Analyzing Evidence presents case studies that demonstrate how scholars interpret different kinds of historical evidence in world history. This module is based on a series of oral history interviews conducted in the mid-1990s. The interviewees were Palestinian women who grew up under the British Mandate and were active in the Palestinian Women’s Movement. Analyzing the interviews offers an important look at the lives of these women, who were often educated and very active in their communities, and at the process of working with oral history.

Read the excerpt on this page of an oral history interview taken by Professor Ellen Fleischmann. In it, Sa’ida Jarallah, one of the first Palestinian Muslim women to study abroad, discusses her life, especially the social and cultural aspects of growing up as a young woman in the 1930s. Now look at the photograph of Palestinian women activists. Do these sources change any stereotypes you may have had about Muslim women in the Middle East? What clues do they provide about the lives of these women? How did they negotiate traditional values, Western styles of dress and leisure, and British rule?

Now listen to Professor Ellen Fleischmann discuss these oral history interviews and the process of conducting and drawing meaning from them.

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