Lecture: How the Arab Region Views World Heritage and the Islamic State’s Destruction of It

Posted on Apr 13, 2015

Untitled-1On the occasion of International Day for Monuments and Sites 2015, US/ICOMOS in partnership with the National Building Museum invites you to a talk on April 17 from 10 to 11:30 am by Mr. Mounir Bouchenaki, Director of the Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage. The event is free but tickets are required. Tickets may be ordered here.

Mr. Bouchenaki will speak on what is the attitude of the peoples of the Arab Region towards the idea of world heritage and the Islamic State’s campaign of destruction against it. Each week brings more tragic news from the Middle East, where the Islamic State has targeted heritage sites as a tactic of war on a shocking scale. The West has been emphatic in its outrage. But ISIS is an organization that derives legitimacy from western condemnation; indeed it’s news-cycle driven pattern of destruction and condemnation seems to depend upon it. What is the attitude of the peoples of the Arab Region towards the idea of work heritage and this campaign of destruction? Is a counter narrative with credibility in the region possible, who should deliver it and what role can culture and heritage professionals play in supporting it?

The Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage (ARC-WH) operates under the auspices of UNESCO and is based in Bahrain. The Centre’s mission is to strengthen implementation of the 1972 World Heritage Convention in the Arab States Region.  Prior to becoming its Director, Mr. Bouchenaki was Director-General of ICCROM from 2006 to 2011, UNESCO’s Assistant Director General for Culture (2000-2006) and before that, Director of the World Heritage Centre.

The event is located at the National Building Museum, 401 F Street NW, Washington DC.