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 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...

Firas Younes

Firas Younes began his political activity at an early age in Syria. In 1978 at the age of 15 he joined the Communist Labor Party...

Dana Yacoub

Dana Yacoub, 34, recalls the gatherings of the Circassian community, held yearly on the seventeenth of April in the two villages of Bariqa and Bi’ir...

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...

Ghada Hamoud

Ghada al-Haj Hamoud grew up in the town of Jdeidat Artouz in Rif Dimashq Province. Her family was Muslim in a predominantly Christian neighborhood, where...