The organisation of a lecture on the World Heritage Convention and preservation of cultural and natural heritage of Arab countries

The Arab Regional Center for World Heritage (ARC-WH), in cooperation with the Bahrain Society for Training & Development, hosted a lecture on the 1972 World Heritage Convention, presented by the Center’s advisor, Dr. Mounir Bouchenaki, in the presence of the Society’s President, Dr. Nawal Al-Dosari, as well as a number of members of the Society and student volunteers.

Dr. Mounir Bouchenaki welcomed the attendees, saying that increasing the awareness of the importance of cultural and natural heritage and the role of the World Heritage Convention is part of ARC-WH’s strategy, which is aimed at promoting the preservation of heritage in the Arab region.  He thanked the Bahrain Society for Training & Development for its cooperation in organising the lecture.

During his lecture, Dr. Bouchenaki mentioned various World Heritage sites around the world, which has so far reached 1157 sites (natural, cultural and mixed), pointing out that the Arab region makes up a low amount of these sites, reaching only 90 sites, despite the density and richness of tangible cultural heritage in the region.  Dr. Bouchenaki spoke about the role of ARC-WH in supporting Arab States Parties in implementing the 1972 World Heritage Convention, improving their representation on the World Heritage List, and providing material and technical support to the concerned authorities of World Heritage in the region.

Moreover, he explained that ARC-WH seeks to involve the youth in heritage preservation efforts, referring to the “Arab Youth for Heritage” initiative and the “My Heritage” competition launched by the Center to shed light on the relationship of local communities, especially young people, with World Heritage sites by encouraging them to produce short films about the sites they live around.

Dr. Mounir Bouchenaki concluded his lecture by discussing the efforts of ARC-WH to provide the Arab Library with many researches, publications and translations of materials and books specialised in the field of World Heritage to assist Arab specialists towards enhancing their knowledge in this field in addition to touching upon the Centre’s capacity-building activities, in which the number of participants since the establishment of ARC-WH in 2012, has reached over 1900 participants.