|The First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Emergency Times Course in Cairo, Egypt
10-28 June 2012
12 July. Aimed at rescuing the cultural heritage of Egypt, the course on First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Emergency Times came to a close on Thursday, 28 June. This event was conceived as a capacity building activity based on the ICCROM First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Conflict (FAC) course. It was organized by a participant of the 2011 FAC course, Abdel Hamid Salah El-Sharief, in collaboration with Prince Claus Fund, the Ministry of State for Antiquities of Egypt and ICCROM. Two other similar training initiatives have been organized in the past by former FAC participants in Iran and Colombia.
Over three weeks, 30 participants from Egypt built new knowledge through the exchange of experiences, as well as lectures provided by national and international instructors and professionals. Participants received a certificate at a closing ceremony held at the Ministry of State for Antiquities building in Cairo, in the presence of the Secretary-General, Mr Mohsein Ali.
The course resulted in the setting up of a trained rapid response task force for cultural heritage ̶ the Egyptian Heritage Rescue Team (EHRT). Comprised of professionals working in both government and non-governmental cultural institutions, EHRT aims to prevent looting of, and damage to, Egyptian cultural heritage collections and sites.
Here is what some of the participants had to say about the course:
The most important result for me in attending the course is that I am now able to save our cultural heritage with my EHRT team in conflict, emergency or any situation.
Now I have the knowledge to work as part of a multi-disciplinary team in times of emergency.
Hind Mostafa Nabil:
We can do a lot for our cultural heritage in danger simply through TEAMWORK and efficient coordination between civil society, NGOs and government bodies responsible for heritage.
I learned how to analyse a conflict and I broadened my views about dealing with heritage and its effects during a conflict.
Sarah Mohey El-Din:
Being a member of the Egyptian Heritage Rescue Team is the most important result to me out of the course.
The knowledge of First Aid and its relation to cultural heritage and political conflicts is necessary for Egyptian professionals.
It would have been better if we could have this course and the EHRT years earlier before the conflicts happened in Egypt, so we could have rescued much of the cultural heritage that we already lost.
The course teachers were all professional and they were very good in transferring the knowledge in a very effective way.
12 July, 2012