Manama � Palestinian Culture Minister Ehab Bseiso welcomed the resolution adopted by the Extraordinary Session of the Islamic Conference of Culture Ministers on enhancing Islamic and international support for the preservation of Jerusalem’s cultural heritage.
He said the resolution is in line with the aspirations of the Arab and Islamic nation to stand by Palestine and its capital Jerusalem against the Israeli occupation policies attempting to isolate Palestine from its Arab and Islamic depth.
In an exclusive interview with the Union of OIC News Agencies (UNA) on the sidelines of the Islamic Conference of Culture Ministers in Manama, Bahrain, Bseiso said the adoption of Jerusalem as the permanent capital of Islamic culture, in conjunction with the announcement of Jerusalem as the capital of Islamic culture for 2019, is a very important message that city is part of the Arab and Islamic nation.
He added that the human, cultural and knowledge heritage in Jerusalem is also part of the Arab and Islamic heritage, with all its architectural, art, thought and documentary elements.
The minister said these resolutions formed the starting point for more joint Arab and Islamic action to support the resilience of the Jerusalemites and Palestinian culture. In this regard, he praised the role played by the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) and the stances of its Director General Dr. Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri.
“The support of Jerusalem and the culture in this holy city remains the Arab and Islamic cultural concern, Bseiso said.
We all strive for the victory of humanity and culture in the face of the darkness and oppression that the Israeli occupation is trying to make them a reality for Palestine, but the lights of freedom and culture will eventually achieve the victory for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, he noted.
On the mechanisms of implementing the resolutions adopted by the conference on Jerusalem, the Palestinian minister said that these resolutions represent an umbrella for cooperation and joint action, whose main objective is to maintain the awareness about Jerusalem and Palestine as a central issue in all its cultural, political, historical and geographical dimensions.
Bseiso explained that these resolutions, which coincided with the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People, approved by the United Nations, constitute a departure point for cultural exchange and enhancement of experiences as well as activating Palestinian, Arab and Islamic cultural events, for the permanent presence of Jerusalem in the international events and forums. He pointed out that the strengthening of cultural infrastructure, specifically in the capital Jerusalem, is one of the axes of the Palestinian steadfastness.
The culture minister stressed the need to pay attention to the cultural spaces in Jerusalem, and Palestine in general, which is part of the historical and social system of Islamic and Arab culture, in addition to paying attention to the publications and creative, documentary and research works. He affirmed that there are many ideas in this area on the table, which can be discussed and crystallized into attainable executive programs. These ideas can also achieve communication among peoples in general, in order to attain victory for Jerusalem and strengthen Arab and Islamic solidarity with it.
On the relationship between Palestine and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and international organizations concerned with heritage, Bseiso underscored that the move to join these bodies is part of Palestine’s policy to strengthen its presence on the world map, and ensure immunity, legally and diplomatically, against violations committed by the occupation authorities on the ground. He noted that the accession of Palestine to UNESCO was in line with this vision to protect the Palestinian heritage and the registration of some of this heritage � such as Bethlehem, Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron and Battir’s historic landscape � on the World Heritage List contributed to safeguarding it against the distortion attempts being carried out by the Israeli occupation.
The minister said Palestine’s accession to UNESCO enabled it to benefit from the programs of this Organization in the domains of culture, education and science, as is the case with ISESCO and the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO).
As for documenting the violations committed by the occupation against the Palestinian heritage, Bseiso said that documentation is a stage of protection. Therefore, all crimes and violations against the heritage, existence and the history of Palestine are being documented in all their dimensions. He pointed out that the documentation needs Arab, Islamic and international support so that Palestine can protect this heritage and the Palestinian resistance to the Israeli occupation’s war machine, which is trying to uproot the heritage with all its human and spatial dimensions.
Source: International Islamic News Agency