RIYADH: The Saudi Ministry of Culture on Sunday hosted a workshop and coordination meeting to register Arabic calligraphy on UNESCO’s Lists of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Riyadh.
Sixteen Arab countires are participating in the five-day 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.
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.
“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 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.