Contributing to the collective memory of Lebanon: Youth engage in researching testimonies and collecting oral history interviews

In Lebanon, youth don’t know much about the Lebanese civil war because they are not taught about it in most schools or universities. Youth eventually acquire a limited and subjective knowledge about these events in their families, but usually they are not aware of the bigger picture. The reason for this is a lack of memory culture in Lebanon and a lack of education, and it bears with it the danger that violent history might be repeated because the young generations lack a knowledge of the violent history of Lebanon.

Fighters for Peace tries to fill this gap by engaging interested youth in researching, interviewing, filming and editing interviews with testimonies from different political, religious, social and regional backgrounds. In this project, students engage in researching witnesses of the war, they learn basic interview and filming techniques. These interviews presented here are the result of a student-led work process with basic training.

The students involved in this project are aware that oral history is personal and subjective. However, the project is considered to be an open-ended undertaking. We hope that youth will be able to collect many more interviews now and in the near future in order to acquire some kind of general objectivity.

Only when you know your past, you can create a better future.

FFP’s oral history project was supported by:
Institute for Foreign Relations (ifa) and Foreign Office Federal Republic of Germany
Lebanese University Institute for Social Science in cooperation with UNESCO