UMAM Documentation and Research (UMAM D&R) is a Lebanese non-governmental organization that believes in the need to confront Lebanon's strained past if the country is to ever move out of endless cycles of violence and instability towards the establishment of lasting and enduring peace. In the years since its foundation, particularly after the unfolding of the Arab Spring, UMAM D&R has broadened its focus to include regional affairs, although its core commitment is to Lebanon. Only through an open and honest historical reckoning can the country better understand contemporary issues and prepare itself to deal with future problems.
What We Do
Using documentation and research as its primary tools, UMAM D&R seeks to inform the future by dealing with the past. It continues to add to its vast and diverse collection of documents, books, films, magazines, newspapers, and other material from Lebanese history, and provides access to these resources for anyone with an interest. In addition to serving as a citizen resource center, UMAM D&R has launched numerous initiatives and held countless meetings to focus attention on specific issues and foster dialogue between relevant stakeholders. These efforts have also resulted in original print publications and audio-visual productions. Another key aspect of UMAM D&R’s work is its focus on the arts as a way of reaching new audiences and understanding memory in Lebanon from a different point of view.
UMAM D&R was founded in 2005 by a group of friends from different backgrounds that were concerned with the state of Lebanese affairs and the direction in which the country appeared to be headed. In particular, they felt there was an exigent need to discuss Lebanon's conflict-rich history stripped away of revisionist narratives and sectarian attitudes. Although Lebanon's civil war had ended about 15 years prior, the country was still hesitant to engage in dialogue over what happened during the war, opting instead for self-imposed amnesia. UMAM D&R also noted the lack of a centralized resource center devoted to such a monumental period in Lebanon's history, as well as the numerous other aspects of Lebanon's past, good and bad, and felt compelled to provide such a center.