On the occasion, the Arabic translation of ICCROM’s pioneering resource on First Aid to Cultural Heritage is launched

Visit further cements alliance between ICCROM and ALIPH Foundation

ICCROM today welcomed the Executive Director of the ALIPH Foundation, Valéry Freeland, to our headquarters in Rome, accompanied by Andrea Balbo, ALIPH Project Manager. They met with Director-General Webber Ndoro, Valerie Magar, Unit Manager, Programmes, and Yasmin Hashem, FAR Programme Assistant.

The two organizations marked the visit by launching the Arabic version of ICCROM’s First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis Handbook and Toolkit, which outlines our widely implemented methodology for securing cultural heritage in an emergency. The new version is a product of the Alliance for Cultural First Aid, Peace and Resilience, a ground-breaking project in partnership with the ALIPH Foundation, which aims to strengthen capacities for risk reduction, preparedness, response and recovery among communities adversely affected by armed conflicts, extreme hazard events and epidemics, in the Middle East, North Africa, Afghanistan and Pakistan region (MENAP).

“Cultural first aid is a key priority in ICCROM’s work. We strongly believe that the protection of cultural heritage before, during and after crises goes hand-in-hand with sustainable development. For this reason, it gives me great pleasure to see our two organizations strengthen relations and work towards a common goal of safeguarding heritage and contributing to a more peaceful world.”

- Webber Ndoro, Director-General of ICCROM

Breaking language barriers and providing knowledge where it is most needed

Approximately 420 million of the world’s population speak Arabic, making it the fifth most spoken language in the world, with 25 independent states and territories having Arabic as their native language. The region is not only exposed to extreme hazards events, such as droughts, earthquakes, heat waves, heavy rains and floods, but is also suffering from cyclic conflicts that have also affected its unique cultural heritage. As a result, livelihoods, economies and cultural heritage are adversely impacted. Therefore, the need for coordinated efforts and enhanced local capacity-building initiatives have become an imperative for in-crisis assistance and emergency responses in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region.

Visit further cements alliance between ICCROM and ALIPH Foundation

For this reason, ICCROM, thanks to the generous support of the ALIPH Foundation, and in collaboration with the Egyptian Heritage Rescue Foundation, has published the Arabic translation of its First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis Handbook and Toolkit.

“ICCROM has made its deep experience in first aid for cultural heritage available for all those working to protect the world’s heritage. With the publication of the Arabic-language version of the Handbook, now a whole new group of professionals will be able to learn from ICCROM’s knowledge and tried-and-tested methodologies and apply them to safeguard some of the world’s great treasures. This will be a valuable resource for our Arabic-speaking partners of ALIPH.”

- Valéry Freeland, Executive Director of the ALIPH Foundation

Who is it for? 

This publication is accessible to all and has been designed for all actors involved in emergency situations. It is addressed mainly to people living in risk-prone regions in order to enhance their ability to secure their heritage and participate in their own cultural recovery.

What does it consist of?

Visit further cements alliance between ICCROM and ALIPH Foundation

This publication, which is the result of nearly a decade of experience gained by ICCROM in the field, provides a practical method and a set of "ready-to-use" tools for securing endangered cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible (see instructional video). The user-friendly workflows help readers to plan and implement coordinated cultural rescue and risk reduction operations that involve local communities, heritage custodians, emergency responders and humanitarians.

These methods and tools for cultural heritage first aid have been field tested in Haiti, Iraq, Syria, Nepal, Philippines and India, yet this is the first time they have been codified into a comprehensive tool. ICCROM’s First Aid method has been used to develop a common framework and procedure for training civil protection teams within the European Union and beyond. It serves as a resource that improves emergency preparedness within cultural heritage institutions, as a reference for trainers and as a guide for planning and implementing coordinated first aid in the field of cultural heritage.

Written with the key guiding philosophy of ensuring an inclusive attitude and respect for diversity while at the same time interlocking humanitarian assistance with cultural heritage first aid, this resource provides an essential, ethical framework that will lead to successful outcomes.

Download it, save it to your phone, and share it with as many people as possible so that together we can improve emergency preparedness and response, and build resilience for cultural heritage worldwide.

“It is with great satisfaction that I see, early this summer 2021, the publication in Arabic of an innovative and very rich handbook and toolkit on First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis, which was first published in English in 2018. I wish to congratulate Aparna Tandon and her colleagues, who were instrumental in launching this initiative in 2008 when I was Director-General of ICCROM. They were very much attentive to the way young experts in various countries in conflict could be trained and be ready to respond promptly, like it is the case in the humanitarian field. All agencies and foundations dealing with cultural heritage consider the need for an urgent reply to situations where cultural heritage is damaged, and we are grateful to Prince Claus for his invaluable support to ICCROM in bringing the knowledge and practical tools of this publication to the Arab region. I have no doubt that it will be warmly received by all our colleagues.”
- Mounir Bouchenaki, Former Director-General of ICCROM