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

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.

Dr Webber Ndoro, ICCROM’s Director-General, presided over the opening of the International Forum on Cities and Heritage in Arab Countries, just launched in Essaouira, Morocco. This international conference aims to highlight the most effective factors that contribute to the preservation of urban heritage in Arab cities, to encourage social diversity, and to exchange proposals for solutions on common challenges.

A new volume available for free download for those working on the protection, conservation, and management of archaeological heritage. One of few publications to address the issue of protective shelters, this book records the results of a week-long symposium in 2013 that used the archaeological site of Herculaneum as an “open classroom”.

On 24 October, the ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Conservation Centre held a Regional Meeting on “Enhancing institutional and Legislative Frameworks for the Protection of Cultural Heritage." The meeting was organized by ICCROM-Sharjah, with support from the Swiss government and the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development in the UAE. Participants from 21 countries discussed the significance of the this initiative aimed at preserving cultural heritage and disseminating it to future generations.

ICCROM, through its ICCROM-ATHAR Regional Office, is proud to announce receipt of a £997,000 project grant to conserve three community museums in Omdurman, El Obeid, and Nyala, located in Western Sudan. This project will restore the three museums and provide for the educational and cultural needs of their communities, visitors and tourists.

The Egyptian National Organization for Urban Harmony, operating under Egypt’s Ministry of Culture in collaboration with UNESCO, has chosen to honour two prominent architectural heritage specialists from Egypt and the Arab world, for their significant contributions to safeguard cultural heritage.