Reviving erased stories and histories of 6000-year-old Mediterranean port cities. The Nakba and the ethnic cleansing in 1948 dispersed Palestinians, including Jaffans, as refugees to various corners of the earth. Jaffa, a Mediterranean port city was the most urban, affluent, cosmopolitan, and intellectual Palestinian city. In 1948, from about 120,000 inhabitants only 3700 were left in the city. Jaffan refugees today make about 750,000. Some of them can only see their homes offered for tourists on Airbnb. What was Jaffa like? Who defended it and how? An interactive map leads us to an underground armed resistance group of 14 Jaffan women. The map offers twenty-four stories including photo albums of Jaffa, before it was erased, and makes space for participants to add stories, photographs, and memories. During this evening, we will delve into these stories.

You can attend this event physically or online. When making your reservation, choose between a physical spot or an online reservation.

About the programme

Many Jaffans fled to the other Mediterranean port city nearby, Gaza. When Gazans today is sieged, starved, and bombed, we are following the second wave of erasure of many Jaffans, and this time with their neighbors, the ancient Gazans. We delve to revive maps, lives, and stories in Gaza, a city turned into archeology as we watch. Some communities need space and tools to reclaim their histories. The HeritageLab offers a digital platform for deleted or forgotten stories. This interactive platform turns individual memories into collective histories. Stories and heritage have the power to change the way we think and see, not only the past but also the future.

About The Heritage Lab

The HeritageLab is a pioneering platform redefining the role of heritage by overwhelmingly overlooked or suppressed narratives related to objects, places, and collective memories. It challenges the traditional control over heritage by advocating for diverse voices and inclusive practices beyond official boundaries and geographical frontiers. As a pedagogical tool in Heritage Studies, it nurtures future heritage professionals and promotes a multidisciplinary approach, incorporating both traditional and innovative research methods across various fields such as archaeology, anthropology, environmental science and digital humanities. The HeritageLab is dedicated to creating more participatory, transparent, and sustainable heritage management practices, by fostering dialogues that bridge official and unofficial narratives.
About the Center for International Heritage Activities (CIE),
CIE is an international organization committed to inspiring and promoting co-creative heritage activities and research around the world. It focuses on providing platforms for discussing heritage’s complex nature and on both practical and academic ways to involve communities in their heritage. With a mission to facilitate multidisciplinary cultural heritage projects, CIE works to enhance skills and capacities, aiming to transcend the Eurocentric origins of the heritage industry. As a catalyst for global cultural heritage development, CIE fosters inclusive and diverse approaches to heritage conservation and exploration.

About the speakers

Robert Parthesius is a maritime historian and archaeologist, as well as director of the Center for International Heritage Activities in Leiden and program head of Heritage & Museum Studies at New York University Abu Dhabi. He is also the co-founder of the Heritage Lab .
Sami Abu Shehadeh is a Palestinian politician based in Jaffa. He is the chairman of the National Democratic Assembly party since August 2022. He served as a member of the Israeli Parliament in the Joint List on behalf of the National Democratic Assembly party from September 2019 until November 2022. In addition, from 2010 until 2013, Abu Shehadeh served as a member of the Tel Aviv-Jaffa Municipality Council on behalf of the Jaffa List. He studied History of the Middle East and Political Sciences at Tel Aviv University and specialized in researching the history of Jaffa as an Arab cultural center during the Mandate period. He also studied Career Counseling at Tel Aviv University and Youth Studies at the Tel Aviv-Jaffa College.
Umayya Abu-Hanna is a Palestinian author. Among others, she was a member of the Helsinki City Council and its Real Estate Board, a member of Taiteen Edistamiskeskus (the equivalent of Arts Council Finland), head of the Media department at Metropolia, the Helsinki University of Applied Sciences, Journalist at The Finnish Public Service Media Company, and a co-founder of Rethink Amsterdam. Abu-Hanna’s work is future-oriented, equality-based, and curious about new readings in diverse heritage.

Sarah al Yahya is a researcher and interactive media artist based between New York and Amman. She’s currently pursuing an MA in Human Rights and the Arts at Bard College. She experiments with multiple mediums including software art, AR, writing, UX/UI design, and physical computing. Her research interests center on digital and internet cultures in Palestine and the SWANA region, and the decolonial and other sociopolitical potential of new media technologies.

Alia Yunis has worked as a journalist, author, and filmmaker on six continents, focusing on memory and heritage –and some science-fiction– particularly in the Muslim and Arab worlds and their diaspora. Her fiction and non-fiction writings and film works have been translated into 10 languages. She is also a professor of film and heritage studies, most recently at NYU Abu Dhabi.

The moderator of this event is
Rasha Hilwi
Writer & Journalist
Programme seriesJustice for Palestine

The Justice for Palestine series will focus upon the broader historic- and present-day context of colonisation, apartheid and military occupation that preceded the horrific October 7th attacks and the relentless bombardments of the Gaza strip that followed. By starting these dialogues, we aim to focus on envisioning sustainable solutions for justice, equality and peace in Historic Palestine for all people who are living there.