Inauguration of the second edition of the book “The World Heritage of the Arab Countries”

Under the patronage of Her Excellency the Prime Minister of Tunisia, Mrs. Najla Bouden Ramadan, the Arab Regional Center for World Heritage (ARC-WH) inaugurated, on Wednesday, 14 September 2022, the second part of the book “The World Heritage of the Arab Countries” at the National Heritage Institute, Dar Hussein, in the Tunisian capital, Tunis, in the presence of His Excellency Dr. Hayat Qatat Al Garmazi, Minister of Culture of Tunisia, and Her Excellency Sheikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the Arab Regional Center for World Heritage and Director General of the Arab Organization for Education, Culture and Science (ALECSO), Dr. Mohamed Ould Amar, in addition to the presence of high-ranking diplomatic figures and representatives of international organizations.

The book was issued in its second part by ARC-WH, and it was launched at the end of last year at the headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris, France.

Her Excellency Sheikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa stated, “From Tunisia, which bears the heritage of our Arab heritage in its exceptional cultural and natural sites, we are relaunching the World Heritage book of the Arab countries to affirm that documenting our unique heritage is a top priority of our work at the Arab Regional Center.” This year we celebrate the 10th anniversary of its founding, in addition to the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention.” She added, “Through this book, we look forward to providing an official document approved for the World Heritage sites in our Arab region and to contribute to raising awareness of the importance of these sites and their role in strengthening national identity.” She explained that the Arab world has a tangible and intangible heritage that deserves to be recognized by the world, noting the need to unite the efforts of all public and private agencies to preserve it, as it has been exposed, during the past years, to many challenges that affected its protection and preservation.

In her opening speech, Dr. Hayat Qatat Al-Qarmazi confirmed that this book, with its valuable and accurate historical information on all these sites and monuments, will contribute to strengthening the Arab heritage map and valuing all its human, cultural and natural elements to be an essential component for sustainable development and an actual driver of the national economy. The Minister also indicated that this book will be an integral reference for all researchers and those interested in World Heritage to learn more about the archaeological and natural cultural monuments in the Arab region.

In his speech, ALECSO Director General, Dr. Mohamed Ould Amar, praised the joint work of the organization, the Ministry of Cultural Affairs and ARC-WH in preparing this book, which highlights the importance of cooperation between international and Arab institutions, indicating that Arab partnerships are capable of success and facing all challenges and difficulties in order to preserve their history and its ancient civilization.

The book “The World Heritage of the Arab Countries” in its second edition, written in three languages ​​(Arabic, English and French), aims to present and promote the World Heritage sites in the Arab world and disseminate information, which are sites that extend from the Maghreb to the Gulf and vary greatly between sites. The number of cultural and natural sites in the second book is 86, an increase of 20 sites compared to the first edition of the book. These new sites were inscribed on the World Heritage List between 2011 and 2019, reflecting the richness and beauty of heritage found in the Arab world.

The first part of the book was published in 2012 with the cooperation of the Ministry of Culture in Bahrain, UNESCO and ALECSO, with the support of Bahrain. The book has impactful visual content, as it contains remarkable and distinctive photographs and detailed information on Arab sites inscribed on the World Heritage List.

Through the publication of the book “The World Heritage of the Arab Countries”, ARC-WH contributes to highlighting the importance of protecting the diversity that characterizes Arab heritage sites, in addition to investing in the documentation and protection of these sites under the 1972 World Heritage Convention in order to achieve sustainable development. The book’s launch at this high level also contributes to focusing on the nature of cooperation between ARC-WH and all Arab countries and raising awareness of its importance for current and future generations.