Press release

Working together for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in Palestine

Amid restrictions perpetrated by COVID-19 pandemic, UNESCO National Office for Palestine, in partnership with the Ministry of Culture (MoC), and with the effective participation of national stakeholders, continued its support to strengthening national capacities for the safeguarding of Palestine’s “living heritage” - in line with the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (ICH)

UNESCO and MoC organized the fourth round of capacity-building training sessions in two parts: the first, a three-day workshop from 16 to 18 August 2020 on “Preparing nomination files to the Lists of the 2003 Convention”, and the second, from 25 to 26 August 2020 on “Preparing requests for International Assistance from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund”. Ms. Iman Hamouri and Ms. Maissoun Sharqawi, two Palestinian facilitators from the Global Network of Facilitators, delivered the pieces of training based on their experience, which they have gained through extensive training provided previously by UNESCO.

The Head of Culture Unit at UNESCO National Office for Palestine praised the effort of all the stakeholders whom had worked relentlessly to safeguard the ICH in Palestine. Mr. Scepi articulated "we shall continue to work jointly to identify the most suitable ways for Palestine to access the international cooperation mechanisms foreseen by the 2003 Convention which include but are not limited to the ICH Lists while maintaining the efforts to enhance the safeguarding measures mainly through proper inventorying of ICH elements.
Mr. Giovanni Scepi, the Head of Culture Unit at UNESCO National Office for Palestine

Twenty participants from various institutions including government agencies, civil society representatives, and individuals, actively participated in these workshops. The training provided a thorough explanation and detailed technical procedures on the two subjects to support the collective effort for the safeguarding of the ICH in Palestine for the benefit of individuals, groups, and communities - the bearers of this heritage.

Safety and health protocols were strictly imposed during the training sessions, including limiting the number of participants, keeping distance as well as taking hygiene measures including wearing facemasks and using sanitizers.

The participants were keen on building upon the information provided during the training sessions. One of the participants, Mr. Wissam Salah, Director of Bedouins Without Borders Centre cited “as the only institution representing the Bedouins heritage, these training sessions are instrumental for our intangible cultural heritage inventory. We are going to revise our methods of inventorying based on these methods.”

These trainings made us rethink the process of safeguarding intangible cultural heritage in Palestine. The sustainability starts with the bearers of the intangible cultural heritage and this is what we have to focus on from now on
Mr. George Rishamawi, Director of Massar Ibrahim al-Khalil

This training is part of a broader project that aims to support Palestine in its efforts to safeguard its living heritage on the one hand and to strengthen policies and institutional capacities in this field. The training was designed based on needs identified earlier with the Ministry of Culture and other national partners.


For more information on UNESCO’s activities in Palestine, please visit  or visit us on  UNESCO National Office for Palestine.