September 14, 2020 0

Director-General (DG) of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, stated that the optimal use of new technology and artificial intelligence (AI) are tools that can be harnessed on to keep heritage safe and renewable in the Islamic world.

“We should instill the sense of responsibility in emerging generations so that they can truly appreciate the national literary and symbolic value of this heritage,” he added.
The statement came in a video-recorded address for Tajikistan’s celebration ceremony of the 5500th Anniversary of the city of Sarazm. The ancient city was inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage List in 2010.

Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon and senior officials attended the ceremony. UNESCO’s Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, also recorded her address to the audience.

Dr. AlMalik reiterated the central importance of the Islamic city with its architecture, heritage, and civilization in ICESCO’s program for the Celebration of Islamic World Culture Capitals (CIWCC).

The celebration of the 5500th Anniversary of Sarazm is a powerful testimony of the history-steeped civilizational heritage of the Islamic world because “Culture and the city are closely intertwined, as culture is the product of urbanism,” Dr. AlMalik explained.
“ICESCO’s CIWCC program confirms the role cities play in refreshing the memories of generations and linking the present with the glorious past of the Islamic world,” he emphasized.

The DG viewed the celebration as an opportunity to stress the important role Central Asia and its ancient cities played in incubating the diverse and rich cultural identity of the Islamic world. “The mere mention of one of those cities brings back to the memory the renowned figures of thought and knowledge in the Islamic history, such as Al-Bukhari, Ibn Sina, Al-Farabi, Al-Khawarizmi and many others,” he emphasized.

Dr. AlMalik reaffirmed that ICESCO continues its endeavors to protect heritage in the Islamic world and counter threats against its preservation. The Islamic World Heritage Committee initiated the endeavors, while ICESCO took upon itself to save and rehabilitate civilizational heritage and prepare a guide on its symbols.

The Organization countered illicit practices through the international conference for the fight against illicit trafficking in cultural property, held in July 2020. These efforts, Dr. AlMalik concluded, are in line with those of Member States to preserve their cultural and civilizational heritage.

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