Date palm added to UNESCO Intangible Heritage list

GCC states including Bahrain, Oman and the UAE submitted the date palm for consideration

Date palm added to UNESCO Intangible Heritage list
Date palm added to UNESCO Intangible Heritage list Image #2

The date palm has been added to the UNESCO Intangible Heritage list after a joint submission from 14 countries.

Intangible cultural heritage refers to oral traditions, rituals, events, crafts and performing arts, in contrast to tangible cultural heritage such as monuments or buildings.

The date palm was submitted by GCC states including Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, as well as Egypt, Morocco and Jordan among others.

Writing about the submission on the UNESCO website, the judges said, “The date palm, knowledge, skills, traditions and practices have played a pivotal role in strengthening the connection between people and the land in the Arab region, helping them face the challenges of the harsh desert environment.

“This historic relationship in the region and the element has produced a rich cultural heritage of related practices between people in the region, knowledge and skills maintained to this day.”

The judges also notes that the date palm serves as the source of a number of crafts, professions and cultural traditions.

Other practices on the list include falconry, Arabic coffee as a symbol of generosity, and Majlis as a cultural and social space.

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