The Fifth Historical Studies Conference, Seventy Years since the Palestinian Nakba: Memory and History, opened at the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS) in Doha, 12 May 2018. The meeting brought together scholars from around the world to discuss the historiography and memory of the Nakba on its 70th anniversary. The general director of the ACRPS, Azmi Bishara, provided the opening remarks for the conference, pointing to the center's efforts to document the Nakba and Palestinian history, through various qualitative and quantitative studies and academic initiatives.
Bishara also moderated the first session, titled "Memoirs as a Source for Documenting the History of the Nakba and the Palestinian Cause." Main Al-Taher presented first with his paper, titled "Between Politics and the Field: A Study in the Manuscripts of Akram Zuaiter and Qasim Al-Rimawi." Alex Winder presented on "The Nakba Diaries: Dimensions of Time and Space in Historical Writings." Finally, Ahmad Jamil Azam rounded off the first panel by discussing "The Impact of the Nakba on the Palestinian Character: The Case of Kamal Adwan."
The second session, moderated by Khalid Ziadeh, dealt with the role of archival documents, photographs, and oral history in documenting the Nakba. Tom Ricks was the first speaker, exploring "The Palestinian Nakba and Jerusalem: Oral History Verification of Traumatic Memories, 1947-1949." He was followed by Issam Nassar, whose paper looked at "The Use of Photographs in Studying the Nakba and their Problematic Omission in Research." Bilal Shalash finished the session with his presentation on "Historical Texts of the Defeated: Documents of the Garrisons of Yaffa."
The third and final session of the day was dedicated to the Nakba in selected Arab narratives, moderated by Wajih Kawtharani. Speaking first, Said El Haji dedicated his paper to "The Image of the Nakba in Moroccan Society through Family Archives." Mohammad Almasri followed with an examination of the Jordanian Narrative of the Nakba, before Jamal Barout closed the sessions of the first day, looking at the position of the Syrian Army on the eve of the Nakba (1947-1949).