Yesterday, to conserve the historical Al Zubarah heritage site a 20-day project was launched involving more than 50 young volunteers from Qatar and around the world.
Al Zubarah, Qatar’s largest heritage site, was recently named a Unesco World Heritage Site and one of the best-preserved examples of an 18thcentury merchant town in the Gulf region.
The project will run until November 25, which is a part of Unesco’s World Heritage Volunteers (WHV) ‘Together for Heritage’ campaign, an initiative that sits within the framework of the Unesco World Heritage Education (WHE) Programme, aimed at increasing awareness and reinforcing the importance of conserving and protecting world heritage. The initiative helps to develop youth appreciation and respect for heritage and cultural diversity, creating a positive attitude towards heritage preservation.
Volunteers from Spain, Nigeria, Germany, Iraq, Jordan, Mexico, Egypt, and UAE as well as 12 volunteers from Qatar, will take part in awareness raising and hands on activities at Al Zubarah fort and other parts of the site, all focused on preventive conservation and preservation techniques.
Workshops and conservation activities, organized by Qatar Museums (QM), UNESCO and the Qatar Tourism Authority will include learning about techniques used in conservation and traditional building techniques in Qatar, how to dismantle weak parts of buildings, how to conserve excavated areas of the site, how to apply and remove plaster, and how to write documentation and conservation reports about the site.
Volunteers will also have the chance to immerse themselves in learning about the day-to-day life in a World Heritage property and engage in intercultural exchanges and activities with local communities, including storytelling, lectures and competitions.
“Al Zubarah is of huge importance to Qatar and at Qatar Museums we are committed to preserving this historical site, that is recognised for both its human legacy and its significance to many Gulf nationals,” said Mansoor bin Ebrahim Al Mahmoud, QM Acting CEO and Advisor to QM Chairperson H E Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani.
“The ‘Together for Heritage’ campaign is a wonderful initiative by UNESCO and we are hugely grateful for our volunteers, who will learn not only about Qatar’s heritage, but also learn new skills, express new ideas and help to protect and preserve this historical site to the highest standards for future generations of visitors to enjoy,” he said.
The ‘Together for Heritage campaign’ is part of the World Heritage Volunteers initiative, now in its ninth consecutive year, and seeks to mobilise and involve people aged 18-30.
Since its launch in 2008, 3500 volunteers have participated, and 219 projects have been held in 46 countries.
The project aims to raise awareness of the need to preserve the architectural remains at Al Zubarah.
The Al Zubarah Volunteers Program is sponsored by Ali bin Ali Group, Seashore Group and Ooredoo.