“Some people firmly believe that Gaza City has no deep-rooted heritage or history. At the Project-Based Learning Programme, we can prove the contrary; we can look up Gaza’s ancient legacy and introduce it to the public.” Such were the words of Nora Aswad, a student participant at the project “Ancient Gaza”, during a workshop recently held at the Educational Research and Development Programme (ERDP) in Gaza. The project is led by Ahlam Shaldan, a teacher at The Rimal Preparatory School for Girls, and a group of young girls among her students.
The workshop was organized within the framework of Shaldan’s participation at the Project-Based Professional Development Programme, run by ERDP in Gaza.
Through the “Ancient Gaza” Project, Shaldan attempts with her students to explore and build new concepts in terms of reading physical space and building Palestinian collective memory, especially that which is related to ‘ancient Gaza’.
During the workshop, Shaldanprojected a number ofdocumentary films about old Gaza, including “Gaza City: the Oldest Land Humanity Has Ever Trodden”. Students discussed the film in light of the research they had previously conducted on the materials, photographs and news articles they had gathered on little-known archeological sites in Gaza, such as Blakhiyahand the ancient port of Anthedon.They also visited the Programme library to learn further about its collections and look for resources to support their project.
At the end of the workshop, students decided to start researching a new area that drew their interest, that is, “Mosaics and their relationship to Gaza’s people, time and space,” and to collect information about new valuable resources on the subject.