AL-JANA Resource Center (JRC)
The AL-JANA Resource Center (JRC) is a focused research multi-media facility and a community library open to community and cultural activists, NGO facilitators, researchers and young people. It was set up in 1990 and includes thousands of books and magazines, primarily in Arabic and English.
It has the following sections:
A specialized library in resources on applied and performing arts (history, techniques, education) with the following fields of interest: history of art, museums & exhibitions, architecture, traditional and contemporary arts, dancing, music, musical instruments, printing, filmmaking, photography, drawing, animation, Arab culture, Arab poetry, costumes, eating & drinking habits, proverbs, popular literature, technology and applied sciences, philosophy and art theories, and more.
- A children’s literature section, which is used by children and educators. Among the topics featured are Palestine and children, Arabic but also some foreign children’s books, folktales, books on history. These have been sourced from publishers, such as Dar El Fata El Arabi and the Tamer Institute.
While children come to enjoy the library at AL-JANA, the books mostly travel in mobile libraries full of inspiring, educational and also good fun titles, prepared by our librarian, to marginalized communities around Lebanon. There they serve to promote literacy, foster imagination and give children insight into traditions, cultures, folk tales and of course also food.
Reading benefits children in language, literacy and brain development. It stimulates imagination and allows for emotions to be expressed. Reading and storytelling in one’s mother tongue is crucial.
Accordingly, the books ordered are often in line with AL-JANA programs and projects: for example, when a facilitator offers a recycling workshop, or AL-JANA offers filmmaking workshops, our librarian tries to order such titles. AL-JANA Friday Art Club facilitators often take inspiration from books stored in the resource center.
Off of the dozens of titles, some stand out: the Dar al Fata Arabi collection is, “old but gold”, Dar Al-Asala and Dar Al-Shorouk produced good drawings and writing, Dar Onboz and Khayyat Al-Saghir are among the recent stars in the field.
- Audio Library
Arab, classical, and world music section open for listeners. Rare cassettes and vinyls are part of this collection. AL-JANA has a series of recordings on the history of Arabic music and song with commentary by the leading music historian Mr. Elias Sahab in its collection.
- Video library
Open for viewers and comprises of feature and documentary film productions as well as historical footage. Part of this library is also a unique selection of films by children and youth made for children and youth.
- Active Memory Archive
- AL-JANA People’s History and Culture oral testimonies, focus on Palestinian Biographies (99 in total) retells life in Palestine prior to 1948, cultural life in Palestine, the Nakba (Uprooting), folk tales and folk songs, it furthermore captures Palestinian Women’s Experiences in Lebanon such as, the reconstruction of a community under occupation undertaken by women in Ein El-Helweh between 1982 and 1984.
- Children, youths, and women, have collected the testimonies in this archive as part of AL-JANA activities; researchers young and old have used it extensively. This archive has also been the basis for the production of AL-JANA Active Learning resources and cultural manifestations.
The JRC holds magazines in the fields of arts, education, culture and Palestine Studies.
- Recording Studio:
This is a space that is open for youth to record and produce youth culture. The first Palestinian Hip Hop in Lebanon was recorded in this studio.
How to access the JRC:
Students, journalists, researchers, educators and others are welcome to use the AL-JANA’s library and requested to contact the librarian to make prior arrangements. The Librarian can also be reached on 01 819 970. Please note that books may only under special circumstances be given out on loan.