The Audiovisual Palestinian Heritage, Origin, Dispersion, and Digital Preservation: Preliminary Studies and Future Prospects
Translated by
Bashar Shamout
مؤسسة الدراسات الفلسطينية
Publication Year: 
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In this book, the author tries to shed light on the rich and distinctive audiovisual heritage of Palestine, in an attempt to preserve it through modern means and document the long-threatened Palestinian collective memory amidst the difficult political and living conditions of the Palestinian people. The book discusses this topic from three angles: the history of the emergence of these audiovisual materials, then the whereabouts of the scattered and fragmented collections in archives all over the world and how to access them, and finally some of the technical principles applied in the field of modern digital archiving to help practitioners in this field in the Arab world.

In addition to the substantive research based on the science of digital archiving, the book addresses also some of the core issues related to the continued and deliberate attempts by Israeli institutions to bury the Palestinian cultural identity, and erase and control the collective memory of the Palestinian people. Consequently, it discusses in an objective manner the issue of looting and the loss of audiovisual collections in Beirut after the 1982 Israeli invasion. These collections had a unique cultural and historical value, having been produced under the militant struggle of the Palestine Liberation Organization since its inception.
This study is amongst the first studies to address the issue of the Palestinian audiovisual heritage, not from the political or historical background of the Palestinian cultural production and movement, but rather from the scientific and pragmatic perspective of modern archiving sciences; In doing so, it paves the way for more substantive and in-depth subsequent studies.


Bashar Shamout, was born in Beirut and spent his childhood there amidst the Palestinian national and cultural movement of the 1970s and early 1980s. He finished high school in Germany and then studied sound engineering and musical recording. He produced numerous musical recordings for major international and Arab artists, then he specialized in the field of digital archiving for audiovisual heritage and obtained a doctorate in this field from the University of Paderborn, specialized in cultural heritage and digital information technology. In addition to his current job as head of the archiving department in one of the largest companies specialized in this field in Germany, he has worked for many years as a consultant and lecturer in many academic institutions in Germany and the Arab world.

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