A restoration work in progress.
Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and the Ruler of Sharjah, ICCROM-Sharjah has announced the shortlisted projects nominated for the third cycle of its biannual “Award for Good Practices in Cultural Heritage Conservation and Management in the Arab Region” (2021-2022).
The independent Jury Committee, which includes seven distinguished Arab and international renowned specialists, reviewed some eligible projects submitted to the award from nine Arab countries. It then selected a shortlist of 15 projects to be nominated in its two categories: heritage sites and buildings; and collections in cultural institutions such as museums and archives.
The 15 shortlisted projects are: Archaeological sites: Sheltering and Protecting Hicham’s Palace’s Mosaic Floor, Palestine; Collart-Palmyre: a comprehensive project on the Baalsahamin temple in Palmyra, Syria; Conservation of the 2nd Century Temple of Artemis at Jerash, Jordan.
Historic buildings: Restoration and Rehabilitation of Dar Al Sabbagh in Bethlehem, Palestine; The restoration and rehabilitation of the Matan Heritage Village, Tafileh, Jordan; Restoration and Rehabilitation of Old Hebron Museum, Palestine, Sheikh Abdal Mosque Restoration in Mosul, Iraq and Traditional House Restoration in Ghadames, Libya.
Historic areas: Rehabilitation and restoration of residential courtyards and historical buildings in the vicinity of Al-Aqsa Mosque in the Old City of Jerusalem, Palestine; Restoration and Revitalisation of Al Qurna Village of Hasan Fathi, Egypt and Beirut Assist Cultural Heritage (BACH), a project to recover the affected area following the Beirut blast in the Port of Beirut, Lebanon.
Collections in Cultural Institutions: The transportation of the Khufu’s first boat to the Grand Egyptian Museum in Cairo, Egypt; Documentation, archiving, preservation and restoration of the historical maps of Al Azhar Library in Cairo, Egypt; Revitalisation and Conservation of the Cultural Heritage of Al Qarara Village in Gaza, Palestine and Digital Documentation of Historical Documents in Jerusalem, Palestine. “All projects submitted to the award were distinguished by their professionalism and merit,” said Dr. Zaki Aslan, Director of ICCROM-Sharjah. The winning projects will be announced in a ceremony to be held in the second half of next May in Sharjah.
The award was launched in 2017. It seeks to recognise and reward outstanding projects and works that contribute to the protection and vitality of tangible cultural heritage in the Arab world. The list of Jury Committee members of the current cycle includes Sheikh Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi, Dr Ulrike Al-Khamis, Manal Ataya, Dr. Stefano Di Caro, Dr. Amra Hadzimuhamedovic, Dr. Salah M. Hassan and architect Jad Tabet.
A project in Syria during restoration.
Sheikh Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi is a columnist and researcher on social, political, and cultural affairs in the Arab Gulf states. He is also founder of the Barjeel Art Foundation in Sharjah, UAE. He was an MIT Media Lab Director’s Fellow and a visiting teacher at a number of prestigious centres and universities around the world.
Dr. Ulrike Al-Khamis is the Director and CEO of the Aga Khan Museum. She is a well-known figure in the field with over 20 years of experience as a curator and senior advisor for museum and cultural projects. She has served as Co-Director at the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilization. Manal Ataya is the Director General of Sharjah Museums Authority (SMA); she is a Museology professional with 15 years of senior managerial experience in museum development and cultural diplomacy. She serves on numerous advisory boards including Global Cultural Districts Network; the University of Sharjah’s College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; and ICCROM-Sharjah.
Dr. Stefano Di Caro is an internationally recognised figure in the field of archeology and cultural heritage. In addition to his field assignments and administrative positions at the Italian Ministry of Culture, he served as Director General (by election) of ICCROM during 2011-2017.
Dr. Amra Hadzimuhamedovic is Director of the Centre for Cultural Heritage, International Forum Bosnia. She has managed diverse projects of integrating cultural heritage into postwar recovery in Bosnia, Kosovo, and Palestine and worked as a consultant for UNESCO, ICCROM, World Bank and ICOMOS (International Council on Monuments and Sites), among others.
Dr. Salah M. Hassan is the Director of The Africa Institute, Sharjah. He is the Distinguished Professor of Arts and Sciences in African Studies and Director of the Institute for Comparative Modernities; Professor of Art History and Visual Culture in the Africana Studies and Research Center and the Department of History of Art and Visual Studies, Cornell University, Ithaca, US. He is an art critic, curator and founding editor of “Nka: Journal of Contemporary African Art.”
Jad Tabet is an architect and planner working between Beirut and Paris. He is past-President of Lebanese Federation of Engineers and Architects (2017-2021) and past- President of the Organization of Arab Architects (2017-2020). He is currently Honorary President of ICOMOS Lebanon.“What distinguishes the jury members of the third session of the ICCROM-Sharjah Award for Good Practices is not only their diversity in terms of the academic specialisations and cultural interests they represent, but also their geographical distribution,” Dr. Zaki Aslan noted. ICCROM-Sharjah is a regional conservation centre founded by ICCROM (International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property), and the Government of Sharjah. ICCROM’S 27th General Assembly convened in Rome in 2011, decided to establish a regional office of ICCROM in Sharjah, where it is based since its inception in 2012.