ICCROM-ATHAR: At the Vanguard of Regional Leadership on First Aid and Risk Management for the Arab World’s Cultural Heritage in Peril
01 November, 2016

On October 4, 2016, ICCROM-ATHAR launched the Regional Leadership Course in First Aid and Risk Management for Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis, which ended on October 31, 2016.

To conclude, a closing event took place at the regional center’s theater, providing a space for participants to present their home projects and discuss the lessons they learned from the course. The closing event occurred in the presence of His Excellency Sheikh Salem Bin Abdul-Rahman Al-Qassimi, Chairman of His Highness the Ruler’s Office (representing His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Al-Qassimi, Ruler of Sharjah), the Director-General of ICCROM Stefano De Caro, including other Director Generals of Antiquity Authorities from throughout the Middle East and North Africa. It ended with a ceremony in which the participants received certificates for all their hard work.

The month-long course addressed the pressing needs of the Middle East and North Africa, a region currently going through tumultuous times, and while one realizes the humanitarian impact the region’s events are having on communities, we tend to overlook one major aspect of our society that is under attack: cultural heritage.

The course therefore was in line with the centre’s commitment to support capacity building of ICCROM’s member states by providing a professional leadership programme to over 30 professionals from throughout the region, aimed at enhancing conservation practices in the Arab world. Many of them came from war-stricken countries such as Iraq, Libya, Syria, and Yemen, where their cultural heritage has been experiencing an unprecedented wave of destruction. International experts provided potential leaders key capacity-building skills to prepare them to be the first line of defense needed to strengthen first aid towards cultural heritage, and managing the risks they experience during conflicts.

The course addressed:

  • Understanding Risks – Sustainable Development and Humanitarian Action, Condition Assessment
  • Initial Damage Assessment, Identifying Priorities, and Emergency Stabilisation Methods for Built Heritage
  • Identifying Priorities, Emergency Evacuation, Storage and Stabilisation Methods for Collections, Legal Framework, Conflict Analysis, Community-based approach
  • Communication, Team Building, Leadership skills and Introduction to Recovery & Rehabilitation
  • Building National Emergency Response teams back home

Dr. Zaki Aslan, the Director of the ICCROM’s Regional Conservation Centre in Sharjah, UAE (ICCROM-ATHAR) stated that, “We are keen to ensure follow-up to the leaders’ home projects, in order to assist them in their huge task to safeguard cultural heritage in the Arab region together with our partners, including UNESCO and other institutions working in this field at this crucial time.”

List of participants
  Names (Last, First) Country Affiliation
1 Riache, Faiza Algeria National Museum of Bardo
2 Mansour, Magdy Egypt Coptic Museum
3 Hassan, Mahmoud Egypt Grand Egyptian Museum
4 Mohamed, Osama Egypt Ministry of Antiquities
5 Umran, Wahid Egypt Fayoum Civilization and  Heritage Center
6 Alshami, Ahmad Jordan Department of  Antiquities
7 Al- Tarawneh, Khalid Jordan Department of Antiquities
8 Medaham, Mohamed Libya The Libyan Antiquities
9 Elmughrabi, Ghalia Libya Girls Scouts
10 Abreekah, Hasan Libya Department of Archeology
11 Awadh, Riyadh Libya Bani Walid Museum
12 Shamila, Mahmoud Libya Boy Scouts
13 Atki, Mustapha Morocco Ministry of Culture
14 Al-Jaradat, Mohammad Palestine Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities
15 Idrees, Amani Sudan General Organization of Antiquities and Museums
16 Sidahmed, Ayman Sudan General Organization of  Antiquities & Museums
17 Eltigani, Toga Sudan National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums
18 Elmalik, Eglal Sudan General Organization of  Antiquities & Museums
19 Hamouk, Ayman Syria Directorate of Engineering and Restoration Department
20 Awad, Mouhamed Nazir Syria Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums
21 Fakhra, Amal Syria Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums
22 Orfahli, Ghazal Syria Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums
23 Ali, Hiba Syria Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums
24 Sasila, Roba Syria Old Damascus Friends Society
25 Alagha, Samah Syria Ministry of Local Administration
26 Nabo, Shirin Syria Head Section of Documentation and Buildings
27 Ibrahim, Sonia Syria Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums
28 Saad Aqel Yemen General Organization for the Preservation of Historic Cities in Yemen
29 Al-Hajj, Gamal Salem Abdo Yemen Social Fund For Development
30 Taha Hasan, Aidid Yemen General Organization for Preservation of Historic Cities
31 Al-Sayani, Mohanad Yemen General Organization for Antiquity & Museums
32 Al-Bushlibi, Salman United Arab Emirates Museum Specialist, Heritage Site Department
33 Naser, Al-Rawahi Oman Ministry of Regional Municipalities and Water Resources
  Names (Last, First) Country Affiliation
1 Tandon, Aparna India ICCROM
2 Aslan, Zaki Jordan ICCROM-ATHAR
3 Hashem, Yasmin Italy ICCROM-ATHAR
4 Halawa, Abdullah Syria ICCROM-ATHAR
5 Al-Nassar, Abdul-Hameed Kuwait ICCROM-ATHAR
6 Jigyasu, Rohit India Consultant
7 Eppich, Rand United States of America Consultant
8 Crete, Eugenie France CRAterre
9 Herzallah, Ayman Jordan Studio Croci
10 Abboud, Lama Syria Consultant
11 Sadik, Amira Egypt Egyptian Heritage Rescue Foundation
12 Defendini, Roland France Consultant
13 Barallea, Giulia Italy Consultant
14 Al Rifai, Ghada Syria Mobadiroon Network
15 Salih, Layla Iraq Ministry of Culture
16 Corrado, Catesi Italy INTERPOL
17 Wichinink, Robert Netherlands City of Amsterdam
18 Compaijen, Tom Netherlands City of Amsterdam
19 Barakat, Sultan Jordan UCL Qatar
20 Easton, Jonathan United States of America Cultural Heritage Without Borders
21 Salah, Abdelhameed Egypt Egyptian Heritage Rescue Foundation
22 Boccardi, Giovanni Italy UNESCO