Er­bil Ci­tadel Granted World Her­itage Sta­tus

Ob­tain­ing the sta­tus gives the Kur­dish na­tion a sense of pride

The Kurdish Globe - - NEWS -

The Er­bil Ci­tadel that dom­i­nates the cap­i­tal of Iraqi Kur­dis­tan was granted World Her­itage Site Sta­tus on June 15, in a move praised as rare "a glimpse of op­ti­mism" amid the coun­try's vi­o­lentstricken ex­is­tence.

Del­e­gates at UNESCO's World Her­itage Com­mit­tee voted to grant the cov­eted sta­tus at a gath­er­ing in Doha, where they were con­sid­er­ing some 40 cul­tural and nat­u­ral won­ders to in­clude on the UN list.

A mem­ber of the Iraqi del­e­ga­tion praised the in­clu­sion as a gift given by the del­e­ga­tion to the people and all the com­mu­ni­ties of Iraq, who are in such need of a to­ken of op­ti­mism right now."

The Er­bil Ci­tadel is a for­merly for­ti­fied mound in the cen­tre of Er­bil that is among the old­est con- tin­u­ously in­hab­ited sites in the world, dat­ing back to at least 6,000 years.

Er­bil has been largely in­su­lated from the lat­est un­rest in Iraq, where Sunni in­sur­gents have over­run swathes of ter­ri­tory north of Bagh­dad, dis­plac­ing hun­dreds of thou­sands and threat­en­ing the coun­try's very ex­is­tence.

The Paris-based United Na­tions Ed­u­ca­tional, Sci­en­tific and Cul­tural Or­ga­ni­za­tion over­see the sys­tem of grant­ing World Her­itage Sta­tus to im­por­tant cul­tural and nat­u­ral sites.

Ob­tain­ing the sta­tus for sites is a point of pride for many na­tions and can boost tourism and na­tional pride, but it comes with strict con­ser­va­tion rules as well.

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