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  • The recently built Palestine museum in Birzeit in the occupied territories.

    The recently built Palestine museum in Birzeit in the occupied territories. | Photo: Twitter / @hackpeace

Published 19 May 2016

On the 68th anniversary of the Nakba, the first Palestinian national museum meant to preserve the history and culture of Palestinians, officially opens.

The first institution of its kind, a Palestinian national museum, has opened its doors Wednesday in the West Bank after almost 20 years of planning and construction which is aimed at preserving the memory of the embattled people of Palestine.

Deemed a “safe place for unsafe ideas," the museum will feature documentaries, activities and exhibitions focused on Palestinians, with the first one set to open in October.

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At the inauguration of the US$28 million museum built in the West Bank, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the museum will preserve the memory of the Palestinian people.

"What we have to do is build state institutions. This state and these institutions are being built now, thank God. The only thing left is declaring independence,” Abbas said, as published in the Middle East Eye.

Built on land donated by Birzeit University, the museum was funded partly by Taawon-Welfare Association, a Palestinian non-profit organisation, who came up with the idea of the museum back in 1997.

Because of how difficult it is for Palestinians to move throughout the occupied West Bank and the Gaza strip, as well as the many in the Palestinian diaspora who can’t return, museum organizers say that they will feature an “electronic platform” for Palestinians everywhere.

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