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Heritage and Peace-Building? Reflections from Nablus, Nazareth, and the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Conference contribution
Authors Feras Hammami
Daniel Laven
Published in 2nd International Conference of the Association of Critical Heritage Studies. Canberra, Australia, 2-4th December 2014
Publication year 2014
Published at Department of Conservation
Language en
Keywords Israeli-Palestinian, Heritage, Peace-Building, Nablus, Nazareth
Subject categories Social Sciences Interdisciplinary, History and Archaeology


Israel-Palestinian remains one of the world’s most challenging and intractable conflicts. Over the last 100 years, the conflict has revolved around the critical questions of identity, history, legitimacy and presence, and the conflict itself has become a heritage that is progressively inherited by successive generations. Heritage places – and heritage development more generally – enable people to engage in issues of heritage as they negotiate these questions in their everyday life under conflict. This study is carried out by two researchers that are directly and personally connected to the conflict. They will independently explore the potential of community-based heritage efforts at two sites to engage actors in new forms of discourse about their experiences in the conflict. Feras Hammami will explore these questions in the historic city of Nablus in Palestine. The city has evolved during the British Mandate and the Israeli occupation into a site of resistance, where struggles for liberation are mobilized and traumatic experiences are rehearsed. Feras argues that these experiences have become peoples’ difficult heritage that they ought to renegotiate when “peace” is proposed. Daniel Laven will explore the highly acclaimed Fauzi Azar Inn, which is located in the historic district of Nazareth, Israel. Operated as a social business, the inn is the result of an Arab-Jewish partnership and shares the experience of the conflict with its clientele. After exploring the two heritage places, Feras and Daniel will engage in critical reflections on how heritage allows for constructive negotiation of identity and history, and thereby open up for discussion on ways that heritage may divide as much it unites in such settings.

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