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19 August 2013 The Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage Website Site Launch 1st heritage preservation convention signed between the center and Yemen
The Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage Website Site Launch
1st heritage preservation convention signed between the center and Yemen

The Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage (ARC/WH) launched its website and announced its supportive plans for saving the historic City of Zubaid in the Republic of Yemen. The Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage held a press conference on Monday (19th of August) in collaboration with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization "UNESCO" to announce the launch of its website and the initiation of its first field operations in support of the world heritage in Yemen, coinciding with the presence of its new Director, former UNESCO Advisor, Director of the World Heritage Centre and Director General of Architectural and Environmental Heritage, Dr. Mounir Bouchenaki. The press conference was attended experts in preservation of heritage for humanity and  by local  and international print and broadcast media.

H.E Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, Minister of  Culture and ARC-WH Center’s Board of Directors Chairperson,  expressed  her delight at  Dr. Mounir Bouchenaki appointment  as the new director of ARC-WH. Indeed, Dr. Bouchenaki worked as  the former UNESCO Advisor, Director of the World Heritage Centre and Director General of Architectural and Environmental Heritage. H.E Shaikha Mai Bint Mohammad Al-Khalifa  also hailed the Center's website launch and its upcoming events, adding that it was  a dream coming true after years of strenuous efforts. 

Bahrain’s Minister of Culture also said, during a press conference held on the occasion, that “ the historic City of Zabid should remain on  the UNESCO's World Heritage List.  the same applies to any other Arab archaeological sites threatened by removal from the UNESCO List”. With the  ARC-WH center  now in place,  huge efforts  will deployed to save natural and human heritage sites in the Arab world, the minister argued.

For his part, Dr. Bouchenaki lauded the Culture Minister's  constant efforts to promote the ARC-WH, and stressed the need for a wise leadership in the humanitarian heritage and with regard to the implementation of  the World Heritage Convention in the Arab region.

Speaking about the center's website, which operates  under UNESCO's supervision, Dr. Bouchenaki said that the center will  provide extensive information on all heritage sites, whether tangible or in the Arab world and will organize  events, workshops and various. it also builds relationships  between regional and global centers specialized in the preservation of  archaeology and  world heritage.

With regard to saving Zubaid historical  city archaeological site, Dr. Bouchenaki announced the signing of an agreement between the Bahrain's Minister of Culture and Yemeni counterpart. He added that the Center is currently focusing  on saving the historic City of Zubaid, where the field work excavations will start in September 2013. Indeed, an archaeological expedition under ARC-WH Center will launch the first typical exceptional heritage project in the city of Zubaid, forming thus the core of saved sites, which are endangered by removal from World Heritage List.

Yemeni Culture Minister, Dr. Abdulla Oubil expressed delight and gratitude for the initiative of Shaikha Mai Al Khalifa and his government readiness to cooperate fully for saving the City of Zubaid. He said that his government is also planning to help preserve Zabid City, a critical World Heritage Site in Yemen, which has been in danger for 13 years, adding that Yemeni people  stand firmly with the Kingdom of Bahrain’s efforts to preserve its heritage and ancient civilisations.
It is worth mentioning that the Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage in Bahrain is the first of its kind in the Middle East which provides expertise and technical and economic support as well as international methods and techniques followed to lead the Arab heritage to the international level. The Center was set  to help protect key historical  tangible and intangible sites across the Arab world. The launch of this documentary and informational website comes to announce the beginning of documentation and set-up information network to be an official reference for heritage sources, research and studies in the Arab world. The Center has previously convened and organized many workshops and seminars on archaeology preservation techniques from Republic of Iraq, and on  ways of protecting tangible and intangible heritage.

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