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History & Heritage


Arab World: two new sites classified as UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Two sites in the Arab world have just won a spot on UNESCO’s 2019 list of World Heritage Sites. The first one in Iraq, and the second one in Bahrain.

This year the list contains 29 site names – 35 were nominated. A figure slightly higher than in the previous years, that brings the world total to 1,121 sites protected by the organization


Hanging gardens … 


The first site is Babylon, Iraq. Located 85 km from Baghdad, its fame precedes it because of the influence of the empire it hosted more than 500 years before our era. Today, the city’s outer and inner walls, palaces and temples still stand to testify to this past greatness. 

… and ancient graves


The second is in Bahrain. It is the Dilmun Burial Mounds, built nearly 2,000 years before Christ, at a time when the region was a prosperous commercial hotspot. They include over 11,000 tombs spread over 21 archaeological sites in the western part of the island, and “have unique characteristics in terms of number, density, scale, and detail,” according to the NGO. 


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____ #اقتباس_الأربعاء | "إنّ الهيئة ماضية في تحقيق المنجزات الثقافيّة، وهي تعمل على وضع مملكة البحرين في مصاف الدول المهتمّة بثقافتها وإرثها الإنساني الغني، فبعد موقع قلعة البحرين الذي يُعد أوّل موقع في المملكة يُدرَج على قائمة التراث الإنساني العالمي في 2005، ثمّ طريق اللؤلؤ: شاهد على اقتصاد جزيرة، بمدينة المحرّق في 2012، نعمل الآن على إدراج مواقع أخرى تستحق اهتمام المجتمع الدولي كمدافن دلمون." – معالي الشيخة ميّ بنت محمد آل خليفة، رئيسة هيئة البحرين للثقافة والآثار. ‏‎‏‎____ ‏ #WednesdayQuotes | "The Authority continues to achieve cultural achievements, and aspires to list the Kingdom of Bahrain with the countries which strive to continuously preserve its culture and human heritage. The Bahrain Fort Site was the first site in the Kingdom to be inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2005, followed by the Pearling Pathway in Muharraq in 2012. We are currently working on the inclusion of other sites worthy of the attention of the international community, such as the Dilmun Burial Mounds." – Her Excellency Shaikha Mai bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, President of the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities. ____ ‏‎#البحرين #هيئة_البحرين_للثقافة‏ #مدافن_دلمون ‎‏‎‏#Bahrain #BACA #BahrainCultureAuthority #DilmunBurialMounds

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It should be noted that the selections are based on 10 criteria, at least one of which must be completed by the candidate sites. Among these criteria, these two sites have the particularity of “providing a unique or at least exceptional testimony to a cultural tradition or a living or extinct civilization”, and “providing an outstanding example of a type of building or architectural or technological ensemble or landscape illustrating one or more significant periods in human history”.


See also

Middle East: an overview of UNESCO World Heritage Sites

Published on 11 July 2019