UNESCO launches MOOC in Arabic for Underwater Cultural Heritage

The first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) on Underwater Cultural Heritage (UCH) in Arabic was launched on 24 February 2022, during a Seminar on the Underwater Cultural Heritage (UCH) Education and Outreach in the Arab States organized at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina in Alexandria, Egypt.  This first Arabic MOOC was produced in collaboration with Dr Emad Khalil, Executive Director of the Alexandria University Centre for Maritime Archaeology and Underwater Cultural Heritage (CMAUCH) and UNESCO.

The UCH MOOC in Arabic is a free, self-paced, non-credit bearing Open Educational Resources (OERs). It is intended to get the general Arabic-speaking public interested in maritime archaeology and UCH for life-long learning.

The Alexandria Center for Hellenistic Studies of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina and UNESCO organized this Seminar, with over 100 participants, to launch this online educational and awareness-raising tool. It was also webcast live through Facebook.

The panelists highlighted the importance of UCH protection to reconstruct past cultures and advance climate knowledge, while drawing attention to the growing recognition of the economic contribution of UCH through coastal and marine tourism.  Related activities include beach fishing, scuba diving, snorkeling, and water sports. Coastal and marine tourism brings new experiences to the community, especially young people, and provides an important basis for the Ocean-based Blue Economy, contributing to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

With 12 States Parties to the UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage in the Arab region, the speakers agreed on the importance of developing sustainable UCH education specifically targeting the region and discussed the associated challenges and opportunities. They exchanged views and formulated proposals on how the new tool could effectively be disseminated through regional cooperation. UNESCO stressed its role in facilitating international cooperation to make inclusive and quality Open Educational Resources (OERs) available to all

The UCH MOOC in Arabic is currently accessible on: | UNESCO Open Learning

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