AU - Albrecht, Mara AU - Akar, Bassel AB - This paper presents the results of an interdisciplinary research project conducted by Mara Albrecht (University of Erfurt, Germany) and Bassel Akar (Notre Dame University – Louaize, Lebanon) in collaboration with forumZFD in Lebanon in 2015. Based on a theoretical framework of collective political memory and different approaches of learning about the past in history education, the study investigates the use of memory by various political parties in Lebanon in the political and educational domains. The political parties included in the study are the Free Patriotic Movement, the Future Movement, Hezbollah, the Lebanese Kataeb Party, the Lebanese Forces, the Progressive Socialist Party and the Syrian Social Nationalist Party. The researchers selected the parties based on their political relevance in past and present Lebanon, their diverse ideological outlooks, and the different confessional communities and social milieus from which they recruit their members. Lebanese political parties foster different narratives of the past, which consist of opposing and contradicting interpretations of historical events, especially with regard to the violent episodes of the recent past (e.g. ‘Civil War’, ‘Independence Intifada’, conflict with Israel, and political assassinations). The political parties undertake huge efforts to create and perpetuate their own distinctive cultures of remembrance, often through exercising influence in many spheres including education. As there is no dominant national narrative in Lebanon, the conflicting interpretations of the past reinforce antagonisms between different groups of society. All attempts to reform the national history curriculum have failed since 1970 mostly because of their different perspectives on the past. The process of agreeing on a single, national narrative poses a threat to further conflict and can potentially lead to alienation of partisans from political parties. The research study examines the specific cultures of remembrance of each of the parties and identifies common themes and narratives (e.g. glorification of martyrs, adherence to different resistance narratives). Furthermore, it aims at categorizing the symbolic forms and political rituals used by the various political parties to remember the past, and explains the purposes of their cultures of remembrance. It also illustrates their roles, visions and approaches in formal and non-formal education. The evidence was drawn from interviews with political party officials, participant observation at commemorative festivities, observations at ‘lieux de mémoire’ in Lebanon, and analysis of primary sources (party newspapers, etc.). In this study, we argue that having multiple [hi]stories while at the same time critically examining these historical accounts could be a more reasonable and realistic approach to dealing with a violent past that avoids further conflict and encourages dialogue among political groups. This argument is based on the political and cultural diversity of the Lebanese society, which is regarded as a cultural strength. Examining multiple narratives requires a ‘disciplinary approach’ to learning about the past that requires learners to construct conclusions by critically inquiring into various sources of evidence and interpretations of historical events. Political parties in Lebanon could use their influence in the educational domain to adopt this approach not only in their own formal and non-formal education initiatives but also in public schools. In the political domain, the mutual respect for different narratives of the past by all political groups could lessen political tensions. Further research and dialogues can explore new forms of collective memory that are not exclusive and transpire from a shared science of examining different interpretations of the past. (Author's abstract) OP - 51 p. PB - Zouk Mosbeh Notre Dame University - Louaize 2015 PB - Zouk Mosbeh Center for Applied Research in Education (CARE) 2015 PB - Beirut forumZFD 2015 PP - Zouk Mosbeh Notre Dame University - Louaize 2015 PP - Zouk Mosbeh Center for Applied Research in Education (CARE) 2015 PP - Beirut forumZFD 2015 T1 - The power of remembrance : political parties, memory and learning about the past in Lebanon [Book] UL - Full text (PDF) 1 YR - Zouk Mosbeh Notre Dame University - Louaize 2015 YR - Zouk Mosbeh Center for Applied Research in Education (CARE) 2015 YR - Beirut forumZFD 2015