Why Oral Histories?

First hand narratives give people the power to write their own history, to instigate discussions across borders, and to impact research and policy.

The oral history interviews and collections on this site reflect diverse topics and communities of and from the Arab world.

SPOTLIGHT

Giving Voice to Lebanon’s Forgotton Prisoners

Johar... Up in the Air, a play produced and performed by inmates of Lebanon’s Roumieh prison, under the guidance of drama therapist Zeina Daccache....

FEATURED INTERVIEW

JAMILA FALLAG

"I tried to kill myself. I tried to jump out of a window. I slit my wrists. I went on hunger strike."

Watch the interview

SELECT INTERVIEWS

Basima Jabry

Basima Jabri was born in 1975 to a Damascene father and a Lattakian mother. Her father died one year after her birth. She lived with...

Abubaker Ghiryani

Abubaker Mohamed Ghiryani was arrested on a Monday morning in 1997. “It was just before three in the morning when eight cars surrounded my home...

Dheiba Diaf Zirti

Dheiba Diaf is the widow of Othman Ali Zirti, with whom she had ten children. Zirti was born in 1934 in the area of Tripoli...

Mahmood Abu Shkewa

Mahmood Abdelsalam Abu Shkewa is a sportsman, a boxer, a champion. He was born in Libya and represented his county in various title matches. “In...

Fathi Terbil

Fathi Othman Terbil is a Libyan lawyer, the son of an ice cream maker, and among Time magazine’s top 100 influential people of 2011. His...

Arda Kashkashian

Although Arda Kashkashian has been living in Lebanon for several years and has received Lebanese citizenship, Aleppo still occupies a special place in her heart,...

Omar Jibaiy

For the first ten years of his life, Omar Jibaiy had only ever met his father through the bars of a prison cell. He was...

Ilham Dabboub

Nursery head Ilham Dabboub had a difficult childhood. She was three years old when her father, Omar Ali Dabboub, was first imprisoned in 1973. “He...

Najat Kikhia

When Najat Rasheed Kikhia’s brother Mansour resigned form his post as Libyan ambassador to the UN in 1980, the whole family bore the brunt of...

Maayouf Halasa

Maayouf Massoud Halasa is from the town of Kabaw in the Nafusa Mountains in the west of Libya. He was a graduate of law and...

Zainab AlMadhoun

Beirut resident Zainab AlMadhoun was among the twelve residents of Lebanon to be interviewed as part of the project "Lebanon Livelihoods" that aimed to document and...

Mahmoud Alhaj

Beirut resident and Palestinian Mahmoud Alhaj was among the twelve residents of Lebanon to be interviewed as part of the project "Lebanon Livelihoods" that aimed to...