Museum News - August 2016

Dear friends,
We are delighted to provide you with the following update of our latest news and accomplishments from the museum over the past four months

A series of art installations celebrating the birth of the Palestinian Museum


The evening of artistic performances was conceived by the stage director Ameer Nizar Zu'bi. The dance was led by choreographer Samar Haddad King whilst the musical performances, with individual muscians from all over Palestine, was led by composer Faraj Suleiman. The evening performance came to a close with a light and sound show led by Italian artist, Marco Nereo Rotelli. These varied artistic performances were inspired by not only the design concept of the museum and its gardens but also the Palestinian identity and culture. The dance performance, devised specifically for the occasion, recounted the Palestinian story whilst the light show on the western walls of the museum was accompanied by readings of contemporary Palestinian poetry and images inspired by the Family Album Project materials. read more

The Palestinian Museum inauguration; A dream come true!


On the18th May 2016, we celebrated the inauguration of the Palestinian Museum building after three years of construction. This is undoubtedly a great accomplishment in the face of the continued Israeli occupation. The event itself celebrated the beauty of the building and its gardens and the design concept which successfully emphasizes the harmony between history and landscape. The event also celebrated those individuals involved in,the museum including; the founders of the museum concept, members of the Welfare Foundation Board of Trustees, the financers, contractors and other museum employees. The inauguration activities included a press conference and an official ceremony attended by his Excellency, President Mahmud Abbas. In the evening there was a performance attended by over 1800 people, including many museum friends from governmental institutions, cultural organizations, diplomatic representative offices and as well as local artists, intellectuals, and journalists. see photos

Guided tours


Monday & Wednesday
11:00 am - 1:00 pm
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm


The museum staff commence working at the new premises


The Museum staff has commenced working at the new premises in Birzeit. The new museum address and contact details are as follows:
Al-Mat.haf Street
(branching from Omar Ibn-Al-Khattab Street)
P. O. Box 48. Birzeit, Palestine
Telephone: +970 (2) 294 1948
Fax: +970 (2) 294 1936

We thank you for your assistance in circulating our new address.

watch video

Our Satellite Exhibitions

"At the Seams"; the first Palestinian Museum satellite exhibition
On the 25th May, years of research and intensive field work culminated in the opening of the "At the Seams: A Political History of Palestinian Embroidery" exhibition. The exhibition was the Palestinian Museum’s first satellite exhibition. The opening took place at Dar al-Nimer for Arts and Culture in Beirut, and was attended by about 1000 people, including many friends and supporters of the museum. The opening of the exhibition was preceded by a press conference on 24 May which was attended by local and international media.
The exhibition curator, Rachel Dedman, and her team were successful in producing a stimulating exhibition that addressed the political history of Palestinian embroidery from a new perspective. Including private collections owned by Widad Kawar and Malak al-Husseini Abdul-Raheem, the exhibition deals with the history of Palestinian embroidery in the pre-1948 and post-1948 periods and presents a critical look at the role of embroidery in the formulation and formation of historical and contemporary Palestinian culture.
The exhibition was accompanied by the publication of a research catalog by the curator and the production of two documentaries directed by Maeve Brennan. The exhibition was also accompanied by an eventful learning program that included workshops for adults and children, tours with the exhibition curator, marketing days and many other activities. read more

Our Programmes
The "Palestinian Journeys" program


The Interactive Timeline program has been renamed the “Palestinian Journeys” program. This program is an interactive timeline that takes us from 1850 to the modern day. This new title expresses the diversity of the program components in a more comprehensive way. The timeline section of the program is overseen by the Institute for Palestinian Studies whilst the Palestinian Stories section is overseen by the Palestinian Museum. Currently we are focusing on the development of an experimental version of the Palestinian Timeline, which will be followed by an experimental version of Palestinian Stories in the very near future.

Photographs about the history of Palestinian Bedouin and other families as part of the audio-visual archive


The most recent collection obtained by the Museum as part of the audio-visual archives is from “The Family Album” project which documents the 1982 Beirut invasion. This collection includes over 200 photographs that we obtained from the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS). Another valuable collection contains over 1400 photographs which documents the history of the Sheikh of the Ta’amra tribe, Muhammad Salem Thweib. He became a member of the Jordanian Parliament in 1954 as a representative of the Bedouin tribes and became a member of the Palestinian National Council in 1964. This collection is an important source on the history of Bedouin families in Palestine, and was added to our archives following a commendable initiative from the Thweib family.

Donation to the museum archive collection


The previous Palestinian Ambassador to Australia, Ali Kazak, donated an important collection of art works and posters to the Palestinian Museum in 2015. It includes an impressive selection of art works and diverse posters, with many posters relating to the Palestinian revolution. This rare collection is considered one of the most important art collections on Palestine in terms of quantity and diversity of pieces. Following our move to the new premises, the museum staff in cooperation with a specialist, have arranged all of the collection pieces in the collections room in order to insure their preservation.
This collection includes 52 art works, 19 old photographs, two panels that explain the photographs, and 541 posters. The posters collection includes 50 posters by the ‘Down with the Occupation’ group, 26 posters by the Kasich Yiannai group and 9 posters of monuments that commemorate Australian soldiers who participated in World War I in Palestine.
Reaching Out
A meeting in Haifa hosted by the Musawa Center
The Musawa Center hosted an introductory meeting organized by the Palestinian Museum in Haifa on the 16th May 2016. During the meeting a lively and important discussion about various cultural and museum issues took place. The discussion focused in particular on the audio-visual archive. 45 people attended the meeting including artists, writers, and various directors of museums and cultural organizations. The Palestinian Museum and its team were met with a great reception.

The museum participates in the International Council of Museums (ICOM) conference
The Palestinian Museum participated in the twenty-fourth International Council of Museums (ICOM) conference, which is held every three years. This year it was held in Milano from the 3rd – 9th July 2016, coinciding with the ICOM's 70th anniversary. The conference theme was ‘Museums and Cultural Landscapes’. It was attended by both the Palestinian Museum General Director, Dr. Mahmoud Hawari and Director of International Relations and Partnerships, Reem Abdul-Hadi. In addition to their attendance of the general conference, they participated in the conference's specialized international committees, seminars, and workshops on various museum-related topics. They also participated in the International Council of Museums Arab Countries Alliance conference. read more

The Bank of Palestine donates 1,000,000$ to the museum


The Palestinian Museum has recently received a generous one million US dollar donation from the Bank of Palestine., This donation was recieved following an agreement between the bank and the Welfare Foundation, to support the Museum activities financially over the next ten years starting this year.
The chairman of the museum, Omar Al-Qattan, greatly appreciated the confidence that the bank officials have shown in the Palestinian Museum by contributing to support the museum at the start of its development. read more

The museum gardens project


The museum gardens were designed not only for guests to enjoy the typical Palestinian hills landscape, but also as a living museum that provides information about some of the indigenous plants cultivated in Palestine.
In cooperation with Dr. Jameel Harb and Dr. Muneer Nasser from Birzeit University, the museum has produced a pamphlet that contains a map of the museum gardens and plants, which includes brief descriptions of all the plants accompanied by photos of each plant species. The project also entails the listing of the Museum gardens plants in Arabic, English, and their scientific Latin names. view brochure

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