Bedouin of Bekaa. ©

Asaad Saleh

We are pleased to award the Preserving the living memory of the pastoral routes and heritage of the Bedouin in Lebanon project £100,000

This project will collect, archive and share the traditional skills and living memory of the Bedouins of Bekaa in Lebanon. The Bedouin are a group of nomadic peoples who have historically inhabited areas of the Levant, North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.

Intangible Bedouin Heritage

The intangible heritage of the Bedouin of Bekaa has come under pressure from the obstruction of movement across the Lebanese-Syrian border. This has been a result of historical conflict in this region, including the Lebanese Civil War, Syrian military presence in the country, but also the current war in Syria. This has made it more difficult for Bedouin communities to re-establish their historic pastoral routes and therefore has put their cultural heritage and identity at risk.

Preserving Bedouin Traditions

The project will train 30 volunteers, of which 20 will be Bedouins, to develop skills in the documentation, protection, archiving and management of intangible cultural heritage. Using a range of ethnographic and community participatory techniques (including participatory mapping), these volunteers will be involved in the identification, research and documentation of traditions and oral histories related to their pastoral mobility routes. This information will be made available in an online Open Access Archive.

The project will also comprise a range of advocacy activities, including the development of a mobile application to connect Bedouins and crowdsource information about their heritage, a virtual exhibition co-developed with the Bedouins, and a portfolio for safeguarding their intangible cultural heritage following the UNESCO guidelines.

About the Institute for Heritage and Sustainable Human Development

The Institute for Heritage and Sustainable Human Development (INHERIT) is part of the York Archaeological Trust for Excavation and Research Limited. The Trust is an independent and wholly self-funded charity with over 200 permanent staff based across four centres in England and Scotland and with the explicit charitable aims of research and education. INHERIT is the Trust’s new and innovative venture which seeks to demonstrate how heritage can be used as a means to address human need and achieve socio-economic development.

Project partners

American University of Beirut