The Ministry of Culture organized, tonight, a symposium entitled “20 years since the establishment of the 2003 Convention for the Protection of the Intangible Cultural Heritage”, as part of the cultural events at the 32nd session of the Doha International Book Fair, which is currently being held at the Doha Exhibition and Conferences Center under the slogan “Through Reading, We Rise”.

The symposium was attended by His Excellency Sheikh Abdul Rahman bin Hamad Al Thani, the Minister of Culture, and a group of intellectuals and the audience of the exhibition

Speaking during the symposium were Dr. Nasser bin Hamad Al-Hanzab, the Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), HE Mr. Salah El-Din Zaki Khaled, Director the of the UNESCO Regional Office for the Arab Gulf States and Yemen in Doha, and Mr. Mohammad Saeed Al-Balushi, Expert Heritage in the Ministry of Culture, and managed by writer and journalist Jassim Salman.

At the outset, Dr. Nasser Al-Hanzab spoke about the history of the UNESCO and its most important goals in maintaining international peace and security through education and culture, pointing out that the State of Qatar, since its accession to UNESCO in 1972, has become a key player at the international level to promote international peace and security through education, culture and other sectors. other.

His Excellency reviewed the interest of the State of Qatar in achieving the goals of the Qatar National Vision 2030, and how this vision meets the directives of UNESCO, as the national vision clearly enshrined the concept of culture as one of the sources of development on the one hand and the preservation of traditions and values ​​on the other hand, referring to the accession of the State of Qatar to the Convention for the Safeguarding of Cultural Heritage. intangible in 2008, keeping in mind at the same time that there are two international agreements concerned with heritage, one of which is the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Heritage, which was signed in 1972, and the other is the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Underwater Heritage of 2001.

The Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the “UNESCO” also spoke about Qatar’s current membership in the World Heritage Committee, which consists of 21 countries, stressing on the support of the State of Qatar to the UNESCO in all sectors, and one of its most important contributions to the establishment of the Emergency Fund for the Protection of World Heritage with a donation of ten million dollars. During Qatar’s hosting of the thirty-eighth session of the World Heritage Committee 2014.

Dr. Nasser Al-Hanzab stressed on Qatar’s interest in recording the elements of heritage, whether shared with other countries or the national heritage, in coordination with the Gulf and Arab countries, referring in this regard to the signing of the Ministry of Culture, in conjunction with the opening of the Doha International Book Fair, a cooperation agreement with the Saudi Ministry of Culture to coordinate and cooperate in achieving These goals, pointing out that one of the most important files on which the Ministry of Culture is currently based is the Bisht, which emerged globally during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, as well as the Qatari Ardha.

Also, in his speech, he addressed the most important challenges facing cultural heritage, whether tangible or intangible, such as wars, conflicts, climate change, and others.

For his part, His Excellency Mr. Salah El-Din Zaki Khaled, the Director of the UNESCO Regional Office for the Arab Gulf States and Yemen in Doha, expressed his thanks to the Ministry of Culture, which allocated a pavilion at the Doha International Book Fair to display UNESCO publications and publications.

He spoke about the importance of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, and stressed on the fact that the State of Qatar is a long-term partner of UNESCO, especially in the 2003 agreement, since its ratification in September 2008, Qatar has launched many initiatives to promote living heritage in Qatar, and to promote cross-border cooperation in this field, pointing out that all four elements included in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity were presented, with the participation of the State of Qatar as multinational nominations, and in cooperation with other countries. A symbol of generosity, and the council is a cultural and social space.

He explained that the continuous cooperation between the UNESCO office in Doha and the Ministry of Culture resulted in the implementation of a number of trainings related to capacity building for workers in the field of intangible cultural heritage, including training in preparing periodic reports and community inventory of intangible heritage, in addition to participating in organizing events, with the aim of raising awareness. The importance of preserving the intangible cultural heritage among the young generations, as well as participating in seminars aimed at introducing Qatari culture.

He added that 20 years after the adoption of the 2003 Convention, more than 180 countries have become parties to the Convention, which highlights the growing interest by the States Parties, and the ways they propose to win the culture of different societies, and to protect the cultural diversity of oral traditional peoples, their social practices, and ceremonial events.

In his turn, Mr. Mohammad Saeed Al Balushi, a heritage expert at the Ministry of Culture, discussed the ministry’s efforts in preserving the Qatari heritage and collecting heritage, which came as a continuation of previous efforts initiated by the Qatari Book House since its inception in the fifties of the last century, then radio and television, to come to the role of the Department of Culture and Arts in the ministry through a department Popular arts and industries, where many materials were collected, then came the experience of the Folklore Center for the Gulf States in Doha, to support and strengthen these efforts through the accession of the State of Qatar in 2008 to the Convention for the Preservation and Protection of Heritage 2003, whereby the State of Qatar, since its accession, carried out a national inventory of the elements Heritage, and committees were formed to study the elements that can be registered from the National Heritage List, which cover the five axes included in the agreement, reviewing the most important files registered on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List so far.

He said that the Ministry of Culture is currently working on preparing new files, the most important of which are the Sadu, Henna, and Arabic Calligraphy files, and the last two have been completed for registration. As for Sadu, Qatari Ardha or Al-Razif, which is purely Qatari, as well as Bisht and some types of popular food are currently in the process of being registered, pointing out that there are joint files with other countries, or purely Qatari files, and thus appreciated the efforts of the Ministry of Culture in preserving the Qatari heritage and spreading cultural awareness of the importance of preserving it.

It is worth mentioning that the Doha International Book Fair will be held from the 12th to the 21st of June at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center, with the participation of more than 500 publishers from 37 countries, and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will be the guest of honor this year.