25 September
Type of event: 
A Time of Build-Up: Knowledge-Production Initiatives for Palestine... A Roundtable on the Occasion of the Launch of Maktabat Sabil
Organizing office: 
Institute for Palestine Studies
Monday, September 25, 2023 - 18:00
Eastern Date:: 
Friday, September 8, 2023 - 14:15
Event Theme: 
About the event: 

In recent years, the number of independent Palestinian initiatives that work to disseminate knowledge on Palestine and Palestinian struggle has increased. These include youth forums, internet sites, and social media pages both individual and collective. They aim to engage critically with Palestinian reality and resistance therein, both at present and in history, and to present revolutionary narratives and analysis that contribute to the revolutionary motion of the Palestinian people. They are also independent and volunteer based, mostly with limited resources.

We can read those initiatives as forms of knowledge production that parallel in their organizational forms the structures of political groups that emerged on the Palestinian scene after the second Intifada, in their simultaneous independence from established institutions while building upon their heritage (here one can think of 2011 movements, to lone wolf operations, and the current forms of armed resistance in the West Bank). Among those knowledge-production initiatives, we see connection to established institutions in the content of the initiatives as well as the backgrounds of their founders, while we see independence in their endeavor to self-fund and their reluctance to work within established institutions. 

What is it that has led to this type of grassroots knowledge production? What are its roles and potential today? What are the limitations of such a formulation and is there, in reality, a need for broad and central institutions? To carry along with our metaphor, if grassroots knowledge-production initiatives indeed parallel lone wolf operations, is there a “Joint Operation Room” on the horizon? 

This roundtable approaches this issues and others in a round table discussion with Abdel Razzaq Takriti (from “The Palestinian Revolution” website), Abdaljawad Omar (from Babelwad website), and Faiq Mari (from Maktabat Sabil)—moderated by Hana Sleiman.


The initiatives:

Maktabat Sabil: is an online public library built on the contributions of its users. Sabil’s open-source services make a wealth of material on Palestine and Palestinian liberation struggle widely available.

Babelwad: is a cultural-intellectual website established by the Suleiman Al-Halabi department for Colonial Studies, an independent volunteer-based group for community research and education. 

“The Palestinian Revolution”: is an interactive website that offers educational resources on the Palestinian Revolution between the 1948 Nakba and the 1982 siege of Beirut.

About the speakers: 

Abdel Razzaq Takriti: is the inaugural Arab-American Educational Foundation Chair in Modern Arab History and the Founding Director of the Arab-American Educational Foundation Center for Arab Studies at the University of Houston. He is a founder of “The Palestinian Revolution” website.

Abd al-Jawad Omar: is a PhD student and part-time lecturer in the Philosophy and Cultural Studies Department at Birzeit University. He is a volunteer editorial board member of Babelwad.

Faiq Mari: is an architect and a doctoral candidate at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ETH Zurich. He is a founding member of Maktabat Sabil.


Moderator: Hana Sleiman: is a Lecturer in Modern Middle Eastern History at the University of Edinburgh.

Video of the event: 

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