TUNISIA, 21st July, 2016 (WAM) – The Director-General of the Arab League Educational, Cultural and. Scientific Organisation (ALECSO), Dr. Abdullah Hamad Muhareb, has said that inscribing of Iraq’s Al Ahwar wet marshland and the other Iraq archaeological sites, as well as the Sanganeb Marine National Park and Dungonab Bay – Mukkawar Island Marine National Park of Sudan, highlights the cultural and natural value of these archaeological sites.
He congratulated the Ministries of Culture in Baghdad and Khartoum on the inclusion of these sites in the UNESCO list.
Commenting on the decision, Muhareb said, “This decision is a recognition of the global and cultural value of the archaeological sites in Iraq,” while noting that these cities stand as evidence of the Sumerian settlements that emerged in southern Mesopotamia between the fourth and third millennium BC.
The director-general called for further mobilising of international efforts to preserve and protect them from dangers that threaten the common humanity heritage. He also said there was a need to include these sites in the sustainable development system and employ them for the advancement of environmental tourism and culture in the Arab countries.
These Arab sites were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List during the meetings of the 40th session of the World Heritage Committee, held in Istanbul, Turkey from July 10 to 20.
Sanganeb Marine National Park and Dungonab Bay – Mukkawar Island Marine National Park (Sudan), consists of two separate areas. Sanganeb is an isolated coral reef in the central Red Sea and the only atoll, 25 km off the shoreline of Sudan. The second element of the property is made up of Dungonab Bay and Mukkawar Island, situated 125 km north of Port Sudan. It includes a highly diverse system of coral reefs, mangroves, seagrass beds, beaches and islets. The site provides a habitat for a population of seabirds, marine mammals, fish, sharks, turtles and manta rays. Dungonab Bay also has a globally significant population of dugongs.
The Ahwar of southern Iraq, a refuge of biodiversity and the relict landscape of the Mesopotamian cities (The Republic of Iraq), is made up of seven sites – three archaeological sites and four wetland marsh areas in southern Iraq. The archaeological cities of Uruk and Ur and the Tell Eridu archaeological site form part of the remains of the Sumerian cities and settlements that developed in southern Mesopotamia between the 4th and the 3rd millennium BCE in the marshy delta of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
The Ahwar of Southern Iraq – also known as the Iraqi Marshlands – are unique, as one of the world’s largest inland delta systems, in an extremely hot and arid environment.