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    IWHC Extraordinary Meeting kicks off at ISESCO headquarters

    2 December 2019

    Today, the Extraordinary Meeting of the Islamic World Heritage Committee (IWHC) kicked off at the headquarters of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) in Rabat, and will convene over the course of two days.

    In the ISESCO address he gave at the opening session, Mr. Najib Rhiati, Director of Culture at ISESCO, warned that the List of World Heritage in Danger includes 37 sites in the Islamic world, out of the List’s 54 sites, accounting for about 70% of the sites in danger. “Our mission today is to build a new system capable of building capacities to safeguard and rehabilitate our cultural and civilizational heritage to contribute more strongly in our countries’ respective socio-economic development”, the ISESCO official noted.

    Likewise, Mr. Rhiati reaffirmed that ISESCO’s new vision directs greater attention to promoting the efforts exerted in safeguarding, rehabilitating and investing in cultural heritage by focusing on programmes and activities that aim to give heritage its due importance and promote its role in consolidating cultural identity and achieving socio-economic development.

    These goals are in harmony with the contents of the recommendations issued by the IWHC Eighth Meeting, which stressed the need to direct more attention to safeguarding this heritage, and create contracts between the governmental sectors in charge of heritage, specialized international bodies, and the organizations of civil society operating in this field to draw a participatory roadmap with complementary roles. The Committee also recommended the inscription of more cultural heritage sites on the Islamic World Heritage List (IWHL), the creation of ISESCO’s Web Portal for Historic Landmarks and Archeological Sites in the Islamic World, and the proclamation of a museum week in the Islamic world.

    On another note, during the opening session, Dr. Waleed Alsaif, the IWHC Chair, welcomed the meeting’s participants and extended his thanks to ISESCO and its General Directorate for holding this extraordinary meeting in the best conditions, and commended the Organization’s intention to inscribe one hundred (100) new heritage site on the Islamic World Heritage List.

    Afterwards, Dr. Ezzedin Al-Asbahi, Ambassador of the Republic of Yemen, gave a presentation on “heritage and reserves in the Republic of Yemen: reality and challenges”.

    A group photo of the participants was taken prior to proceeding to the meeting’s working sessions.

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