Our Beacon Forum

Palestine Culture Week
By:Prof. Mazin Qumsiyeh, Occupied Palestine
Date: Sunday, 19 May 2019, 8:19 pm

Dear colleagues:

On the anniversary of the Nakba last week we had a number of events related
to culture and you are invited to join us this coming week for events
related to bio and human diversity. Nakba of course refers to the forced
ethnic cleansing of Palestine that started in 1948 but is continuing today.
For the events last week, we had a series of workshops on tourism and hotel
management research where master students, visitors, and I discussed how we
promote responsible tourism via research. We also had four international
delegations visit our museum including the newly opened Ethnography section
of the Palestine Museum of Natural History
(http://palestinenature.org/visit) which
brings together tangible and intangible cultural heritage of us (native
Palestinians) going back several thousand years. We were also happy to host
an event Thursday bringing together 11 great projects (including ours)
funded by the British Council to protect, valorize and value cultural
heritage under threat (see press release below for detail).

For this coming week, coinciding with International Day of Biodiversity (
https://www.cbd.int/idb/2019/about/) we will have a series of events at the
Palestine Museum of Natural History and our nascent botanical garden. For
this week, the museum will be open to the public every day without
admission (though donations are welcome) and we plan to have workshops
every day Monday to Thursday 3-4 PM on areas like studying birds, mammals
and human diversity. Wednesday we will also release a rehabilitated Eagle
owl. Thursday and Friday we have taxidermy and specimen preparation days
(these are animals found dead or illegally killed that are donated to us
plus insects). Join us and learn about the amazing biodiversity. We hope
you can join us for some of these activities.
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The British Council brings together UK Cultural Protection Fund projects in
Palestine at Bethlehem University

Bethlehem - The British Council held a meeting on Thursday 16 May 2019 for
all the Cultural Protection Fund projects operating in Occupied Palestinian
Territories, hosted by the Palestine Museum of Natural History at Bethlehem
University. The aim was to share experience and learning from the 11
projects across Palestine and enable the partners to meet and network
together.

The British Council’s Cultural Protection Fund, in partnership with the UK
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, supports organisations to
deliver projects in the wider Middle East and North Africa region to
protect heritage at risk. These organisations are helping local people to
identify and value cultural heritage; building skills so that local experts
can protect their own cultural assets for future generations; and ensuring
that heritage under threat is documented, conserved and restored. The fund
supports 11 projects in Palestine, more than in any other country.

Country Director of the British Council Martin Daltry said that ‘This is a
wonderful opportunity to hear about all the excellent work partners are
doing to preserve, share and promote irreplaceable cultural heritage which
is under threat across Palestine from Gaza to Jerusalem to the South Hebron
Hills. It is clearly important that we all work together with local
communities and local and international partners to preserve this heritage
which is of global importance. We’re delighted the UK is playing a major
part in this endeavour and we’re grateful to all our Palestinian partners
and to the Palestine Museum of Natural History and Bethlehem University for
hosting this event. We look forward to sharing this work more widely in
Palestine and beyond.’

Some of the projects discussed include “Rehabilitation of the ancient Ein
al Balad Spring in Battir”; Al-Khalidi Library project; “Protecting Bedouin
Cultural Heritage in South Hebronb Hills; “Enhancing Vernacular Heritage in
As-Samou”; “Preservation of Archaeological Sites in the Gaza strip;
“Conservation for Digitisation of endangered documents”; “Development of
Rural Jerusalem”; “Protecting Palestinian Land and Heritage through
Museology”; “Sufi Shrines: Protecting Nabi Ghaith Shrine through
Rehabilitation”; “Restoration of Mamluk Façade in Jerusalem”. The
participants thanked the British Counbcil and the UK government for the
support and discussed collaboration and expansion of their work. They then
toured the new Ethnography exhibit at the Palestine Museum of Natural
History.
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Stay Human and come visit us in Palestine

Mazin Qumsiyeh
A bedouin in cyberspace, a villager at home
Professor, Founder, and (volunteer) Director
Palestine Museum of Natural History
Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability
Bethlehem University
Occupied Palestine
http://qumsiyeh.org
http://palestinenature.org
facebook pages
Personal https://www.facebook.com/mazin.qumsiyeh.9
Museum
https://www.facebook.com/Palestine-Museum-of-Natural-History-1454309858180882/