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Dates: 4 – 27 October 2016

Place: ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre in Sharjah, UAE

Course Partners

  • ICCROM, through its ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre in Sharjah, UAE
  • Government of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates


Background and Aims

In response to political upheavals and the subsequent need for emergency preparedness in the Arab region, ICCROM-ATHAR offers this course on “Risk Management of Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis.” It is designed for heritage and other relevant professionals in the Arab region, and provides tools that support risk management before, during, and after a crisis.

The course is based on the achievements, success and experiences acquired in a series of international courses on “First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis” developed by ICCROM since 2010, first with emphasis on conflict situations and then addressing other types of complex emergencies.


Why This Course?

New lessons are learned with each crisis or conflict situations that affect sites and artefacts of cultural significance. Risk management is a systematic process that helps organisations understand, evaluate, prioritize, and communicate risks prior to implementing actions, so as to minimise heritage loss, despite limited resources. Emergency response forms part of risk management.

Cultural heritage institutions need local and sustainable strategies that can empower communities. They must coordinate these strategies with the other sectors and actors working in emergencies, such as international humanitarian agencies, military, and police.

At the practical level, responders need to know basic measures for securing and stabilizing damaged cultural heritage structures, as well as methods to salvage and stabilize museum collections.

At the human level, teamwork, leadership, and negotiation skills become essential if one is to be effective during the times of stress and chaos typical of complex emergencies.


After the course, participants will be invited to submit proposals for projects related to risk management at large, or more specifically to emergency response, in their home countries. The proposal may include training workshops. The goal is to share knowledge gained at the course with others, and to strengthen capacities for risk management of cultural heritage at regional and national levels.

Course Objectives and Expected Results

The main purpose of the course is to create effective emergency task force(s) for managing risks to cultural heritage recognized at the regional and/or national levels.

The course also primarily aims to develop participants’ knowledge and skills to address the following areas:

  • Disaster  risk management framework, applied to cultural heritage
  • Ethics and principles of conservation in a crisis situation
  • Emergency documentation for movable and immovable heritage
  • Damage assessment during emergencies
  • Salvage and stabilization of historic structures and cultural collections
  • Mediation, teamwork and negotiation skills
  • Integrating cultural heritage protection with international humanitarian aid actions
  • Linking emergency response to long-term recovery
  • Application of international legislation for the protection of cultural heritage in times of crises or emergencies

Course Structure

The training will include lectures addressing theory and principles along with practical sessions and hands-on exercises, and thus requires active participation. These will be in the form of group discussions, role playing, demonstrations and presentations, interactive lectures, site visits and case studies. Simulation of emergency situations throughout the course will enhance participants’ skills to work in teams, negotiate protection of cultural heritage and take appropriate action during a time of stress and chaos.

Teaching Team

A multi-disciplinary and international teaching team of professionals with a wide experience in the protection of cultural heritage during emergency situations, including humanitarian assistance, will lead the course programme.

Participants and Admission

The course is intended for 15 – 20 heritage professionals working in the Arab states, including archaeologists, architects, art historians, collections and site managers, conservators-restorers, conservation scientists, curators, directors of museums, gallery and archive professionals, etc. Other professionals from relevant fields are also encouraged to apply (e.g., humanitarian aid, military, police, NGOs). Admission to the course will be subject to selection criteria including:

  1. Professional background: at least a Bachelor degree in a relevant field of study.
  2. Letter of intent: candidates are requested to provide a letter stating clearly the reasons for applying to the course, what they hope to learn from it, and how it will benefit them and their institution, country, or future employer.
  3. Employment: priority is given to professionals affiliated with institutions working in relevant fields.
  4. Work experience: those who have already gained at least two years of practical or research experience in the field will have priority.

Working languages

The main working language will be in Arabic. Proficiency of English and/or French will be an asset, particularly to communicate with international teaching team and to be able to pursue research work and reading of reference materials.


Please use the application form available on this web site. Applications should be endorsed by the relevant ministry or entity in the candidate’s home country. The carefully completed forms should be sent to:

ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre in Sharjah, UAE

PO Box: 48777 Sharjah, UAE

Tel: +971 (0)6 555 2250; Fax: +971 (0)6 555 2213

E-mail: athar-centre@iccrom.org


Financial Resources / Support

A request for financial support should be indicated in the application form. ICCROM-ATHAR will provide a few scholarships (subject to evaluation), to cover accommodation, meals and travel for the duration of the course.

Course Fees: 1200 US Dollars

Application Deadline: 28 August 2016

Please note that any applications received after this deadline will not be considered

SELECTED READINGS FROM ATHAR: Conservation of Cultural Heritage in the Arab Region, Oct. 2013, series 1.


Following several ATHAR Programm’s foundation courses in Byblos and Tripoli (Lebanon) in Amman (Jordan), and in Sharjah (United Arab Emirates), it was deemed necessary to put some of the experiences learned in the hands of a wider audience beyond the direct benefit of course participants. “Selected Readings from ATHAR” is a result of valuable contributions from scientific instructors who took part in the ATHAR core regional courses and who were invited to submit scientific material relevant to the topics they covered during the ATHAR courses. It is thanks to the Government of Sharjah and Italy and ALECSO who financially have supported the ATHAR Programme and this particular publication. The subjects included in this first series of “Selected Readings from ATHAR” range from theoretical approached to the conservation of cultural heritage sites to the implementation of techniques and management approaches for the safeguard of immovable heritage for future generations. It is our aim to disseminate this knowledge for the effective benefit of practitioners and educators working this specialist field and in the Arab Region.

− Zaki Aslan, Director, ATHAR Programme, ICCROM

Hard copy for sale in the bookshop


Introducing Young People to Heritage Site Management and Protection


It is a publication intended for primary school teachers to raise the awareness in the conservation of cultural heritage in the Arab Region.  It is a guide that offers principal notions on conservation practices and management of historical sites and cities. It also underlines the threats facing cultural heritage today. It contains information, ideas and practical activities to help teachers to introduce this theme in schools and school curricula. The aims of the guide are to make young people aware about the importance of the heritage situated in their region and to involve them in its protection and care.

Zaki ASLAN coordinates and manages ICCROM’s ATHĀR Programme, which aims to protect and promote the rich cultural heritage in the Arab region, and broaden access, appreciation and understanding of its past. To achieve this goal, the programme stresses the participation of young people in the process.

Monica ARDEMAGNI has collaborated with ICCROM since 1990 in the realisation of projects related to advocacy. She conceived several activities destined to school teachers and pupils in Italy, in Europe and in the Arab Region.

Soft copy in pdf (1.86 MB)
Hard copy for sale in the bookshop

Issue 2, May 2014. (pdf 45.0 MB)


• Introduction
»ATHAR at a glance
»Consolidating Partnerships

• Activities
»4th Core Regional Course Review Meeting
»ATHAR at the Egyptian Academy in Rome
»First Aid to Archaeological Finds Workshop in Bahrain
»Symposium on Conservation of Urban Heritage: Living Heritage in Islamic Cities
»Ad-Dour Project: Challenges and Solutions

• Highlights
»Final Touches to the ICCROM-ATHAR Premises
»Laboratories in the ICCROM-ATHAR Centre
»Recent Meeting:
»» IRCICA (Syria)
»» Workshop on Heritage Education in Doha
»» Cooperation with Bahrain
»» Saving the Rich Heritage of Egypt
»» Yemen: Integrating Heritage in University Curricula
»» Partnership in UNESCO-EU Project for Syria

• From ATHARnet
»Condition Assessment for Museum of Islamic Art, Cairo, Egypt
»After ATHAR …. Projects by Former Participants
»» Documentation of the Cultural Heritage in Rosetta City
»»Conservation Project of the Grand Tower of Melah

• Coming Soon
»Master’s Degree in Cultural Heritage Conservation Management
»Invitation to the Official Opening


Issue 1, Oct. 2013. (pdf 18.3 MB)


• Introduction
»ATHAR at a glance

• Activities
»The Sharjah initiative
»WAC: Follow-up to the Sharjah initiative
»Regional course on the management and conservation of cultural heritage

• Highlights
»Higher diploma in conservation
»Building of the ATHAR centre
»Sharjah Archaeology museum celebrates its twentieth anniversary
»National Projects: Yemen and Libya
»The latest on world heritage in the Arab Region
»Training for protection cultural heritage in times of conflict

• From ATHARnet
»Assessment of Cultural Heritage status in Syria during the undergoing crisis
»After ATHAR: projects by former participants

The ATHAR program and ICCROM courses have taught me a lot regarding the preservation of monuments, especially mosaics. I participated in the course held in TYRE / LEBANON, and the result was that I was able to work in the maintenance of mosaics with greater confidence, thanks to the information and practical experience gained from these courses.
Mohannad Al Taweel – Swaida, Syria
During the course on Conservation and Management of Cultural Heritage: Sites and Museum Collections, we learned some new methods of management and planning for cultural heritage which can help us a lot in Sudan. Knowing more information about the digital documentation of heritage and about the international practices for protection and conservation of heritage sites has added a unique value to our knowledge, which, in turn, is the future of our heritage.
Fawzi Hassan Bakhiet – Khartoum, Sudan
ATHAR is a program which aims at encouraging Arab professionals to understand the best methodologies to protect and manage cultural heritage . It helps us diagnose problems, propose solutions and think more deeply about the future of heritage in the Arab region. Personally, the regional course on ‘Conservation and Management of Cultural Heritage: Sites and Museum Collections’ was an extraordinary experience which allowed me to fill gaps in my training in conservation and management of cultural heritage.
Hager Krimi – Tunis