Pain, occupation, and resistance; a walk through Palestinian archive
With everything going on, Palestinians have found themselves doing everything possible in order to preserve their history.
A Palestinian prisoner launching a hunger strike in protest of "Israel's" arbitrary administrative detention policy... Palestinians demolishing their own family home... Palestinians being assaulted by Israeli occupation forces... Palestinians being shot dead by the IOF... Palestinians forced to leave their homes and lands... A Palestinian prisoner was martyred after launching an open hunger strike.
Any title among these titles, unfortunately, would fit perfectly in any newspaper or news website at any time possible.
If anyone were to scavenge through old newspaper headlines, posters, or even photographs, these same headlines about Palestine would show up.
This only proves one thing: Palestinians have been suffering since day one of the Israeli occupation of their land. Even though "Israel's" brutality is well-documented, many Zionists, along with their huge media campaigns, argue that such massacres were not and are not being committed against the Palestinians, which is an invalid and baseless argument.
Palestinians have found themselves doing everything possible to prove their narrative to let coming generations know that they have suffered.
Initiative to document 'Israel's' occupation
One good example of this is a social media page called The Palestinian Archive. The owner of the page, who prefers to stay anonymous, told Al Mayadeen English that he was "annoyed" by the fact that there were no organizations that presented the Palestinian archive properly. That's why he launched this initiative because "I always was so interested in our Palestinian history and searching for it," he continues.
The owner says he has been collecting everything that is related to Palestinian history for a few years, especially pieces that go back to the Palestinian revolution that started in 1965, as he put it.
"I found that it was necessary to find a way to publish what is available because of the inspiring details for every Palestinian, and also because it may be a tool of resistance in the face of the Israeli narrative that tries to take over everything and seeks to erase our memory," the owner says.
He continues to say that back in 2020, he launched the page The Palestinian Archive on Twitter with the aim of documenting as much archival material related to Palestine as possible and shedding light on events and personalities that were part of different stages in Palestinian history.
He describes his initiative as an "attempt to collect the archives available to preserve Palestinian memory." He hopes that his initiative will one day be noticed by an institution that could take this archive and save it for generations to come.
The owner says that upon many requests, he launched an Instagram page for the initiative, "hoping one day to have an English version in order to reach as many people as possible."
The owner says this initiative comes in addition to many other initiatives that already exist for the sake of publishing Palestine's history.
Preserving the copyrights
When asked whether he was ever subjected to any copyright claims, he says, "Not that I remember any... because I usually refer to the source of the published material if it is known."
As a matter of fact, the owner of the page says he does "not claim intellectual property for the archival material that I collect." In some cases, "there are materials whose source is unknown, or they are widely spread on the internet and social media, especially pictures," he clarifies.
In order to preserve the rights of any source he uses, he usually keeps the logo present on any video, in addition to his own page's logo "in order to let the people know more about the page."
In short, this page can be considered mainly an attempt to collect and compile Palestinian stories, the details of which are scattered here and there, whether in newspapers, magazines, news agencies, archives, films... etc.
Social media censorship targets Palestinian history
When asked about whether his page was subjected to social media censorship or the removal of some content due to its policy, he replied that it had happened many times.
Among the many instances, Twitter once removed a tweet about the liberated prisoner Hussein Fayyad and the Palestinian martyr Dalal Al-Moughrabi after many complaints were reported.
يبدو أن التغريدة عن الأسير المحرر حسين فياض والشهيدة دلال المغربي لم تُعجب البعض فأرسلوا الشكاوى إلى إدارة تويتر لحذفها، ولكن رُفض طلبهم.— The Palestinian Archive الأرشيف الفلسطيني (@palestinian_the) March 12, 2022
وهي ليست المرة الأولى التي نواجه فيها مثل هذه البلاغات..
ونؤكد على أن صفحة الأرشيف الفلسطيني مستمرة بدعم المحبين لفلسطين والمخلصين لقضيتها.. pic.twitter.com/YKkFlnUmde
At the time, The Palestinian Archive posted a tweet that said, "It seems that the tweet about the liberated prisoner Hussein Fayyad and martyr Dalal Al-Moughrabi did not please some, so they sent complaints in order to delete it, but their request was rejected. This is not the first time we have encountered such reports. We affirm that the Palestinian Archive page continues to support those who love Palestine and are loyal to its cause."
The owner provided Al Mayadeen English with a message from Twitter that says the page has been blocked once because "it violates the Twitter rules."
The prospects of Palestine Archive
The owner of the page is mainly focusing on publishing the page on different platforms. "After Twitter, Instagram, and Telegram, I'm also seriously considering TikTok, but so far, I haven't found the right model for publishing on this platform."
Despite social media censorship, the owner seems determined to pursue his mission of making the Palestinian archive available for everyone on the internet.
He continues, "I hope that this page will eventually develop to become a website that serves as a reference and becomes part of a comprehensive national archive system."
He's also going after getting more volunteers to join in the project, "but it needs some time," he continues.
The lack of time is affected "by the fact that I'm not fully dedicated and free for the page, so the publishing may seem irregular or not organized as required for users," adding that he does not have that much experience in dealing with technical stuff, such as videos.
"I often have to edit and translate the videos, add subtitles, modify the sound, etc."
He further explains how he designed the logo of the page himself, "I'm not a designer, and the graphics are definitely unprofessional, but it looks fine."
When asked whether he thinks about collaborating with any Artificial Intelligence (AI) tool, he explains that there is still a lot to learn. "I still need to learn about many technical matters," he says.
Between the past and the present
If anyone were to scroll down the page, it is apparent that the owner does not use the page for archival purposes only. Sometimes, on specific events, the owner may post an event that happened long ago but relates it to a certain political development in occupied Palestine.
For example, on the anniversary of Ghassan Kanafani's assassination, the owner posted archival materials of the Palestinian writer. He even posted what other prominent Palestinian figures said about Ghassan Kanafani.
In another example, during the latest Israeli aggression on Jenin, the owner posted a video of a girl from Jenin talking about the refugee camp after the massacre "Israel" committed back in 2002. The page serves as a great example of how Israeli crimes never change, and neither does the Palestinians' steadfastness.
If someone analyzes and really digs deeper into the footage and the old archives presented by the page, all the analysis will come down to one conclusion: Since its occupation of Palestine, "Israel" has always been killing innocent Palestinians, assaulting Palestinians, demolishing Palestinian homes, stealing Palestinian lands, and stealing Palestinian childhoods.
"Israel" has always been "Israel"; it has always been an occupation.