Middle East People’s Culture Conservation Collective

Against the backdrop of a mass exodus of religious minorities from the Middle East, there is an urgency to empower the youth from the communities left behind to find opportunities for professional development and income generation through the preservation of their heritage. With the breakdown in social relations caused by intense minority related forms of targeting in Iraq, Syria and Egypt, this project endeavours to contribute to social cohesion through the positive power of heritage repertoires (food, music and dance in particular).

In Syria and Iraq, the ongoing war has separated religious minorities across borders, thereby creating a desperate need for preserving heritage that has become scattered across different geographic areas. While in Egypt and Iraq, there is an official national endorsement of the importance of protecting heritage, the policy predominantly focuses on tangible forms and does not cover the minorities on the extreme margin (such as the Kakais in Iraq, or Coptic Apostolic in Egypt). This project is unique in its adaptation of participatory development and digital archiving methods, which we will seek to leverage further funding post-2025 from international development aid as well as from diaspora communities.

This project will also focus on safeguarding the intangible cultural heritage of religious, ethnic and linguistic minorities in Syria, Iraq and Egypt via capacity building in collection & digitization & dissemination skills targeting local youth.

Project details

start date
8 January 2023
end date
31 January 2025


Supported by
British Council

About this project