AMAL in Heritage

Global Heritage Fund’s new tool for culture in crisis in the Middle East and North Africa

Across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), warfare has destabilized states, upended communal order, created a massive refugee disaster, and caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. The recent crises in Syria and Iraq have incurred an additional terrible cost as well. In Palmyra, Syria or in Mosul, Iraq, priceless cultural treasures have been destroyed as casualties of the ongoing conflict.

Global Heritage Fund and our partners believe there is no time to wait. We must develop solutions as soon as possible to forestall future disasters and provide help to stewards of heritage where they need it most. The AMAL in Heritage program represents our efforts to remedy these heritage crises.

WHAT DOES IT DO?

AMAL in Heritage represents our effort to fulfill the critical needs of the MENA region through the three prongs of disaster relief: preparedness, response, and recovery. When the entire program is complete, it will serve to equip people with the tools, training, and capacity they need to prepare for disasters before they come; respond to them when they arrive; and begin recovering from them after the smoke has cleared.

Response is the most critical phase of any restoration. How heritage is protected in the first moments after disaster determine how it can – or if it can – recover. Global Heritage Fund and our partners have thus begun the AMAL in Heritage program by developing a mobile app for responding to heritage crises as they unfold. This includes modules for training, forming crisis response teams, communicating with project leaders and team members, and cataloging damage to heritage assets. Useful for both heritage professionals and interested laypeople, the app can be scaled to any size of project and does not require extensive training.

WHY IS IT NECESSARY?

Upheaval throughout the MENA region has created the need for a comprehensive program of emergency response. However, warfare precludes any attempt at on-the-ground support.

Global Heritage Fund is partnering with the Prince Claus Fund, the Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage (ARC-WH), the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM), and the International Scientific Committee on Risk Preparedness of ICOMOS (ICOMOS-ICORP) to launch the ‘AMAL in Heritage’ program.

HOW DOES IT WORK?

The AMAL in Heritage program is divided into three prongs:

  1. Preparedness
  2. Response
  3. Recovery

Please read below for further information on each part of the program:

Preparedness

Workshops

Distance Learning and Remote Training

Response

Rapid Impact Assessment

Recovery

Database and Mapping System

With the inauguration of this pilot program, GHF and our partners are confident that – though we cannot always be present on the ground – we can contribute to the toolkits of conservators in a positive and effective manner. We are filled with hope at its promise to help stem the tide of cultural loss in the Middle East and North Africa.

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