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    New 66 Cultural Sites Inscribed on Islamic World Heritage List

    14 December 2020

    The 3rd Session of the Islamic World Heritage Committee was held yesterday at the invitation of Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, ICESCO Director-General (DG). The videoconference brought together the representatives of the following Member States: Kuwait, Iraq, Mauritania, Pakistan, Indonesia, Uzbekistan, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, and Nigeria.

    At the opening session, Dr. Mohamed Zinelabidine, Head of Culture and Communication Sector at ICESCO, welcomed and thanked the Committee’s members for answering the invitation. He highlighted the important role of the Committee in protecting historic, civilizational, and natural landmarks and the cultural elements in the Islamic world during this global crisis triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Dr. Zinelabidine also reviewed ICESCO’s “Roads to the Future” Program, which represents the flagship cultural action in the Islamic world embodying its new vision of heritage and culture from a new dynamic and renewable basis. The program combines the various elements of cultural identity in the Islamic world with particular attention to the preservation of its richness and cultural diversity.

    Dr. Waleed Hamad Al-Seef, Chairman of the Committee and representative of Kuwait, took the floor and thanked ICESCO and the Committee’s Secretariat and members for their willingness to hold this extraordinary meeting. To give substance to the efforts of the Committee, Dr. Al-Seef suggested the preparation of a book titled “Heritage in the Islamic World” to commemorate the 1st Anniversary of the Islamic World Heritage Center as a registry of the Islamic countries’ heritage of civilizational and human value. The committee members favorably accepted the proposal.

    The Committee examined the agenda of its meeting and came out with the following unanimous decisions:

    – The inscription of 22 elements on the Islamic World Heritage List (ISWHL) from 6 Member States, namely UAE, Afghanistan, Palestine, Yemen, Morocco, and Oman;

    – the inscription of 44 elements on the Tentative List of Heritage in the Islamic World from 6 Member States: Palestine, Oman, Iraq, Burkina Faso, Jordan, and Kuwait.

    Likewise, the Committee issued several recommendations, most notably the adoption of ICESCO’s Initiative on the annual celebration of the Month of Islamic World Heritage from April 18 (the World Heritage Day) to May 18 (the International Museum Day). The committee also mandated the General Secretariat to set up a fact-finding committee, under the supervision of ICESCO, to assess damages at heritage sites and cultural institutions in Nagorno-Karabakh region in Azerbaijan; and the call for dedicating a program on digital cultural economy under ICESCO’s “Roads to the Future” program.

    The Committee called the Member States to engage in ICESCO’s support program to the museums affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and learn from ICESCO’s intensive training sessions on the management of crises and disasters for the benefit of the staff of the heritage sites and museums in the Member States.

    At the close of the meeting, the Committee thanked ICESCO General Directorate for the initiative to hold the extraordinary meeting and lauded its efforts and commitment to heritage protection and its management as a priority under its projects and programs. The committee also commended the Organization’s willingness to develop the Committee’s action and maintain the periodic conduct of its meetings.

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