UNESCO’s participation in Doha Book Fair 31

On Thursday 20th/Jan, UNESCO Office for GCC &Yemen was invited to participate in the cultural activities of Doha International Book Fair in its 31st edition for the year 2022.  A UNESCO office representative along with Mr. Hamad Hamdan Al-Muhandi, an intangible cultural heritage expert, took part in a session organized by the Qatari National Commission for UNESCO titled, “Registration of joint files on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity (ICH) at UNESCO.”

The UNESCO office representative presented a paper on,” The UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage 2003: The Vibrant Spirit of the Past.” During the presentation, it was highlighted the significance of this convention for safeguarding ICH of humanity, gave an overview of the convention’s articles and lists and the register of good safeguarding practices as well as the cycle of nomination along with other issues related to the convention and its implementation.

Together with the second presenter Mr. Hamad Hamdan Al-Muhandi, it was stressed on the important role the UNESCO played in building capacity of heritage practitioners in Qatar especially in implementing workshops in ICH documentation and trainings on preparing the nomination files.

The presentations were followed with a short discussion with the attendees facilitated by Dr. Ali Afifi, a researcher on modern and contemporary history, who raised some questions and concerns about UNESCO’s works and the role of state parties which ratified the convention as well as challenges that are facing actors in implementing the convention.

As a closure remark, the UNESCO representative encouraged heritage actors to update the inventory of Qatari ICH as well as taking more serious actions and policies to actively involve youth and women in safeguarding ICH.

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