Egypt’s culture minister receives UNESCO registration of the Palm on List of Human Heritage

Reham El-Adawi , Wednesday 16 Sep 2020

Additionally, two elements of Egyptian cultural heritage — stick dancing and hand puppets — have been added to the UNESCO Urgent Safeguarding List

Ines Abdel-Dayem
Culture Minister Ines Abdel-Dayem receives the UNESCO certificate (Photo courtesy of the Culture Minister Media Office)

Egyptian Minister of Culture Ines Abdel-Dayem received on Tuesday the certificate confirming the official registration of the file "The Palm: Knowledge, Skills, Traditions, Practices" on the Representative List of Human Heritage at UNESCO.

Abdel-Dayem expressed pride at registering historical elements of Egypt's intangible heritage on the UNESCO Urgent Safeguarding List and announced the establishment of a central unit for safeguarding intangible heritage in line with the 2003 UNESCO Convention.

Egypt participated in submitting the file of The Palm to the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage in its 14th session held in Bogota, Colombia.

"The registration of the Palm file on the Representative List of Human Heritage at UNESCO has been enforced upon an initiative proposed by a number of Arab countries, namely Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the Sultanate of Oman, Iraq, Yemen, Palestine, Jordan, Sudan, Tunisia, Morocco and Mauritania," said Abdel-Dayem.

The certificate of UNESCO's registration of the Palm Photo courtesy of the Culture Minister Media Office

Representatives of ALESCO (the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organisation) attended an expanded forum held in January 2019 in Luxor to discuss the file, in addition to several meetings held in Khartoum, Tunisia and Abu Dhabi during which the procedures for putting the file forward were completed. Afterwards, the United Arab Emirates coordinated submitting the file.

Abdel-Dayem assured the continuation of efforts to preserve cultural heritage wealth that characterise Arabic communities, announcing the registration of two historical elements belonging to Egypt's intangible heritage: the Tahteeb (Stick Dancing) and the Aragoz doll (traditional hand puppetry).

Abdel-Dayem presided over the organisational meeting of the Supreme Committee For Intangible Cultural Heritage, setting up general frameworks for its work to implement a national strategy on intangible heritage following four steps: collection, documentation, preservation and maximising benefits.

"The wealth of Egyptian intangible heritage proves its leadership and forms an important part of its unique identity,” Abdel-Dayem said.

Abdel-Dayem clarified that the committee works to implement a clear strategy to unite efforts and coordinate between governmental organisations and civil society institutions to protect and safeguard intangible heritage.

the certificate of UNESCO's registration of the traditional hand puppetry

Short link: