Memory At Work
A Guide for Lebanese on Peace and War
دليل اللبنانيين إلى السّلم والحرب

ديوان الذّاكرة اللبنانيَّة

Throughout UMAM D&R's existence, it has operated under the conviction that the only way for Lebanon to chart a more peaceful and prosperous way forward is to better understand the country's history, in all its nuance and variety, blemishes and beauty. While the period of Lebanese statehood is relatively short, one period reigns supreme in terms of its impact on the country, an impact still being felt today. We are talking, of course, about Lebanon's civil war.

The civil war period was as complex as it was bloody, as multi-faceted as it was misunderstood, yet many today shy away from an honest reflection on this period. UMAM D&R has sought to change that through a plethora of projects, research campaigns, archival collection efforts, exhibitions, and simple community discussions.

In 2008, one of these initiatives led to the creation of Memory at Work, an online database and repository that focuses primarily on the civil war period. "Memory at Work" contains the results of UMAM D&R's various civil-war centered research campaigns and includes thousands of primary documents and war-related material, available in PDF format, organized in over a dozen sections. Although an abundance of material was produced about Lebanon's civil war, it was not collectively organized or easily accessible. This website aims to change that, providing a centralized database to improve information acquistion for researchers or anyone with an interest in Lebanese affairs. Ranging from topics such as political assassinations, enforced disappearances, mass graves, car bombs, and massacres, "Memory at Work" invites the user to strip away competing narratives, preconceived notions, and selective amnesia while reflecting upon the nuances of Lebanon's strained past. 

The website is in a constant state of improvement and is always expanding to reflect the results of research initiatives or social-political developments, which has broadend the focus to include contemporary issues such as hosting the Syrian refugees, Lebanon's increasing use of the Military Court, and most recently, the popular uprising that began in the fall of 2019, an addition reflected in the newest section, October 17.

At present, "Memory at Work" is only in Arabic, however, UMAM D&R hopes to have an English version in the future.

The website's development was made possible thanks to funding from the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (ifa).