The Lebanese Association for History is an NGO established in 2013 by a group of educationists, history teachers, and activists to raise public awareness of the importance of history teaching. The organisation currently has about 50 members. Together they work on developing an approach to history education which is based on critical investigation of historical sources and interpretations of historical events.
Mission and Activities
LAH’s mission is to make history as a discipline more attractive and engaging to both teachers and learners in Lebanon by raising awareness about the importance of dealing with history and historical concepts in an educational context. LAH’s aims to do so by promoting dialogue on history teaching, conducting trainings for teachers and students of different age groups and developing and distributing educational material to ensure continuous learning about history. LAH follows a modern approach to teaching not only by telling history but engaging learners in historical thinking, nurturing analytical skills and linking history to real-life situations.
LAH’s trainings aim at encouraging critical thinking among learners, shaping their personalities and developing a sense of individual and collective responsibility. In the past, LAH has worked with multiple partners on organising conferences, workshops and discussions that bring together stakeholders and experts in the field of history education. On a national level, LAH attempts to get involved in decision-making processes regarding the history curriculum. It also reaches beyond Lebanon, participating in regional and international exchanges among educationists.
Cooperation with forumZFD Lebanon
LAH has cooperated with forumZFD in the programme area Dealing with the Past since 2014 on several projects and received support for the development of an interactive website, where teaching materials can be shared. The first joint project “History Teachers’ Capacity to Foster Historical Thinking” was implemented from October 2014 to September 2015, training teachers in how to engage in historical thinking and ways to use it in class. The project used the manual for teachers “The Memory of War” developed by forumZFD, Lebanese Center for Civic Education and A Step Away. The manual provides teachers with several activities concerning the teaching of war history. In September 2016, the workshop " The Power of Remembrance: the role of youth organisations of political parties in memorialisation and learning about the past” was organised by forumZFD in cooperation with LAH and Notre Dame University–Louaize. The objective of working with leaders of youth organisations from five different political parties was to reflect on the cultures of remembrance of political parties and to build collective memory. In the project “Sites of Commemoration”, LAH and forumZFD trained teachers on methods to work with their students on researching public sites commemorating the Civil War in Lebanon. The outcomes of this project were presented in an exhibition at Barbir Hospital in Beirut in April 2017.
To increase the impact of the collaboration, forumZFD and LAH have developed a strategic partnership for the next two to three years working on different elements, such as supporting Oral History student projects in the Mount Lebanon region. Within the framework of the joint 'From Local History to a wider understanding of the past' project, teachers in public schools are trained on how Oral History can be incorporated into their teaching as a means of learning about the past and facilitate conversation about the Civil War.