The Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights is pleased to announce the publication of issue the Autumn 2009 issue of al-Majdal (issue #42), titled Nakba Education on the Path of Return. The issue looks at Nakba education: education in its various forms on the history, culture, geography and society of Palestine over the past sixty one years.
The authors in this issue of al-Majdal, are directly involved in the process of Nakba Education in various places, directing their work at different communities, and cover various aspects of the topic. Rami Salameh looks at education in Palestinian elementary and high-school classrooms and the need to develop the pedagogical methods in Palestinian Authority schools. Said Barghouti examines the way Israeli history textbooks over the past forty years have presented the history of the land to Palestinian students. Dan Walsh examines the way the “Middle East Conflict” is taught to U.S. high school students, suggesting that Palestinian poster art can be used to present this topic in a more accurate and student-empowering way. Also in the U.S., members of the Palestine Education Project describe their work with students in Brooklyn to learn about the experience of Palestinians and draw connections with their own lived experiences. Nidal al-Azza shares his reflections on teaching Palestinian refugee rights under international law to Palestinian law students. Also looking at education in the classroom, Amaya Galili describes How do we say Nakba in Hebrew? a recently launched resource packet developed by Zochrot in Hebrew for teachers wishing to engage Jewish-Israeli students about the Nakba.
Other authors focus on Nakba education outside of the classroom. Khaled al-Azraq, a political prisoner for the past twenty years, tells us how the Palestinian prisoners' movement has educated its cadre. Mo'ataz al-Dajani looks at the efforts of al-Jana Center in Lebanon to engage Palestinian children and youth in the writing of their own history by engaging with older generations and with their surroundings, while Rich Wiles describes the educational activities of refugee community centers in the Bethlehem district.
While the articles in this issue provide a small sample of the forms that Nakba education can take, the experiences and work described by these authors offer a useful guide for others engaging in this field. Sharing and learning from the experiences of others is one of the ways educators can learn, and this issue of al-Majdal aims to be a contribution to this shared learning process.
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