Open Discussion at Birzeit Museum - BZU Museum Collections and Potential de-colonial Heritage Practice(s)

Birzeit University Museum, and the Arab Council for Social Sciences Program: New Generation of Social Scientists in the Arab Region held an open discussion under the title Employing Indigenous Methodologies as a Method of Engaging “Heritage” outside of orientalism, on April 27, 2022.

The open discussion, as part of BZU museum’s Hakawi Programing, centered around questions about how to engage Birzeit University’s rich collections, in particular the Tawfiq Canaan Collection, advancing a generative discussion regarding heritage and culture in Palestine, outside of colonial and settler colonial structures that exist to eliminate Indigenous sovereignty.

The Tawfiq Canaan Palestinian Amulet Collection is one of the most important (if not the most important) ethnographic collection in and about Palestine. The Canaan Collection contains more than 1380 pieces that Tawfiq Canaan collected in his life as an ethnographer, a man of medicine, and a local historian. To learn more about the collection, please visit the BZU Museum website:

Rana Barakat, the director of the museum, led the conversation among students, researchers, professors and visitors to the BZU Museum who all worked together to nurture an ongoing conversation regarding heritage, Indigenous methodologies and potential de-colonial practice(s).