Partnerships for Inventorying of Mediterranean Living Heritage

Egypt, Lebanon and Jordan have just taken another step in safeguarding their intangible cultural heritage. After months of meticulous preparation, the three partner countries of the “MedLiHer - Mediterranean Living Heritage” project have just signed partnership agreements with UNESCO for the implementation of national projects focusing on community-based inventorying.

In each country, training will kick off projects. Organized nationally throughout the month of July, the workshops will target primarily field researchers and communities whose cultural heritage will be inventoried. The workshops will begin with a "theoretical" part in which the methodological framework of the inventory will be collectively developed, followed by a field practicum. A day of reflection on lessons learned from the exercise is then foreseen.

During the three months following the training, the research teams will go to meet the communities who are the core of bearing this inventory process. In Lebanon, those will bethe communities of Zajal, a widespread form of poetry across the country, while Egypt and Jordan will work with local communities in the governorates of Damietta and Madaba. The inventory work will concentrate on identifying and involving bearers (individuals, groups or communities) of intangible cultural heritage elements, focusing particularly on their transmission and present day function.

All data collected will be systematized and digitized, while a film and a photographic exhibition will make this experience available to national and international audiences.

The targeted inventorying exercises will enable the three countries to develop, on a pilot basis, a methodology which could then be applied on a wider scale to safeguard other expressions of their living heritage.

The workshops and inventory activities are part of Phase III of the MedLiHer project, supported by the European Union and UNESCO, which aims at promoting the implementation of the Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt.

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