Saudi Arabia hosts meeting to register Arabic calligraphy with UNESCO

Saudi Arabia hosts meeting to register Arabic calligraphy with UNESCO
Sixteen Arab countires are participating in the meeting in partnership with the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO). (SPA)
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Updated 03 February 2020

Saudi Arabia hosts meeting to register Arabic calligraphy with UNESCO

Saudi Arabia hosts meeting to register Arabic calligraphy with UNESCO
  • Arabic calligraphy represents the civilizational and artistic scene in Saudi and Arab cultures
  • This move will strengthen the presence of Arabic calligraphy in local and international forums and conferences

RIYADH: The Saudi Ministry of Culture will host a workshop and coordination meeting to register Arabic calligraphy on UNESCO’s Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Riyadh on Feb. 2-6, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.
Arabic calligraphy represents the civilizational and artistic scene in Saudi and Arab cultures.
Sixteen Arab countires are participating in the meeting in partnership with the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO).
This move will strengthen the presence of Arabic calligraphy in local and international forums and conferences.
The ministry assigned the Saudi Heritage Preservation Society (SHPS) the management of this file in cooperation with the Saudi National Committee for Education, Culture and Science to present it in full to UNESCO in March.
Hattan bin Mounir bin Samman, the secretary-general of the Saudi National Commission for Education, Culture and Science, said that Arabic calligraphy had an exceptional value due to its long history and uniqueness as one of the richest aspects of Arab and Islamic cultural identity.
“Arabic calligraphy has been — and will continue to be — the focus and passion of experts, stakeholders and those involved in cultural affairs, education and science, who are interested in both human and cultural heritage,” he said.
Abdulrahman Al-Eidan, the director-general of SHPS, said: “We start a story of joint Arab cooperation through the Arabic calligraphy file, with the participation of 16 Arab countries, after we celebrated registering the palm tree as a common Arab file two months ago in Bogota, Colombia.”
He said that the art of Arabic calligraphy was an important knowledge vessel that contained Arab culture and contributed to passing it from one generation to the next.
Al-Eidan said that registering Arabic calligraphy with UNESCO complements the minister of culture’s announcement that 2020 was the year of Arabic calligraphy.
Hayat Qattat, director of the Department of Culture at the ALECSO, said that raising cultural awareness is everyone’s responsibility as “culture with all its components is the thin thread that connects people to communicate with one another.”
Saudi Arabia has succeeded in registering seven items on UNESCO’s Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage; falconry, the majlis, coffee, the Najdi ardah, Almezmar, Al-Qatt Al-Asiri, and the palm tree.