forumZFD and the Lebanese Association for History (LAH) in collaboration with the Barbir Hospital have organized an exhibition on “Sites of Commemoration in Lebanon: Towards a better understanding of the past”. The exhibition took place on Saturday, 29 April, 2017 from 11am to 2pm at the Barbir Hospital building, Mazraa-Mathaf road, Beirut.
The exhibition is part of an innovative project on the culture of commemorating the civil war. It features research projects by public and private school students on commemoration sites from the civil war period by interviewing local people and researching newspaper articles. Through their oral research projects, students studied how this period is remembered, contributed to its documentation and are raising awareness towards a more peaceful future. Students will exhibit their research findings and their personal reflections. They displayed for example short films that they have produced to document their research process. The event is also a commemoration of the Barbir Hospital. The hospital served a wide community during the war. It survived in very difficult conditions.
forumZFD and LAH have developed this project as part of the civic engagement program launched by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education. Both organizations implement projects to promote education on non-violence and to support efforts of the Lebanese civil society to deal with their past (and engage with the present). Teachers from public and private schools received training on non-violent communication and oral research skills, as well as cultures of commemoration.
Fifteen projects were displayed in the exhibition. Among the studied sites are the Hope for Peace site in Yarze, Kamal Jumblat memorial in Deir Dourit, Maarouf Saad memorial in Saida, Martyrs statue in Bikfaya, and Al-Amliye Mosque.
Soha Fleyfel, project coordinator at forumZFD, explains: “With this project, we aimed at enabling teachers and students to gain a better understanding of the past and develop an increased mutual acceptance of different narratives relating to the period of the civil war through the examination of commemoration sites”. LAH President Nayla Hamadeh points out that the project “empowers teachers to engage their students to critically review on commemoration sites of the civil war by using innovative teaching methods based on historical thinking, asking critical questions and by actively examining different accounts and reflecting on conflicting narratives and inherited assumptions”.
forumZFD is a German NGO working on conflict transformation in Lebanon. LAH is a Lebanese NGO supporting history education in Lebanon by introducing a disciplinary approach.
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