Young Experts dedicated to Syria's Cultural Heritage
23 young experts from six countries work together to safeguard and preserve the cultural heritage of Syria.
Believing in the importance of involving young experts in the protection and promotion of World Heritage, the German Commission for UNESCO and the Gerda Henkel Foundation organised a young experts' forum in Berlin in June 2016 in the context of the International Expert Meeting “Emergency Safeguarding of Syria’s Cultural Heritage”, held at the Federal Foreign Office and co-organised with UNESCO. At this forum, young scientists and activists from Syria, Germany, France, Colombia, India and Iran cooperated to make their generation’s voice heard in the international debate on safeguarding the manifold Syrian cultural heritage.
In their joint declaration at the opening ceremony of the International Expert Meeting, the young experts emphasised the importance of safeguarding cultural heritage for a peaceful future in Syria. They particularly highlighted the need for international cooperation across generations.
The Young Experts Forum confirmed the enormous potential offered by exchange and knowledge-sharing. For this reason, the participants recommended the creation of a mentoring programme for young experts and scientists working in fields relevant to the safeguarding of cultural heritage, such as archaeology, urban planning, architecture and cultural studies. In addition, the wish to commit and cooperate on a longer-term perspective gave birth to the idea of a young experts’ network.
This network was created in September 2016 in Berlin during a network meeting organised by the German Commission for UNESCO and the Gerda Henkel Foundation. It is an important contribution to the protection of Syrian cultural heritage by tapping into young expertise.