Press release

Working with Communities for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Qatar

Doha, 21 February 2021 - Today, the UNESCO Office for the GCC and Yemen, in partnership with the Qatari National Commission for UNESCO and the Ministry of Culture and Sports launched an online workshop on “Inventories of the Intangible Cultural Heritage with the Participation of Communities”. This initiative is taking place in the framework of UNESCO’s continued support to safeguard Qatar’s living heritage, in line with the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.
UNESCO is extremely pleased to respond to the request of the Qatari National Commission and Ministry of Culture and Sports and organise this training to further build national capacities and update its inventories of intangible cultural heritage.
Dr Anna Paolini, Director of the UNESO Office for the GCC and Yemen
The safeguarding of intangible heritage in line with UNESCO’s standard-setting guidelines is a fundamental process and cannot take place without the involvement of the communities which bear this invaluable part of our collective identity. The State of Qatar provides unlimited support for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage and I thank UNESCO for its continued support in this area.
Her Excellency Dr Hamda Al-Sulaiti, Secretary-General of the UNESCO Qatari National Commission

Her Excellency Sheikha Najla Al Thani, Director of Heritage and Identity Department at the Ministry of Culture and Sports highlighted the importance organizing such a workshop amidst this rapidly changing context and the COVID-19 pandemic, which is impacting communities and the intangible cultural heritage practices among them. 

 

Qatar ratified the 2003 Convention in 2008 and has three elements inscribed on the Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity: Falconry, a living human heritage (2016), Arabic coffee, a symbol of generosity (2015), and Majlis, a cultural and social space (2015)

 

Inventories are integral to the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage as per the 2003 Convention because they can raise awareness about intangible cultural heritage and its importance for individual and collective identities. The process of inventorying intangible cultural heritage and making those inventories accessible to the public can also encourage creativity and self-respect in the communities and individuals where expressions and practices of intangible cultural heritage originate. Inventories can also provide a basis for formulating concrete plans to safeguard the intangible cultural heritage concerned.

At the end of this first ever workshop in Qatar, which will take place from 21 to 28 February 2021, the trained group of participants including from the Ministry of Culture and Sports, Qatar Museums, National Commission and other identified institutions, should be fully equipped to engage in designing and conducting community-based inventorying in the State of Qatar.
Junaid Sorosh-Wali, Head of the Culture Unit at UNESCO Office for GCC and Yemen

Professor Annie Thome Tabet and Dr. Maissoun Sharqawi, from the Global Network of Facilitators, will deliver the pieces of training based on their experience, which they have gained through extensive training provided previously by UNESCO.

 

For more information about the UNESCO 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage, please visit: https://ich.unesco.org/ 

 

For more information on this activity, please contact: Junaid Sorosh-Wali, Head of the Culture Unit at UNESCO Office for GCC and Yemen, at j.sorosh@unesco.org and/or Georges Khawam, Culture Programme Assistant, at g.khawam@unesco.org.