Er­bil ci­tadel en­ters World Her­itage Sites

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE -

The United Na­tions Ed­u­ca­tional, Sci­en­tific and Cul­tural Or­ga­ni­za­tion (UNESCO) of­fi­cially rec­og­nized Er­bil ci­tadel as a World Her­itage Site in a spe­cial cer­e­mony held at the ci­tadel in the Kur­dish cap­i­tal city of Er­bil on Novem­ber 2.

In the cer­e­mony, in which many gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials at­tended, the Kur­dish Prime Min­is­ter, Nechir­van Barzani, de­liv­ered a speech.

“I am happy and pleased to par­tic­i­pate here to­day with you in this event. We are wit­ness­ing another suc­cess in Kur­dis­tan, as we are see­ing another im­por­tant and big step by Kur­dis­tan to­wards the rest of the world which is the recog­ni­tion of the his­tor­i­cal ci­tadel of Er­bil as a World Her­itage Site, en­abling it to for­mally be­come part of the arche­o­log­i­cal and cul­tural his­tory of the world,” said Barzani.

The ci­tadel of Er­bil is a place with a long his­tory, over 6000 years old, putting its roots in the his­tory books. Tens of lead­ers, rulers and em­per­ors have passed by the ci­tadel dur­ing dif­fer­ent eras in his­tory. The ci­tadel was used as a fortress to de­fend Er­bil and its peo­ple and helped de­feat the strong­est and most dan­ger­ous armies. It al­ways re­mains a proud sym­bol in the mid­dle of the an­cient city.

Barzani said "The recog­ni­tion and in­clu­sion of the Er­bil ci­tadel on the World Her­itage List is a source of pride and great honor to Er­bil, Kur­dis­tan, the peo­ple of Kur­dis­tan, Iraq and even the larger Mid­dle East. It is an im­por­tant and a wor­thy event."

In re­cent his­tory, a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of per­son­al­i­ties and fa­mous fig­ures from the ci­tadel have served Kur­dis­tan in var­i­ous fields. The life­style and the cul­ture of the ci­tadel be­came an im­por­tant part of the daily lives of the peo­ple, so­ci­ety and cul­ture in Er­bil. The ci­tadel has fre­quently been men­tioned in Kur­dish lit­er­a­ture and tra­di­tional songs.

Barzani ap­pre­ci­ated UNESCO and the High Com­mis­sion of Er­bil Ci­tadel Re­vi­tal­iza­tion spe­cial- ly Dara Yaqobi who heads this Com­mis­sion and his col­leagues who worked tire­lessly to en­sure the recog­ni­tion of the his­tor­i­cal site.

He also thanked the Iraqi Board of Ar­chae­ol­ogy, the Iraqi Per­ma­nent Mis­sion to UNESCO, the Er­bil Gov­er­nor, the in­volved au­thor­i­ties and those coun­tries which voted in fa­vor of the ci­tadel.

Then, Irina Bokova, the Gen­eral Di­rec­tor of UNESCO paid trib­ute to Iraq’s mil­len­nial cul­tural legacy. Then she handed over the cer­tifi­cate to the Kur­dish Prime Min­is­ter Barzani.

“Sav­ing the past of Iraq is es­sen­tial to sav­ing the fu­ture of this coun­try and to our col­lec­tive his­tory as well,” Bokova told the au­di­ence.

The United Na­tions Ed­u­ca­tional, Sci­en­tific and Cul­tural Or­ga­ni­za­tion (UNESCO) of­fi­cially rec­og­nized Er­bil ci­tadel as a World Her­itage Site in a spe­cial cer­e­mony held at the ci­tadel in the Kur­dish cap­i­tal city of Er­bil on Novem­ber 2.

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