Palestinian Children: Authors of Collective Memory


Janette Habashi, Department of Human Relations, University of Oklahoma, Schusterman Center, 4502 E. 41st Street, Tulsa, OK 74135, USA, Tel.: +918 660 3365; Fax: +918 660 3490. E-mail:


This article investigates the premise that Palestinian children are the authors of collective memory. Palestinian society employs an oral tradition that propagates the collective experience among different generations in which the individual dimensions of each is apparent. The oral history for Palestinian children not only illustrates past events, it also provides the tool for grasping the present and traversing the future. In this ethnographic study, 12 Palestinian children from cities, villages and refugee camps in the West Bank were interviewed. The children demonstrated active roles in reconstructing previous collective memory in relation to their own experiences and vigorously restructured the collective memory as a prerequisite for passing it to the next generation.