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Transformed LandscapesEssays on Palestine and the Middle East in Honor of Walid Khalidi$
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Camille Mansour and Leila Fawaz

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9789774162473

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774162473.001.0001

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Excavating Memory

Excavating Memory

Oral History and the Case of Suhmata

(p.159) 8 Excavating Memory
Transformed Landscapes

Camille Mansour

Leila Fawaz

American University in Cairo Press

Suhmata, as excavated from the memories and memorials of those who themselves lived through the nakba or whose lives were forever shaped by the expulsion. It is the testimonial of the victims on what actually took place, and the tenacity of their roots, their identity, and their demand to return to their villages and land. Contributing to the silence were the destitution and low educational levels of those worst hit by the expulsions of 1948, notably those coming from the villages destroyed by the Zionist troops, compounded by trauma, fear, feelings of powerlessness, and shame. It is only in the last two decades that the signal importance of the forgotten, overlooked, or suppressed voices of the powerless has been recognized, and that oral history has come into its own as an area of study.

Keywords:   Suhmata, nakba, memorials, destitution, shame

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