29.10.2016 - UNESCO Office in Beirut

"World Heritage in Young Hands," a workshop in Damascus

Within the current exceptional circumstances in the Middle East, UNESCO Regional Office in Beirut organized, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education in the Syrian Arab republic and the Syrian National Commission for UNESCO a training of the trainers’ workshop addressed to the educational advisors and Coordinators, on the use of the educational Kit "World Heritage in Young Hands". In addition, it coincides with the participation in the campaign "#Unite4Heritage" from the heart of the capital, Damascus, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in history, rich in ancient cultural heritage.

Since Heritage is the most important thing to convey to future generations in order to remain committed to their country and their community, and since Education and Knowledge are two of the most important sustainable development goals for the UNESCO, being both the primary means to transfer this Heritage, which is a continuous effort for life and a fortune that cannot be compensated, this training activity, "World Heritage in Young Hands" workshop, came as an invitation for teachers from various disciplines in order to engage their students into knowledge and to pass this knowledge for future generations.

At the opening of the training of the trainers’ workshop, Engineer Joseph Kreidi, the programme officer for culture, at UNESCO office in Beirut, saw that "the embrace of Damascus for this workshop gives it special importance. This great city is full of distinctive heritage monuments and landmarks, as the old city of Damascus which is listed on the World Heritage List since the year 1979 "as Kreidi emphasized the importance of introducing the concept of the protection of world Heritage in educational programs worldwide, and highlighted the role of teachers and their contribution to pass this knowledge to their students, and acknowledging the importance of this role, UNESCO could better transmit ,the message of the World Heritage Convention to the world, and to the millions of young people who will become the decisions-makers of the future.

Mr. Kreidi also said that the objectives of the campaign "#Unite4Heritage” is to raise awareness because of the urgent need to protect the Cultural Heritage in peacetime as well as in time of war, and the celebration of cultural diversity, and to provide an alternative to violent propaganda disseminated by extremist groups trying to justify their practices across their use of various media - especially social media. He also stressed on "the need to strengthen our solidarity with the World's Cultural Heritage - and with the Syrian’s in particular, and to work together united in order to preserve it for future generations."

For his part, HE Dr. Hazwan Al-Wazz, the Minister of Education in the Syrian Arab Republic, highlighted the importance of this workshop for teachers so that educational kit is transformed to a valuable tool for them, through which they can raise young people senses on the importance of keeping the national local and global heritage and provide them with the necessary skills to do so. He also added that holding such workshops comes as an embodiment of the World Heritage Convention, pointing out that heritage education is actually a dynamic process that represents the four pillars of learning for the twenty first Century: learning to know, learning to do, learning to live with others and learn to be. "

Dr. Nidal Hasan, secretary general of the Syrian National Commission for UNESCO, has confirmed that the cooperation with the UNESCO office in Beirut is solid and continuous, in order to realize and support the plans for both Ministries of Education and Culture in Syria.

It is noteworthy that this workshop was concluded for three days (from 25 to 27 October 2016) including a field visit to the Old City of Damascus. The themes that were discussed are: The World Heritage Convention, the World Heritage and Identity, World Heritage and tourism, World Heritage and the environment and world heritage and a culture of peace.

Participants in this workshop were advisors and professors from the provinces of Damascus, Homs, Hama, Soweidaa, Hasaka and Aleppo, in addition a second training of the trainers’ workshop will be organized from 8 to 10 November 2016 to include educational advisors and professors from the rest of the eleven provinces (Al Koneytra, Latakia, Tartous, Daraa and Rural Damascus).

Please click HERE to watch a short video report about this event.

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