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Al-Nakba: 1948 Palestinian Exodus: Home

The guide was created in support of The Palestinian Oral History Archives Project at AUB Libraries. The guide focuses on the various aspects of historiography of 1948 Palestinian Nakba and highlights selective library resources, projects and websites.

"In 1948 eighty-five percent of Palestinians in the part of Palestine that became Israel were displaced, 675 towns and villages were depopulated while their lands and properties were confiscated. Palestinians refer to this experience as their Nakba"

Dr. Salman Abu-Sitta - The Return Journey

Palestinian Oral History Archive - AUB Project


Documentary series on Al-Nakba from Al-Jazeera English: Episode1; Episode 2; Episode 3; and Episode 4.  
Al-Nakba: 70 years of exile.

For additional documentaries or videos click  here.

Al-Nakba: Resources on the Web

Timeline: major events of Palestine history from 1896 to 1948

"If I were to sum up the [1897] Basle Conference in one word - it would be this: at Basle I founded the Jewish State ..."

Theodor Herzel, Founder of Zionism [from his own diaries]

Major Events of Palestine History from 1887 to 1948

Image result for scroll down icon1887: Palestine divided by Ottomans into the districts (sanjaks) of Jerusalem, Nablus, and Acre.

1896: Publication of Der Jundenstat (The Jewish State) by Theodore Herzl.

1897: First Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland. Basel Declaration: calls for the establishment of a home for Jewish in Palestine.

1901: Establishment of Jewish National Fund. Main idea behind it is to fundraising in the purpose of purchasing land.

1914: First World War starts.

1916: Great Arab Revolt. The revolt was against the Ottoman rule and was initiated by Sharif Hussein in June 1916.

1917: Belfour Declaration.

1918: Battle of Meggido: Palestine occupied by allied forces under British General Allenby.

1919: First Palestinian National Congress in Jerusalem send memoranda to Paris Peace Conference rejecting Balfour Declaration and demanding independence.

1920: Treaty of Sevres.

1920: Founding of Histadrust, a trade union which would organize the economic activities of Jewish workers.

1921: Founding of Haganah, the Zionist's illegal underground military organization.


1933: Adolph Hitler assumes power over Germany.

1936: Beginning of Arab Revolt calling for an end to Jewish immigration and a stop to Jewish ownership of land in Palestine.

1937: Arab Higher Committee rejects the Royal Commission proposal known as Peel Commission.

1938: Palestine Partition Commission (Woodhead Commission)  report declares impracticability of Royal Commission's partition proposal.

1939: World War Two starts.

1942: Biltmore Conference. It recommended an end to British Mandate  and called for the founding of Jewish Commonwealth.




  • UN General Assembly establishes a Special Committee on Palestine - UNSCOP.
  • UN General Assembly votes to partition Palestine by October 1948, resolution 181. UN Proposes the division of Palestine into separate Arab and Jewish states allocating 56.6%  of Palestine to Jewish state and 43% to Arab state with international enclave around Jerusalem.



  • Arab Israeli War of 1948 or Israeli War of Independence ends.
  • Admission of Israel to membership in the United Nations, resolution 273.

Additional Chronology and Timelines

Palestine Land Studies Center (PLSC) at AUB

Inaugural lecture by Dr. Salman Abu Sitta on the foundation of Palestine Land Studies Center (PLSC) at AUB for the documentation and study of Palestine’s Land and People. Click here for more videos. 

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Nabila Shehabeddine
Jafet Library
American University of Beirut
+961-1-350000 ext. 2629

معنى النكبة