His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, honoured the project of the Revitalization of the Historic Centre of Beit Sahour, Palestine, the winner of ICCROM-Sharjah Award for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage in the Arab Region (Sites and Museums), submitted by the Center for Cultural Heritage Preservation in Bethlehem, which was shortlisted among 14 projects.
Jury members of ICCROM-Sharjah Award selected this project as it embodied the importance of the revitalization of the historical neighborhoods of the city of Beit Sahour through the quality of restoration of some of the historical buildings and facilities in this urban centre of the city core and its rehabilitation and sensitive adaptive use for social, economic and cultural benefits. According to the jury, this project helped create sustainable product that contributed to enriching the urban historic landscape of this town. This project is also an example that would inspire the surrounding urban neighborhoods in an integrated approach that ascertain livelihood to historic buildings in a living historic city.
On the 4th of February 2018 the Jury members: Dr. Rasem Badran (Chairman of the Committee), Dr. Salma Samar Damluji, Dr. Suad Amiri, Dr. Tarek Waly, Dr. Murad Bouteflika and Museums Specialist Ms. Manal Ataya were invited by ICCROM-Sharjah to hold meetings in Sharjah, where they studied and discussed the documents submitted by the participating short-listed projects. According to the criteria and procedures of the Award, the candidates were invited to present and discuss their projects to the Jury on the 5th of February.
The committee also presented a certificate of appreciation to the research project on the ruins of Dar Omar Basha in Damascus, which was presented by engineer Maher Al-Rawwas and his team. This work was carried out in difficult circumstances at the Old City of Damascus, where architectural and artistic elements of this building were destroyed. The project demonstrated a serious attempt to save the rubble by documenting the damage and collecting the rest of building materials and architectural elements and retrieving them thorough rigorous research and documentation.
The ICCROM-Sharjah Award aims to honour good conservation practices of tangible cultural heritage assets, which are of historical, cultural or scientific significance to local inhabitants or the wider community. This cultural event contributed to the sharing of knowledge and experiences for mutual benefit, and attracted individuals, teams, organizations and institutions who led successful cultural heritage projects.
The ICCROM-Sharjah Award for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage in the Arab Region (Sites and Museums) was launched in 2017 under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah. Its idea stems from the commitment of ICCROM-Sharjah Centre to support the protection of the cultural heritage in the Arab region and promote best conservation practices that follow international principles in the field of conservation of tangible heritage.