Review date: 17 April 2008
“Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you because geography books no longer exist. Not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahlal arose in the place of Mahlul; Kibbutz Gvat in the place of Jibta; Kibbutz Sarid in the place of Huneifis; and Kefar Yehushua in the place of Tal al-Shuman. There is not a single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population.” - Moshe Dayan, address to the Technion in Haifa, 1969.
The attack on collective memory, in the Nakba context, is more dangerous than the sheer expulsion of the population and loss of property. The site we are reviewing in this issue (www.palestineremembered.com) is a good example of cyber defence lines against memory loss or distortion.
The bilingual Arabic-English site is packed with information. It greets you with a mostly black background, some red and white colours and, at the top-right of the screen, a symbolic picture of an old man holding the keys to his home. The main page has two navigation menu bars on top, followed by three-column navigation and another list of links in the page footer.
The topmost menu bar has a Home link, a Satellite View (aerial maps from Google Earth), a Google-powered Search, Donate (to support oral history, in particular, and to add comments), Contact Us (address and online correspondence form), and a link to the Arabic version.
The second line of the top navigation also starts with a Home link, then Pictures (pre- and post-Nakba, sorted by area and offering the space for visitors to add comments), Maps (all sorts of maps, old and new, including Google Earth maps), Oral History (interviews sorted by district and available online in video format), a Zionist FAQ (answers to Zionist propaganda), Zionist Quotes (based on declassified documents and personal diaries), The Conflict 101 (a beginners’ crash course), R.O.R 101 (an essay about the right of return), Site Members (registered website members by district), and About Us (mission statement).
The left column of navigation starts with About Us and Maps and continues with Refugee Camps (a listing of all camps in Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, with related information on each). A second section in this menu, marked in red and starting with Acre and ending with Tulkarem, lists all districts and provides information on each (including links to villages, oral history, satellite view, and pictures). The left column ends with another black block listing links to Guest Book, Satellite View, Videos (movies on various related topics), Register (membership form), Donate, Contact Us, and Useful Links (many related sites organized in few categories).
The second and third navigating columns are related to the main navigation menus with more details - mainly individual articles on various related issues. For example, here you’ll find a chronology of Palestinian history as well as poems remembering Palestine and a section on the Gaza siege, which seems to be the most recent part of the site.
The footer provides a convenient way to navigate as it lists most of the main links in one place with a focus on oral history, which is an interesting project. The What’s New link has not been updated recently.
Overall, the site is a great collection of important and useful information and well worth a bookmark. It could benefit significantly from a re-touch of design, information structuring, and content update.
Abed A Khooli, IT/KM specialist
Mr. Khooli can be reached at