Intangible Cultural Heritage

© Alessio Romenzi/ UNESCO Photo Archive, 2011
Fishing culture in Gaza

The UNESCO Office in Ramallah started to work on the safeguarding and promotion of Intangible Heritage in 2005. Technical assistance was delivered to the Ministry of Culture for the preparation of the first candidature file concerning the Palestinian Hikaye (folktales) for the Proclamation of Masterpieces of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. This particular form of oral tradition that entails the transmission of knowledge from women to youth and children through narrations was proclaimed as Masterpiece of Humanity in November 2005. The Palestinian Hikaye was awarded the Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Prize in 2006. Cooperation between UNESCO and the Ministry of Culture for the safeguarding and promotion of Intangible Cultural Heritage continued through the MDG-F programme on “Culture and Development in the occupied Palestinian territory” (2009-12). The programme assisted the Ministry of Culture in initiating the foundation of Palestine National Archive through the development of an inventory related to various forms of intangible cultural heritage, such as traditional, food culture, fishing culture and agricultural knowledge. Palestine has ratified the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003) in December 2011.

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