطر الغاية المصممة.
إن بطلاً معيناً يعدّ متكامل الأبعاد وعميق الشخصية بمقدار ما يعكس الخصائص العامة لواقع معين. كما أن رواية ما تُعد ناجحة بمقدار ما تعكس تصورات الأفراد لمجمل معاشهم. والحقيقة أن قدرة أبطال غسان على حمل السمات النفسية للواقع الفلسطيني، أو للإنسان العربي الفلسطيني المهزوم، ومن ثم الناهض، وكذلك قدرة رواياته على استيعاب جملة الخصائص الموضوعية لهذا الواقع نفسه، إن هاتين القدرتين هما العاملان الحاسمان في جعل رواياته أعمالاً فنية جبارة.
وفي ظني أن غسان العظيم كان سيغدو اسماً عالمياً لامعاً، اسماً يتخطى جدار الوطن العربي ليغدو جزءاً من ثقافة الإنسانية، لو لم تتلقفه أيدي الاغتيال وهو في المرحلة الأولى من مراحل نضجه.

من «غسان كنفاني: رعشة المأساة»، 1985

ناقد المثال والمثالية

منذ أواسط السبعينيات، وباندفاع أمضى وأنضج وأكثر عناداً بعد صدور كتابه الاختراقي الممتاز «مقالات في الشعر الجاهلي»، جاهد الناقد والمترجم الفلسطيني (1938-2013)، في سياق ما يشبه حملة رسولية مشبوبة، من أجل الانتصار للمثال الأعلى ــ الصافي والراقي والمتسامي والمتعالي ــ في ما يعتبر أنه جوهر «الشعر العظيم». والأرجح أنه كان بين آخر الفرسان الكبار، النبلاء، المنتمين إلي مدرسة في التحليل النقدي لا تري غضاضة في إعلاء شأن المثال والمثالية في النموذج الشعري؛ ولعلها أيضاً ــ وهذا تفصيل هامّ واستثنائي في آن ــ لا تخضع البتّة لمختلف ضروب «الإرهاب» الفكري، القدحي والتشهيري والابتزازي، الذي نجح في إسباغ سمة الفوات التاريخي المطلق على التيّارات المثالية.
وكان اليوسف مثالياً، وباعتزاز شخصيّ جدير بالانتباه والاحترام، ليس في ما يتّصل بمنهجيته المفتوحة في قراءة النصّ الشعري قديمه وحديثه، فحسب؛ بل ظلّ مثالياً، أيضاً، في دفاعه عن سلسلة مصطلحات تخصّ الروح والوجدان والذائقة والقيمة وحكم القيمة والمعيار والخيال وحرية الخيال. وهو لم يتلعثم البتة، بل إنه توقّد يقيناً وانحيازاً، حين كتب مثلاً: «الجرعة الوجدانية هي العنصر اليخضوري الفعال في تحديد قيمة النصّ الأدبي»؛ و«الحميم هو المحتوي الأوّل لكلّ أدب عظيم»؛ و«النصّ البكر لا ينتجه إلا عصر بكر، أو طور تاريخي لم يرضخ بعد لشيخوخة الروح. وفي صلب الحقّ أن عصرنا الراهن لم تعد له أية بكارة، مهما تك نسبتها، ولهذا فلست أحسبه شديد القدرة علي إنتاج الكثير من الأدب الأصيل»!
بين أبرز أعماله: «مقالات في الشعر الجاهلي»، «الغزل العذري»، «بحوث في المعلقات»، «الشعر العظيم»، «الشخصية والقيمة والأسلوب»، «مقدّمة للنّفري- دراسة في فكر وتصوف محمد بن عبد الجبار النفري»، «ابن الفارض»، «فلسطين في التاريخ االقديم»، «القيمة والمعيار»، «الخيال والحرية»؛ فضلاً عن ترجمة متميزة لمختارات من شعر ت. س. إليوت.

A New Palestinian Museum due to open next year in Ramallah on Nakba day: 15 of May

Et nyt, stort palæstinensisk museum på Vestbredden slår dørene op til næste år, nærmere betegnet den 15. maj.

Datoen er symbolsk, fordi det er årsdagen for det, palæstinenserne betegner som ”Nakba” (”Katastrofen”), hvor hundredtusinder af palæstinensere i 1948 blev tvunget i eksil under den krig, der mundede ud i oprettelsen af staten Israel.

”Beslutningen om at åbne museet den 15. maj har til formål at understrege Nakbas fortsatte betydning for museets arbejde,” siger museumsdirektøren, Jack Persekian, i en meddelelse på museets hjemmeside.

Han og hans stab opfordrer alle palæstinensere til at bidrage til museet for at fortælle historien om det palæstinensiske folk, der ”omfatter dets historie med fordrivelse, modstand, standhaftighed og håb”, lyder det i meddelelsen.

Diaspora skal kunne se med digitalt

Palæstina Museet bliver 3.800 kvadratmeter stort og vil skildre palæstinensisk samfund, historie og kultur gennem de seneste to århundreder.

Det skal være ”forbindelsen mellem palæstinenserne i det historiske Palæstina og de, der lever i diaspora,” skriver museet i en meddelelse.

Der lever over 12 millioner palæstinensere rundt om i verden. Under halvdelen af dem lever på Vestbredden, i Gazastriben eller Østjerusalem, der er palæstinensiske territorier.

Omkring 5,5 millioner palæstinensere lever i flygtningelejre i de arabiske nabolande.

”Over halvdelen af det palæstinensiske folk lever på nuværende tidspunkt i diasporaen, og hvad der adskiller Det Palæstinensiske Museum fra enhver anden institution af sin art, er, at det er placeret i Palæstina, hvor mange vil være ude i stand til at nå det,” siger Jack Persekian.

”Det er af den årsag, at dens digitale tilstedeværelse og internationale partnerskaber er så vigtige.”

A new number of 601 Palestinian destroyed Villages before and after the Nakba 1948 and A Video

De-Colonizer | Map
Research and art Laboratory for Social change. Palestine-Israel.


also a video

So wait, the Nakba is…?
What do Israelis really know about the Nakba? What do they think about the right of return of the Palestinian refugees? De-Colonizer went out to meet and ask…

Heidi Grunebaum’s article on Lubya’s visit



In May 2015, a group of Jewish South Africans (many of whom had been anti-apartheid activists) traveled to Palestine and Israel, in particular to the destroyed Palestinian village of Lubya in the Galilee.   The aim of their trip was to visit this village under the forest that the 2013 documentary film The Village Under the Forest described, to stand in solidarity with the village’s Palestinian descendants who are still displaced, and to take responsibility for the actions being done in their name.

This month’s “Voice from the South” features a reflection from Heidi Grunebaum on the South Africans’  visit to Lubya.   Their visit was covered by several international media outlets, including CNN International (the link is below).



By Heidi Grunebaum
May 2015 ( – 770 KB )


By Heidi Grunebaum
University of the Western Cape

On the 1st of May 2015 a group of thirteen South Africans of mainly Jewish background participated in a ceremony at the ruins of the Palestinian village, Lubya in the Galilee, together with about 150 Palestinians and Jewish Israelis. Under the trees at “South Africa Forest,” the ceremony offered us the opportunity to express a symbolic gesture of solidarity on behalf of 200 other Jewish South Africans.

What is the connection between Jewish South Africans and Palestinians from Lubya? Lubya, along with some 500 other Palestinian towns and villages, was depopulated and destroyed in the 1948 War for Palestine – the Nakba, catastrophe.

Some Palestinians were displaced inside the new state’s boundaries but the majority made into refugees, a condition that persists for many. Israel passed laws to prevent the return of the refugees whilst the Jewish National Fund planted swathes of pine forests across the depopulated land in the name of all Jewish people.

The JNF forest on the ruins of Lubya is called the “South Africa Forest”, a name that invokes our citizenship and South Africa’s legacy of mass forced removals. It is one of hundreds of forests which Jews in the diaspora have helped to cultivate, 86 of which are on the ruins of Nakba villages.

Our trip to the region was organised and hosted by Naif Hajjo from Lubya, a member of ADRID (Association for the Rights of the Internally Displaced) together with Zochrot, an Israeli organisation committed to raising awareness of the Nakba.  Our activities before the ceremony included cleaning Lubya’s burial ground. The cleansing of its desecrated graves as an act of showing care to the dead was profoundly meaningful, a point made by delegation member, Shereen Usdin.

The ceremony comprised two parts. The first was a walking pilgrimage through the forest to different stops at ruins of what had been Lubya’s public buildings and communal sites. At each station yellow signposts in Arabic, Hebrew and English were erected. The act of marking and naming the places at which the buildings had stood is one that connected people from Lubya, their scattered descendants, our group and Jewish Israelis to the materiality of history and place which are the ruins themselves.

After the walk of place-marking, we handed over our pledges signed by two hundred other Jewish South Africans to representatives from Lubya.

The pledge affirms signatories’ acknowledgement of the Nakba, recognition of the irreparability and extent of Palestinian loss, and an unconditional commitment to the struggle for Palestinian freedom premised on the actual return of refugees and displaced.

The possibilities for moral indignation to translate into a politics supporting the actual return became clearer as we examined the timing of the ceremony. It took place during the continuing Nakba, in the midst of deepening state repression and oppression inside the boundaries of Israel and in the West Bank and Gaza.

The structural context for the joint action at Lubya became visible over the days before we travelled to Nazareth to meet our hosts and descendants from Lubya.

In Jerusalem and the West Bank we met with Palestinian and Jewish Israeli activists, daily experiencing the sheer “tangibility of the apartheid Wall” as the delegation’s youngest member observed, and the everyday impact of Israel’s form of settler colonialism on Palestinian lives (and on Israeli lives in different ways) through its current forms of military-industrial, economic, infrastructural, spatial and bureaucratically engineered segregation.

Face to face with the current scale of catastrophe, we witnessed the reverberations of the human disaster of the 1948 Nakba that continue to be felt across the region.

In the Jewish diaspora, it is urgently necessary that the Nakba and its effects on lives and land are made known; that its ethical, moral and political consequences as an ongoing process are engaged; that “the sounds of the system cracking from within” be more widely heard, as delegation member, Stiaan van der Merwe wrote.

We commit to developing a longer term relationship with ADRID and engaging with Jewish activists from the diaspora for Palestinian and Israeli freedom are indivisible. In supporting the indivisibility of this freedom struggle, the time for Jewish people to be present as partners in it has become abidingly urgent.  ■

Heidi Grunebaum works at the Centre for Humanities Research, University of the Western Cape. She can be reached at heidigrunebaum@gmail.com

Posted by Karibu Foundation – Last updated 27.05.2015

The Karibua Foundation & Lubya’s apology visit

The Karibu Foundation

“In supporting the indivisibility of this freedom struggle, the time for Jewish people to be present as partners in it has become abidingly urgent.” — Heidi Grunebaum

Acknowledging the Nakba and Struggling for Justice: Jewish South Africans Visit Lubya. New “Voices from the South” Newsletter (May 2015) out now!

Learn more: http://goo.gl/QGn3zR

Se mere

The Karibu Foundations billede.

Emma Druyan, from SA, comments on her visit to Lubya


In the Mercury today:

In April of this year, just ahead of Nakba day which falls on the 15th of May, a group of Jewish South Africans traveled to Israel-Palestine. Our purpose was twofold. First, we wished to gain direct knowledge of the conditions that face our comrades in their struggle to achieve a just and substantive peace so as better to support them. It is significant to note that these comrades number Palestinians and Israelis, Jews, Muslims, and Christians, and likely other groupings who find their homes, histories, and heartlands, whether ancient or more contemporary, in the region. The fact of this solidarity testifies to an important reality: the struggle for justice and peace is still a hospitable one. But we must not take this

for granted, for daily the violence of the Israeli state and the counter violences it produces imperil the very hospitality without which the social, material, and spiritual future of Israel-Palestine is bleak.

Our second purpose was to participate in a ceremony in South Africa forest in the Galilee.The ceremony constituted an acknowledgement of the Nakba. This is the name given to the tragic events of 1947–48 in which the pre-state armed forces, the Haganah, expelled approximately 800,000 Palestinians in an act of ethnic ‘cleansing’ intended to secure the maximum amount of land with the minimum presence of Palestinians for the Jewish state.

Though the focal point of the ethnic ‘cleansing’ is 1948, it continues by other means to the present day. One of these means is the Jewish National Fund. The JNF, to which Jews in the diaspora, such as ourselves, gave or give money, is implicated
in the ongoing displacement and erasure of Palestinians through evictions and the greening of landscapes that would otherwise bear open witness to the historical reality of established human communities that predate the formation of the state of Israel. One of the concrete ways in which Jews can participate in fostering the hospitality of the struggle, is to stop supporting the JNF whether ideologically or financially.

We also apologized for our implication, witting or unwitting, in the erasure of a Palestinian village depopulated in the catastrophe of 1948 and subsequently destroyed. This erasure was carried out in our name and with our money under the auspices of the JNF who, in the 1960s, planted South Africa Forest over the ruins of the village of Lubya. Such forests, of which ours is but one, compound the injury of the Nakba by attempting to obscure the evidence that it took place. But the presence of a cemetery, wells, the rubble of what were once homes, a school, and mosque, and cacti cannot be so easily silenced. They continue to speak to the existence of Lubya and its people.

In considering what is important about our action, it would be a mistake to privilege our apology. That Lubya’s decedents, made refugees by the Nakba, permitted us to make an apology in the first place is further evidence of the hospitality of Palestinians even in struggle.

Under conditions of ongoing displacement for Palestinians inside the boundaries of the Israeli state, the West bank, and Gaza, this gesture is small and almost insignificant and yet it plants the seed for a politics of solidarity based on restitution, reparation, and return.

This lays bare the extent to which the acknowledgment of the Nakba is also a recognition of the centrality of displaced Palestinian refugees without whom a just and hospitable peace cannot be practically possible.

Emma Daitz

On Nakba Day: After 67 years in exile

Today is 67 years since the biggest and largest ethnic cleansing operation of Palestine took place, with the deliberate destruction of 531 villages and towns and the expulsion of almost one million Palestinians; 2/3 of the inhabitants at the time being. Nowadays 12.1 million Palestinians denied the right for self-determination and the right to exist as all other nations in the world. Half of the 12.1 million Palestinians are living in historic Palestine, while the other half are dispersed in all the corners of the world in 58 diaspora refugee camps and other cities and towns, denied the right to return to their original ancestors’ homeland land. Palestinians nowadays owned only 15% of their homeland soil, while 85% is confiscated. On this occasion I want to assert that third and fourth generations of refugees are more insistent on their absolute right to return to their villages and towns, together with restitution and compensation for the sufferings they undergone in their exile. All colonial powers’ policies, discrimination, occupation and suppression are doomed to failure: in Vietnam, Algeria, South Africa and soon in Palestine. In this occasion I will reset a link to the film “ancestor’s land” where my father Youssef, 92 years old, showed us his original town “Lubya” in 1994, where he was born and grown up, before he died in Copenhagen three years ago:


حلقة لوبية – برنامج حروف في الشتات مقابلة تاريخ شفوي للنكبة الفلسطينية مع, حسين عوده – قناة عودة

الجزء الأول – حلقة لوبية – برنامج حروف في الشتات – قناة عودة

Interview with Hussein Ali Odi-born in Lubya in 1930. (6 minutes)
حلقة لوبية (الجزء الأول) – برنامج حروف في الشتات – تلفزيون عودة – الجزء الأول 12 ايار 2015
More Interviews with Lubyans<
Offentliggjort den 23. jun. 2013

ح 2- مقابلة تاريخ شفوي للنكبة الفلسطينية مع السيد عبدالفتاح محمد الزين من قرية لوبيا – طبريا – فلسطين المحتلة

A Public Apology Ceremony and a tour at the destroyed village of Lubya

A Public Apology Ceremony and a tour
 at the Palestinian Destroyed village of Lubya

Friday, May 1st, 15:00-18:00
A South African Jewish group of “Stop The JNF South Africa” will organize on the 1st of May 2015, in cooperation with Zochrot, a public ceremony to apologize for using their funds by the JNF in building up the “South Africa Forest” on the Palestinian lands of the destroyed village Lubya.
Before the ceremony we will conduct a tour to the village site guided by refugees  from Lubya and will hand out a new three lingual booklet about the history of the village.
For more info

Dar al-Kalima- College in Bethlehem hosted history and heritage project


كلية دار الكلمة الجامعية تستضيف مؤتمر حول كتابة تاريخ فلسطين عبر العصور


استضافت كلية دار الكلمة الجامعية للفنون والثقافة في بيت لحم، وكجزء من فعاليات الاحتفالات بمرور عشرين عاماً على تأسيس مجموعة ديار، وضمن مشروع “التاريخ الفلسطيني ومنهاج الإرث” مؤتمر حول كتابة تاريخ فلسطين عبر العصور، وذلك بحضور العديد من العلماء من عدة جامعات عالمية منها: الدنمارك، الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية، ألمانيا، نيوزيلندا، بريطانيا، فنلندا، السويد، بالإضافة الى عدد من المفكرين الفلسطينيين من جامعات بيرزيت وبيت لحم والقدس وكلية دار الكلمة الجامعية.

وافتتح المؤتمر القس الدكتور متري الراهب رئيس كلية دار الكلمة الجامعية بكلمة رحب من خلالها بالحضور، وأكد على: “أهمية هذا المشروع لكتابة الرواية الفلسطينية عبر تاريخ فلسطين الشمولي والذي يؤرخ لتاريخ بديل عن التاريخ الصهيوني”.

حيث ناقشت الجلسة الاولى “التاريخ والتراث الثقافي” وقد ابتدأت الجلسة بمحاضرة قدمها البروفيسور شريف كناعنة تحدث فيها عن أهمية تاريخ التراث الشفوي كجزء من تاريخ فلسطين، كما وتحدث الدكتور توماس طومسون عن العلاقة بين التاريخ والاثار واهمية التميز بين الاسطوره والتاريخ.

أما الجلسة الثانية من المؤتمر فقد تمحورت حول ” نظريات علم الانسان التاريخ الفلسطيني الحديث” والذي أدارها القس الدكتور متري الراهب، حيث تحدث منسق المشروع الدكتور محمود عيسى من جامعة كوبنهاغن في الدنمارك عن قرية لوبية الفلسطينية والتي دمرت من قبل قوات الاحتلال عام 1948 وعن مشروع تأريخ تاريخ القرية وتجميع تراثها الشفوي، وأضاف: ” أن موضوع تاريخ فلسطين لم يكتب بالكامل بعد لا التاريخ القديم ولا التاريخ الحديث، وهذه مهمة صعبة وشاقة ولكن نأمل أن نستطيع ان نغطي هذه الثغرات التاريخية الموجودة في المناهج التعليمية وفي مقاربة موضوع تاريخ فلسطيني بشكل عام”. كما وتحدث الدكتور بو دال هيرمانس عن الأزمان الأولى.

أما الجلسة الثالثة فكانت بعنوان ” أيديولوجيات الأرض “، حيث قدم القس الدكتور متري الراهب محاضرة حول الأرض المقدسة من وجهة النظر المسيحية، كما وتحدث الدكتور مروان أبو خلف عن أرض فلسطين في التقاليد الإسلامية.

ومن الجدير بالذكر أنه أطلق مشروع “التاريخ الفلسطيني ومنهاج الإرث” في شهر ايلول من عام 2014، وهذا المؤتمر الثاني الذي يعقد، اذ هنالك أكثر من 40 شخصية عالمية وفلسطينية من جامعات مختلفة في العالم مشاركين في هذا المشروع، اذ يهدف هذا المشروع لتقديم مقاربة جديدة ونقدية وشاملة لتاريخ فلسطين، حيث ان الفكرة الرئيسية للمشروع تلخيص نتائج المشروع في 12 كتاب باللغة العربية والانجليزية وتقديمها لوزارة التربية والتعليم كي تستخدم كمنهج في المدارس الابتدائية والثانوية والجامعات الفلسطينية وغيرها.