Training sessions
Students’ training
26 February, 27 February, and 5 March 2011 at USJ premises.
These sessions clarified the role that oral history plays, and trained the students in oral history techniques.

In total 44 students, representing 12 schools, participated in the presence of their teachers. Liliane Kfoury, Marie-Claude Souaid, and Lynn Maalouf led the three trainings. First a film called ‘War Stories’ was shown to the students. ‘War Stories’ was made by school students in 2009, and tackled the topic of the war. Students were asked to take notes during the screening, in order to put down their thoughts, impressions and comments about the content of the film. This helped generate the discussion and raise awareness about similar experiences of other students. They were asked to share the reasons why they wanted to participate in this project; many spoke about the desire to better understand the reasons for the war, or the more historical/political/military narratives of the war. Many also spoke about the need to understand the conflict and its roots, so that it is not repeated.

Additionally, a number of students identified their lack of knowledge and the consequences of not fully understanding these past experiences:
"We did not live through the war. We want to understand how it’s affecting us today," one student said. Another added, "We live in this constant fear of war re-erupting... Why is this? I want to understand what happened; otherwise this fear will always be there."

The students were then trained to prepare and conduct interviews, and collect oral testimonies on sensitive topics. The various questions to be addressed during the interview were discussed, the methodology for preparing the questionnaire and how to conduct an interview were explained, and the students were shown how to use the digital audio-recorder, and to archive the document.

The trainers emphasised that the goal was to collect the “human” stories; stories about situations that their elder relatives have lived through, but don’t necessarily talk about at home. Students would be responsible for creating something entirely new: an archive of lived histories during the conflicts in Lebanon. They were encouraged also to start thinking about ways to use this material that they would be creating, beyond the process of creating this archive; how to also become an end user of it. Teachers were also encouraged to do the same, and to start thinking of ways in which this project could be used in their institutions to share with a wider number of students.

This website has been created with the assistance of the European Union and the Embassy of Switzerland in Lebanon. The content of this website can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union or the Embassy of Switzerland.
© Badna Naaref, 2012 - Development: Multiframes