Lydda-A Garden Disremembered

A. M. Qattan Foundation in cooperation with Birzeit University Museum

Curatorial Committee: Vera Tamari, Iyad Issa, Amer Shomali, Ziad Haj Ali, Yazid Anani, Abed Alrahman Shabaneh

Opening: Thursday 4 October 2018 at 1pm

Exhibition continues until 15 January 2019

Birzeit University Museum, Birzeit

Lydda is a divided city that has gone through a long-engineered process of displacement of its native Palestinian inhabitants especially since the Nakba (Palestinian exodus) of 1948. The city was planned to be a modern utopian garden city during the British Mandate by Clifford Holliday and Otto Polcheck and was intended to host only British colonisers; it was, however, looked upon with an Orientalist gaze for preserving its underdeveloped biblical landscape in areas where the local population lived. It offered a strategic train junction that connected North Africa with Lebanon and Syria, and through its airport, military and civilian flights connected the city with the rest of the world.


Artists are invited to examine the controversies and analogies dealing with the imported British colonial planning paradigm and what that entails from post-industrial spatial forms and ethos, the transformation of Lydda to an ethnically cleansed and segregated city that had been despotically altered and the systematic racial planning policies that aimed at disempowering and suppressing Palestinian communities in favour of Jewish immigrants. Do the now displaced Lyddans carry platonic memories of their city? Perhaps not the paradise garden forseen by Holliday and Polcheck , but a city of once historical and social coherence where harmony has now  been replaced by chaos and violence.


Researchers: Hadeel Yaqoup, Manal Massalha, Razan Khalaf, Tareq Khalaf.

Artists: Alexandra Brunt, Luca Vanello, Mahdi Baraghithi, Maria Kaik, May Herbawe, Tina Willgren.



5th of October 2018

10:00 am – 5:00 pm

A M Qattan New Building, Al Tireh, Ramallah

Participating groups: Diverse

Open to the public

Lydd Walk

10th of October 2018

An alternative political tour to discover the city of Lydd and its Palestinian history.


The walk program

The tour starts at Lydd central bus station



The bus tour begins with a visit to the Mahatta neighbourhood to discover the history of the neighborhood, the Nakba in the context of Lydd and the current situation of the residents.


11:45 am

Apartheid regime in the city
 Shnir Orchard- Apartheid wall separating the neighbourhoods of Shnir and Moshav Nir Tzvi, and Ghani Aviv neighbourhood.

1:15 pm
Lunch break

The settlement project and the Judaization of the city. (Eliashiv Project)

3:00 pm
A short bus tour between different neighborhoods.

Meeting with local leaders and activists to learn about the city and the conditions of its Palestinian residents.

End of tour

About the tour guide: Khalil Abu Shehadeh, a social and political activist from Mahatta neighbourhood, and an organizer of alternative political tours in the cities of Lydd, Ramla and Jaffa.


Saturday 13.10.2018

2 - 3pm

Reading from the book: In the Land of My Birth: a Palestinian Boyhood by Reja-e Busailah

Reading by: Abed Al Rahman Shabaneh

Birzeit University Museum


Saturday 27.10.2018

2-3 pm

Talk: Lydda refugees and the commercial industrial history of Ramallah 

Speaker: Naser Rumanneh

Birzeit University Museum


​© 2018 Qalandiya International

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