Representing ICCROM, Dr. Zaki Aslan, Director of the ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre in Sharjah, and Dr. Anna-Lisa Zarattini, Director of the Underwater Archeology at the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage, participated in the 21st Congress of Archaeology and Heritage in the Arab States organized by ALECSO. The congress lasted for three days between 28 and 30 October, 2013. The congress addressed the main theme “Underwater Cultural Heritage in the Arab Region”. It was also an opportunity to review progress of decisions and actions devised at the latest congress in Algeria in March 2012. This included the work and achievements of the ICCROM-ATHAR Programme and its recently established centre in Sharjah, UAE, during a session led by ICCROM representatives on “Training, capacity building, and awareness raising in the field of cultural heritage, with particular reference the theme of this cycle”.
The congress ended up with main recommendations for the Arab Ministers of Culture to endorse in their upcoming conference in 2014. Relevant to the work of the ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre in Sharjah, the following recommendations were devised: (1) close coordination with the Ministries of Education and Higher Education to help integrate cultural heritage in education systems and curricula in the Arab States; (2) Devising a pilot activity on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage for the Arab States; (3) Integration of introductory sessions on the subject into ICCROM-ATHAR core courses and upcoming higher diploma being developed with the University of Sharjah; (4) Translation into Arabic of the UNESCO manual of practice on Underwater Cultural Heritage. These actions will further be developed with ALECSO, and relevant partners from the region and beyond.
See also T.V. report at the Inauguration of this Congress: http://youtu.be/tRjTo8NAyL0