Muscat: To raise awareness on the importance of the mankind’s cultural heritage and redouble efforts to protect and preserve heritage the Sultanate will mark World Heritage Day (WHD) on Wednesday.
The theme of this year’s celebration is Cultural Heritage and Sustainable Tourism, which comes in line with the United Nations International Year for Sustainable Tourism, and in the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Sustainable Development Goals.
The celebration of this day comes in accordance with the Convention adopted by the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris in 1972.
The convention classified the human heritage into two types, cultural which includes archaeology, architectural works, urban complexes and urban sites of exceptional value. The second type is the natural and includes the natural sites of international value.
In the Sultanate’s celebration of this occasion and the events programme set by the Ministry of Heritage and Culture, a seminar on the Omani Aflaj among the World Heritage List was held at the Nizwa Cultural Centre. The seminar was presented by Dr. Abdullah Al Ghaeri, Director of the Aflaj Research Unit at Nizwa University, and Nasser Al Rawahi, Director of World Heritage Aflaj in the Ministry of Regional Municipality and Water Resources.
In July 2006, the World Heritage Committee listed five Omani Aflaj in the World Heritage List as an expression of the international status of this unique water system. The system is a cultural heritage that Omanis created for more than 2,000 years as the oldest irrigation engineering in the region. It remains the main source of water irrigation in the Sultanate, and a water supplier on which most of the cities and villages of Oman depend.
The Aflaj includes Daris in the Wilayat of Nizwa, Al Khatmeen in the Niyabat of Barkat Al Moz, Al Malki in the Wilayat of Izki, Al Mayaser in the Wilayat of A’Rustaq and Al Jila in the Wilayat of Sur.