QM Celebrates 10th Year Anniversary of Inscription of Al Zubarah Archeological Site as UNESCO World Heritage Site

Qatar Museums (QM) celebrated the 10th anniversary of inscription of Al Zubarah Archeological Site as the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site.

This came during QM’s participation in the 45th Session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee, hosted by Saudi Arabia until September 25.

In his speech on the sidelines of the celebration, HE Ambassador of the State of Qatar to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Bandar bin Mohammed Al Attiyah said it is a pleasure to meet at this important event to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the inscription of Al Zubarah as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

This unique event is organized in tandem with Saudi Arabia’s hosting of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee meeting, which reflects Saudi Arabia’s importance and value at the international level, His Excellency added.

He said that the gathering is taking place in the heart of the Arabian Peninsula in Saudi Arabia which shares culture and history with Qatar, pointing out that this region also has many values included in UNESCO’s Constitution, in addition to the cultural dimensions it holds that are deeply rooted in history.

World heritage, whether natural or cultural, is considered important for Qatar in the national and international policies, Al Attiyah said, adding that world heritage helps build bridges of communication between peoples, which is also one of the pillars of achieving sustainable development that meets with Qatar National Vision 2030.

Al Attiyah stated that holding the 45th Session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Riyadh has a special meaning for Qataris, which further strengthens the fraternal relations between the two countries and their brotherly peoples due to the kinship ties. As I mentioned before, we share many cultural elements with our brothers in the Kingdom, he added.

His Excellency noted that Qatar and Saudi Arabia’s Ministries of Culture recently signed an agreement to strengthen many partnerships in the cultural and creative sectors and related industries.

On her part, the Head of the UNESCO Department at the Qatar National Commission for Education, Culture and Science Sheikha Aisha bint Mubarak Al-Thani said that Al Zubarah is one of the most important archaeological sites in Qatar. It is considered a model for coastal cities in the Arabian Gulf in the late eighteenth century and the beginning of the nineteenth century.

Al Zubarah is also a center for fishing and pearl trade, as it is located in Al Shamal municipality which is listed in the UNESCO Global Network of Learning cities. It is also located within the Al Reem Biosphere Reserve which further adds value to it, she explained.

The Qatar National Commission works alongside stakeholders to link the national networks affiliated with UNESCO to contribute to achieving strategic plans for national reserves and sites, she added.

Head of the UNESCO Department at the Qatar National Commission for Education, Culture and Science Sheikha Aisha bint Mubarak Al-Thani said that the State of Qatar is keen on protecting all manifestations of cultural heritage due to their being an integral part of the country’s identity and a reflection of its cultural heritage. She pointed out that Qatar has ratified a number of international agreements concerned with the protection of culture, adding that state institutions are studying the possibility of adding several archaeological and natural sites to regional and world heritage lists.

The role of the Qatar National Commission for Education, Culture, and Science is precisely to serve that objective, by providing support and advice to state institutions. In an effort to enhance national directives and priorities, in addition to materializing the Qatar National Vision 2030, the Qatar National Commission for Education, Culture, and Science played a significant role in Qatar ratifying the Convention Concerning the Protection of World Cultural and Natural Heritage of 1985, adopted in 1972 at the 17th session of the General Conference of UNESCO, whereby historical and natural sites are labeled common heritage of mankind; an effective tool to address the many challenges and issues that heritage sites face.

Qatar National Commission for Education, Culture, and Science supported the inscription of Al Zubarah Archeological Site as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013. Moreover, the National Commission supported in cooperation with the Qatar Museums Authority and stakeholders, the implementation of the strategic plan for the Al Zubarah Archaeological Site.

Archaeological sites and historical monuments are among the fundamental and stimulating tributaries of cultural tourism, creating a sustainable cultural tourism industry and obtaining optimal investment for it.

Qatar’s permanent representative to UNESCO Dr. Nassir bin Hamad Al Hinzab said that since the inscription of the Al Zubarah Archaeological Site on the UNESCO World Heritage List, the State of Qatar has aided the work of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre and the World Heritage Committee in dealing with contemporary issues, such as countering climate change and achieving the sustainable development goals. He added that Qatar empowered young people to manage heritage sites as set out by the Qatar National Vision 2030, which charted the way for establishing the State of Qatar’s cultural and social capabilities.

For his part, acting CEO of Qatar Museums Mohammed Saad Al Rumaihi said: “Under the patronage and leadership of HE Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of Qatar Museums Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, we strive to preserve cultural heritage and archaeological sites and preserve the properties of the cultural and historical offerings of Qatar. We also support continued cooperation of all experts in this field to exchange experiences between all organisations. Over the past ten years, Qatar Museums has made great efforts to develop and preserve Al Zubarah Archaeological site, which will preserve the authenticity and integrity of the Historical city.”

Director of International Cooperation and Government Affairs at Qatar Museums Dr. Fatema Al Sulaiti said that celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Al Zubarah Archaeological Site enhances Qatar Museums efforts and other concerned institutions in Qatar to preserve this world heritage site. These efforts express the effective role played by the State of Qatar on a global level, as a member of the World Heritage Committee.

The event is a testament to Qatar’s commitment to preserving its cultural heritage and promoting its historical significance on the global stage. It seeks to cultivate a sense of pride and ownership among local and global communities in safeguarding this remarkable historical site for future generations.

Source: Qatar News Agency

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