UNESCO adds Egypt’s ‘Al-Aragouz’ to lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage – Press photo
CAIRO – 14 September 2020: Egypt’s Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem chaired the organizational meeting of the Supreme Committee for Intangible Cultural Heritage to lay down general frameworks for its work and to implement its national strategy, according to the four stages that were adopted, which are collection, documentation, preservation, and optimization of benefits.
During the meeting, Abdel Dayem said that, for the first time, a central unit for the safeguarding of the intangible heritage was established, in implementation of the UNESCO Convention, which Egypt signed in 2003.
She pointed to Egypt’s richness in intangible heritage, which proves its leadership and forms part of its unique identity.
Abdel Dayem added that the committee is working to implement a clear strategy that unites efforts and coordinates between government agencies and community institutions working in the field to protect and preserve the intangible heritage and achieve optimal investment in it. She further affirmed that Egypt has succeeded in recent years in registering historical elements belonging to the Egyptian intangible heritage in the UNESCO Urgent Safeguarding List, which include Tahteeb Game and the Clown Puppet, and participated in recording the Palm file with a group of fellow Arab countries.
Egyptian Minister of Culture Inas Abdel Dayem had formed a committee under her chairmanship to develop a national strategy for managing intangible cultural heritage in Egypt in light of the studies prepared in this regard by UNESCO. The committee also prepared action plans, followed up on the implementation of the international obligations arising from the provisions of the agreements signed by Egypt on the safeguarding of the intangible cultural heritage, as well as agreements for the promotion of cultural expressions, proposing the necessary legislative measures and procedures.
This is in addition to developing an annual plan to prepare the files to be registered on the lists of the 2003 Agreement, plan urgent safeguarding projects and international aid in accordance with the provisions of the Convention, as well as communicating with international and regional counterparts for the purpose of exchanging experiences in accordance with the rules of the cooperation protocols signed with them and preparing the annual report of national efforts in the field of safeguarding intangible cultural heritage and promoting cultural expressions in Egypt.
Furthermore, and in addition to the aforementioned, the reports prepared by the Intangible Cultural Heritage Conservation Unit will be submitted to the competent authorities after reviewing, auditing and approving them in their final form, the work of the Intangible Cultural Heritage Safeguarding Unit at the Ministry of Culture will be closely followed up, to overcome obstacles that might come up in coordination with the competent authorities and discuss ways to maximize the benefit from the National Archives for Intangible Cultural.
The committee is the only body entrusted with coordinating with the Egyptian National Committee for UNESCO to implement the provisions of international conventions regulating this matter.