1 March 2019

Ugur Üngör working on war archive for Syria

Damascus, Syrië © iStockphoto.com
Damascus, Syria © iStockphoto.com

On 27 February, dr. Ugur Üngör (Political history) spoke in Trouw’s deVerdieping on the construction of a war archive for Syria.

Üngör’s mission is to create a comprehensive archive on life in times of war and dictatorship, with as much Syrian testimonials as possible. The archive is intended to serve as a source for future historians, including stories that can make sure that the violence of today will not be forgotten. In order to construct this archive, Üngör learned Arab, so he could talk to victims, as well as offenders of the war in Syria.

Oral History

Learning the Arab language was essential to the creation of the archive, Üngör says. “Syria has a very vocal society. Therefore I approach it from a perspective of ‘oral history’. I let people tell their life stories from their own point of view.” According to Üngör, the only way to get a better understanding of the conflict, is to listen carefully to Syrians.

Ugur Üngör

Dr. Ugur Ümit Üngör. Foto Jussi Puikkonen/KNAW
Dr. Ugur Ümit Üngör. Photo Jussi Puikkonen/KNAW

Ugur Üngör is a historian and is also connected to Institutions for Open Societies, an interdisciplinary research group focused on the development and growth of open societies around the world.