27 Jun, 2015
Birzeit, occupied West Bank – The steady thud of hammers echoed throughout the valley and a large crane swung overhead as dozens of construction workers laboured in the summer heat.
Located on the campus of Birzeit University, a Palestinian academic institution in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, the half-finished building – the Palestinian Museum – is expected to be complete by the end of the year and open to visitors by spring 2016. Though ground was not broken until early 2013, the idea for this museum dates back to the late 1990s, when the Welfare Association, a non-profit organisation focused on humanitarian development, first toyed with the idea of creating a museum to commemorate the Nakba – the dispossession and expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their historical homeland during Israel’s establishment.
Over time, the museum’s historical breadth expanded to include the last 200 years of Palestinian history.