Cultural Heritage of Humanity, the official Saudi Press Agency

Saudi Arabia welcomed the official inscription of ‘Arabic Calligraphy: Knowledge, skills and practices’ on UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported Tuesday.

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The Kingdom and fifteen other Arab countries collaborated under the supervision of the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO) to present the nomination to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, according to the press agency.

“We welcome the inscription of Arabic calligraphy, which is the result of the Kingdom championing this treasured aspect of authentic Arabic culture,” Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Culture said.

“Throughout 2020 and 2021, the [Kingdom’s] Ministry of Culture has worked to preserve this important art form through the ‘Year of Arabic Calligraphy’ which has further cemented the Kingdom’s position as a global hub for Arabic calligraphy and the arts,” he added.

Arabic calligraphy, a symbol of Arab and national identity, is deeply woven into Saudi history and in recognition of its cultural importance, the Ministry of Culture designated the years 2020 and 2021 the ‘Year of Arabic Calligraphy,’ SPA reported.

Visitors to the Kingdom can witness early forms of the Arabic language in ancient inscriptions at locations including UNESCO World Heritage Sites, AlUla and Hima Najran.

“With its importance derived from religious texts, Arabic calligraphy has played a pivotal role in the advancement of the Arabic language throughout history,” the press agency reported.

SPA added that it has contributed to the transfer of Arab culture, customs and religious values thereby instilling a sense of pride and belonging among Arab people.

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