International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property
Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

Middle East and North Africa (MENA)

Petra - Jordan

It is a challenging time for cultural heritage in parts of the Middle East and North Africa that have seen large-scale devastation, including the desecration and destruction of temples, shrines, cities and monuments.

Now more than ever, ICCROM’s work on cultural heritage protection and preservation in conflict areas is needed. Since it opened its doors in 2012, ICCROM’s Regional Office in Sharjah (ICCROM-ATHAR Centre), United Arab Emirates, has proven vital to fulfilling the organization’s mandate in the Arab Region by being closer to stakeholders and by leveraging regional collaboration mechanisms and community engagement in a region of many risks but also considerable opportunities. The branch office in the UAE has become an important force for cultural heritage advocacy, providing substantive logistical and operational support to ICCROM’s work in the region.

In partnership with Arab Member States, ICCROM-ATHAR aspires to protect the cultural heritage of the Arab region and to broaden access, appreciation and understanding of its history. The Centre focuses on architectural and archaeological tangible heritage, including heritage collections and historic places, sites and monuments. It primarily aims to enhance the capacity of official heritage institutions to manage heritage sites and museum collections on a sustainable basis. It does this through an array of regional educational and field activities, capacity building and training, consultation, information dissemination, symposia, workshops and seminars.

ICCROM-ATHAR’s mission is generously supported by His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, as well as Member States and other partners.


Latest News

From 10 February to 21 February 2019, ICCROM-Sharjah and its project partners conducted two workshops on Education and Museum Management in Khartoum for the National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums (NCAM) in Sudan, funded by the British Council’s Cultural Protection Fund in partnership with the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport.

Mosaics heritage is increasingly threatened by modern construction, looting and lack of qualified personnel to carry out much needed conservation and maintenance work. To address this need, a five-week international training course for the conservation of in-situ mosaics was held from 26 March to 26 April 2019, at the ancient site of Byblos, Lebanon. The training event, which included six DGA Lebanon employees and six government employees from Libya, Jordan and Palestine, was developed to enhance the capacity of national authorities responsible for archaeological sites in the Middle East and North Africa to conserve their mosaic heritage. The event was carried out jointly by ICCROM, the Directorate General of Antiquities of Lebanon (DGA), and the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI).

As part of the “Community Museums of Western Sudan” conservation and rehabilitation project for museums in Omdurman, El Obeid and Nyala, ICCROM has conducted a series of workshops entitled “Enhancing the Social and Cultural Role of Community Museums.” The project “Community Museums of Western Sudan” is funded by the British Council's Cultural Protection Fund, in partnership with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, United Kingdom. Project partners include the National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums in Sudan (NCAM), the Centre for Heritage Studies, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge, and Mallinson Architects.

ICCROM-Sharjah, in partnership with the Getty Conservation Institute (GCI) and the Directorate General of Antiquities (DGA) in Lebanon, is organizing a field school on the conservation of mosaics in-situ in Byblos, Lebanon.

ICCROM-Sharjah, in partnership with the Arab Administrative Development Organization of the League of Arab States, organized a four-day workshop on Conservation of Documentary Heritage in the period between 4 to 7 March 2019 in Sharjah, UAE.

ICCROM-Sharjah has organized a workshop on post -crisis recovery of historic cities in the Arab Region, which took place on 24 – 28 February 2019 in Sharjah, UAE. The event brought together specialists from international organizations such as the World Bank, UNESCO, ICOMOS, ICCROM, UN HABITAT, as well as practitioners and academics from the fields of cultural heritage, social and economic development, humanitarian assistance, conflict transformation and resilience.

In partnership with UNESCO Beirut and the Directorate General of Antiquities (DGA) in Lebanon, ICCROM-Sharjah held a training workshop on “Enhancing World Heritage Management Skills for Heritage Professionals” in Beirut, Lebanon, 8 – 11 February 2019. The workshop’s target audience were site managers, archaeologists and architects working for the DGA in Lebanon.

ICCROM’s Regional Conservation Centre in Sharjah, in partnership with UNESCO and the New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), is organizing a four-day Regional Workshop on the Protection and Management of the Maritime, Coastal and Underwater Cultural Heritage, from 28 to 31 January 2019.

Under the patronage and in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Ruler of Sharjah, the “Protecting the Past 2018” conference entitled “From Digital Documentation to Heritage Management in the MENA region” is taking place at the Regional Conservation Centre in Sharjah (ICCROM- Sharjah) from 4 – 6 December 2018.

The 18th edition of RE-ORG began on 25 November in Kuwait, after the successful experiences of RE-ORG Chile in September, RE-ORG International Portugal in October, and RE-ORG Albania in November. Twenty participants from Kuwait and Oman are receiving training through this course, which will continue until 7 December.