Project Description    The Team     

Project Description

After over twenty years of lobbying on the issue of the Syrian army occupation, SOAL is a must for only through systematic gathering of data and of creating public debate in creative ways can we address one of the most important dimensions of the Lebanese war (1975-1990) which so far has received little attention. We intend to open SOAL on the 26th of April 2012, as a remembrance to the date the last Syrian army occupation forces withdrew from Lebanon.  The project is tentatively divided into four different types of activities, each activity in its own way helps produce knowledge on Syrian occupation and its consequences in Lebanon.

1) Creation of a museum

The goal is to hold various exhibitions in the museum which speak to a wide audience and help create awareness of the various dimensions of the Syrian occupation such as the complexity of collaboration and resistance to occupation. Activities such as video installations, paintings, exhibition of material culture, art competitions form the core of this section.

2) Academic section

The goal here is to create networks of local and international academics working on the history and politics of the occupation as well as producing objective knowledge showing the complexity, tensions, and consequences of the occupation. Short (4 weeks) and long-term (10 weeks) grants will be given to local and international graduate students working on MA and PhD thesis related to the issue of the Syrian occupation. We ask each fellow to give a public lecture during their term on the research subject tailored to a non-academic educated audience. Every two months we also invite prominent scholars to give public lectures related to the topic. Academic conferences and workshops will also be held every two years. We will work with well-known international academic publishing houses to produce regularly edited volumes from the best papers presented at workshops, conferences, and public talks given.

3) Library and bookstore

To disseminate knowledge for activists, academics, and the general audience interested in the subject of occupation we propose to create a library and a bookstore where books and archival material (such as newspaper articles) are made available to the public. Every two weeks we will hold a book discussion session in the library on the topic of occupation in Lebanon and elsewhere in the world. Language of the bimonthly session is English. 

4) Social history of the occupation/Education and training

Creating a database on the everyday life under occupation through oral history methods is one of the main goals of this section. Special attention will be given to women and children in this project. Women played a major role during the occupation serving both as collaborators and participating in resistance against Syrian military in Lebanon. Mothers and wives often suffered from enforced disappearances of their male family members. Many were also often forced to work as prostitutes under occupation. We also envision addressing the issue of occupation by engaging children through plays and by producing history material for schools. Finally, through workshops and talks we would like to create dialogue with institutions dealing with the Israeli occupation of Lebanon and discuss similarities and differences between these two types of occupation.

The Team

Ghazi Aad

He earned his BA from the American University of Beirut and began his human rights activism during the civil war when he witnessed how the Syrian army engaged in enforced disappearances. As the director of SOLIDE he has been working closely with local and international humanitarian organizations and has given lectures on this subject at universities and conferences around the world. For all questions related to SOLIDE, the political work of SOAL, for invitations for lectures and seminars, and for contacts to families of victims of enforced disappearance please contact him at

Download his complete C.V.

Roschanack Shaery 

She received her PhD at the University of Chicago in 2005 and is currently completing a book on the Lebanese detainees in Syria. She first met with Solide team in June 2011 as she was conducting interviews for her new book project and following months of conversations the idea of SOAL emerged. Next to her academic position at the Max Planck Institute in Göttingen/Germany she is co-director of SOAL. For questions regarding institutional affiliations with SOAL, research affiliations, practical trainings, book donations, organization of workshops and conferences, academic support and information on our archives, and for invitations to academic lectures please contact her at

Download her complete C.V.

Board of advisors of SOAL: (To be announced)

Institutional Affiliations of SOAL: (To be announced)