The Cultural Protection Fund supports projects to protect cultural heritage at risk in the Middle East and North Africa

The fund supports organisations to deliver projects in the wider Middle East and North Africa region to protect heritage at risk. These organisations are helping local people to identify and value cultural heritage; building skills so that local experts can protect their own cultural assets for future generations; and ensuring that heritage under threat is documented, conserved and restored.

There are currently 51 projects taking place across the fund's 12 target countries. See the full list of projects below: 

Afghanistan

  • Afghan National Gallery Painting Restoration. £50,000 awarded to the Foundation for Culture & Civil Society to carry out a preliminary needs assessment and subsequent restoration work on 150 paintings within the Afghan National Collection that were destroyed by the Taliban. This project is delivered in partnership with Sayed & Nadia Consultancy Inc and the Afghan National Gallery.
  • Preservation of Endangered Languages in Afghanistan's Badakhshan Province. £100,000 awarded to Aga Khan Foundation to preserve endangered Pamiri languages in Afghanistan through the collection of linguistic data, which will be used to develop a multilingual dictionary for the most at-risk languages. This project is delivered in partnership with University of Central Asia, Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tajikistan, the Aga Khan Foundation Afghanistan, and Pamirs Eco-Cultural Tourism Association (PECTA).
  • Preserving Afghan Heritage. £2,497,198  awarded to Turquoise Mountain Trust to protect heritage and intangible craft skills in Kabul's Old City Murad Khani. This project is delivered in partnership with Turquoise Mountain Foundation and Turquoise Mountain Institute. 
  • Protecting minority languages in Afghanistan. £65,381 awarded to SIL International to preserve and protect minority languages in Afghanistan through the documentation of folktales, rites of passage, music, and traditional beliefs. This project is delivered in partnership with Greenlight Development Consultants (GDC) and Procomm.

Egypt

  • Circulating Artefacts: a cross-platform alliance against the looting of pharaonic antiquities. £998,769 awarded to the British Museum to create a new database of Egyptian and Nubian artefacts currently in circulation on the international art market, and those held in private collections, to counteract looting and illegal trafficking. This project is delivered in partnership with The Ministry of Antiquities, Egypt; The National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums (NCAM); and The Art & Antiques Unit of the Metropolitan Police Service (New Scotland Yard).
  • Conserving Egyptian Coptic Culture. £555,759 awarded to The Institute of Development Studies (IDS) at the University of Sussex to create an archive of contemporary Coptic intangible cultural heritage whilst building local communities' capacity for long term heritage preservation. This project is delivered in partnership with Coptic Culture Centre (CCC), Coptic Association for Social Care in Minya (CASC), and University of Sussex (Digital / Sussex Humanities Lab).  
  • Preserving Egyptian Coptic Heritage through Conservation, Scholarship and Educational Dissemination. £101,382 awarded to The Levantine Foundation to conserve manuscripts within the Deir al Surian monastery in Egypt. Coptic and Arabic manuscripts will be conserved, catalogued and photographed. This project is delivered in partnership with the Deir al Surian monastery.
  • Rescuing the Mamluk Minbars of Cairo. £327,302 awarded to the Egyptian Heritage Rescue Foundation (EHRF) to focus on the research, documentation and conservation of Mamluk minbars in Historic Cairo. This project is delivered in partnership with Historic Cairo Project (HCP), School of Islamic and Geometric design (SIGD), and Egyptian European Organization for Training and Development (EEOTD).
  • Revival of the Mosque of Moqbil. £79,520 awarded to Environmental Quality International (EQI) to support the restoration of a traditional rock-salt mosque in the old fortified city of Shali, Egypt.
  • Restoration of the Aghormi mosque by the residents of Siwa. £120,297 awarded to Environmental Quality International (EQI) to train local community residents to restore the Kershef Mosque in Aghormi, Egypt. These works will safeguard against further deterioration and return the mosque to public use. This project is delivered in partnership with the Life Science Network.
  • Training in Endangered Archaeology Methodology. £2,161,055 awarded to a consortium of three UK higher education institutions (University of Oxford, University of Leicester, and University of Durham) with the University of Oxford acting as the lead applicant, to train archaeologists from eight countries in the use of an open-source aerial recording methodology, designed for conflict zones and other areas where access to the ground is restricted. This project is delivered in partnership with the Department of Antiquities, Jordan; Department of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage, Palestine; General Organisation of Antiquities and Museums, Yemen; Department of Antiquities, Libya; Directorate General of Antiquities, Lebanon; Institut National du Patrimoine, Tunisia; State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, Iraq; Ministry of State of Antiquities, Egypt; and Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Egypt.

Jordan

  • Music Schools for Refugees. £296,060 awarded to Action for Hope to preserve and promote traditional Syrian music and musical instrument making among refugee communities in Lebanon and Jordan. This project is delivered in partnership with the Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere and The Aga Khan Music Initiative.
  • Protecting Levantine crafts through embedded training and traditional learning. £97,060 awarded to Turquoise Mountain Trust to train young Syrians and Jordanians in traditional craft-work skills including mother-of-pearl inlay, woodcarving, carpentry, and wood mosaic.
  • Syrian Stonemasonry Training Scheme. £536,671 awarded to World Monuments Fund Britain to provide a group of Syrian and Jordanian trainees with traditional stonemasonry skills that can be used to repair conflict-affected historic buildings. This project is delivered in partnership with Petra National Trust.
  • Training in Endangered Archaeology Methodology. £2,161,055 awarded to a consortium of three UK higher education institutions (University of Oxford, University of Leicester, and University of Durham) with the University of Oxford acting as the lead applicant, to train archaeologists from eight countries in the use of an open-source aerial recording methodology, designed for conflict zones and other areas where access to the ground is restricted. This project is delivered in partnership with the Department of Antiquities, Jordan; Department of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage, Palestine; General Organisation of Antiquities and Museums, Yemen; Department of Antiquities, Libya; Directorate General of Antiquities, Lebanon; Institut National du Patrimoine, Tunisia; State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, Iraq; Ministry of State of Antiquities, Egypt; and Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Egypt.

Lebanon

  • Dome houses from Syria. £84,616  awarded to arcenciel to preserve and revitalise the tradition of domed houses to offer a housing solution to displaced Syrian families. 
  • Music Schools for Refugees. £296,060 awarded to Action for Hope to preserve and promote traditional Syrian music and musical instrument making among refugee communities in Lebanon and Jordan. This project is delivered in partnership with the Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere and The Aga Khan Music Initiative.
  • Preserving the historic homes of displaced communities in Lebanon. £1,857,557 awarded to United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) to rehabilitate a significant portion of the historic centres of two cities in Lebanon. This project is delivered in partnership with The Azm and Saade Association (ASA) and The Development of People and Nature Association  (DPNA). 
  • Preserving the living memory of the pastoral routes and heritage of the Bedouin. £100,000 awarded to The Institute for Heritage and Sustainable Human Development (INHERIT), which is part of the York Archaeological Trust for Excavation and Research Limited, to collect, archive and share the traditional skills and living memory of the Bedouins of Bekaa in Lebanon. This project is delivered in partnership with the American University of Beirut.
  • Swansea City Opera Lebanon Heritage Project. £96,700  awarded to Swansea City Opera to create a permanent record of the intangible cultural heritage of Palestinian and Syrian refugee groups across five camps in Lebanon, seeking to bring communities together through the re-creation of festivals, the exchange of recipes, dances and shared stories. This project is delivered in partnership with the Dreams of Refugee Association, the American University of Beirut , and Social Humanitarian Economical Intervention for Local Development (Lebanon).
  • Training in Endangered Archaeology Methodology. £2,161,055 awarded to a consortium of three UK higher education institutions (University of Oxford, University of Leicester, and University of Durham) with the University of Oxford acting as the lead applicant, to train archaeologists from eight countries in the use of an open-source aerial recording methodology, designed for conflict zones and other areas where access to the ground is restricted. This project is delivered in partnership with the Department of Antiquities, Jordan; Department of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage, Palestine; General Organisation of Antiquities and Museums, Yemen; Department of Antiquities, Libya; Directorate General of Antiquities, Lebanon; Institut National du Patrimoine, Tunisia; State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, Iraq; Ministry of State of Antiquities, Egypt; and Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Egypt.
  • Valorisation of Mengez megalithic sites. £84,183 awarded to Laboratory of prehistoric archaeology and anthropology (LAP) at the University of Geneva to work on the preservation and optimisation of tourism of the megalithic dolmens of Mengez, in the Akkar region of Northern Lebanon. This project is delivered in partnership with the Municipality of Mengez (Akkar, Lebanon); Museum of Lebanese Prehistory - Université Saint-Joseph (Beyrouth, Lebanon); Chateau-Musée de Préhistoire (Bélesta, France); and the Directorate of General Antiquities (Beyrouth, Lebanon).
  • Youth-led approach to preserving Lebanese cultural heritage. £569,782 awarded to Search for Common Ground awarded to focus on the preservation and promotion of historical sites, oral history, cultural festivals and traditional crafts and customs in six rural and urban areas. This project is delivered in partnership with NAHNOO, Biladi and Arcenciel.

Libya

  • Training in Action. £963,825 awarded to the University of Durham  to train 40 staff from Libyan and Tunisian national heritage organisations in documentation techniques, preventative conservation and heritage management. This project is delivered in partnership with the Institute National du Partimone de Tunisie, the Department of Antiquities, Libya and the Society of Libyan Studies. There is also involvement from scholars resident at Kings College London and the University College London.
  • Training in Endangered Archaeology Methodology. £2,161,055 awarded to a consortium of three UK higher education institutions (University of Oxford, University of Leicester, and University of Durham) with the University of Oxford acting as the lead applicant, to train archaeologists from eight countries in the use of an open-source aerial recording methodology, designed for conflict zones and other areas where access to the ground is restricted. This project is delivered in partnership with the Department of Antiquities, Jordan; Department of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage, Palestine; General Organisation of Antiquities and Museums, Yemen; Department of Antiquities, Libya; Directorate General of Antiquities, Lebanon; Institut National du Patrimoine, Tunisia; State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, Iraq; Ministry of State of Antiquities, Egypt; and Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Egypt.

Iraq

  • An Ark for Iraq. £99,246 awarded to Safina Projects to revitalise and document the endangered watercraft heritage of traditional boats in central and southern Iraq. This project is delivered in partnership with the Ministry of Water Resources - Centre for Restoration of Iraq's Marshes and Wetlands (CRIMW); Ministry of Culture - Basra Museum; the Natural History Museum of Basra; Dhi Qar University; Basrah University and Humat Dijlah.
  • Archaeological practice and heritage protection in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. £301,178 awarded to University of Glasgow to monitor site damage to the archaeological heritage of Garmian, increase the capacity of local heritage professionals, and engage local communities with their heritage. This project is delivered in partnership with the Directorate of Antiquities, Suleymaniyah Governorate, Dartmouth College, and The Institute for Heritage and Sustainable Development (INHERIT), part of York Archaeological Trust for Research and Excavation Ltd.
  • The completion of the new Basrah Museum. £771,725 awarded to The Friends of Basrah Museum (FOBM)  to complete three galleries in the newly opened Basrah Museum, in Iraq. This project is delivered in partnership with The Department of Antiquities and Heritage, Basrah; The State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, Baghdad; and HWH & Associates. 
  • Ground survey, documentation and protection. £329,780 awarded to the Department of Archaeology at the University of Manchester to survey and document the pre-Islamic Alexandrian city of Charax, as well as 14 other sites in the Basrah Province (Southern Iraq) to increase understanding and provide baseline data for the management and support of the sites. This project is delivered in partnership with the State Board for Antiquities and Heritage (SBAH), Iraq.
  • Planning the future of Amedi. £100,000 awarded to World Monuments Fund Britain to enhance and document built heritage in the historic town of Amedi in Iraq. This project is delivered in partnership with The University of Dohuk.
  • Preserving Yazidi heritage and identity. £96,800 awarded to The University of Liverpool (UoL) to engage young Yazidis, and provide them with the relevant training to support them to engage with, record and share their cultural heritage.This project is delivered in partnership with the Printing and Media Centre of Khak TV and the Directorate of Antiquities of Sulaymaniyah (DAS).
  • Recording, protecting and sharing Yazidi musical culture in Northern Iraq. £250,955 awarded to AMAR International Charitable Foundation to record and document Yazidi music, and develop a teaching programme guided by the Yazidi Spiritual Council (YSC) for Yazidis in the displacement camps of northern Iraq. This project is delivered in partnership with Yazidi Spiritual Council and the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford.
  • Training in Endangered Archaeology Methodology. £2,161,055 awarded to a consortium of three UK higher education institutions (University of Oxford, University of Leicester, and University of Durham) with the University of Oxford acting as the lead applicant, to train archaeologists from eight countries in the use of an open-source aerial recording methodology, designed for conflict zones and other areas where access to the ground is restricted. This project is delivered in partnership with the Department of Antiquities, Jordan; Department of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage, Palestine; General Organisation of Antiquities and Museums, Yemen; Department of Antiquities, Libya; Directorate General of Antiquities, Lebanon; Institut National du Patrimoine, Tunisia; State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, Iraq; Ministry of State of Antiquities, Egypt; and Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Egypt.

Occupied Palestinian Territories

  • Building the capacity to protect Palestinian land and heritage through museology. £94,650 awarded to The Palestine Institute for Biodiversity and Sustainability, in partnership with Masar Ibrahim Al-Khalil (MIAK) to document tangible and intangible Palestinian ethnographic heritage, paying particular attention to agricultural practices along the cultural route of ‘Abraham’s Path’.
  • Conservation for Digitisation. £152,209 awarded to The Welfare Association (UK) to conserve endangered paper materials within the Palestinian Museum. This project is delivered in partnership with the British Library.
  • Cultural and natural heritage. £97,925 awarded to the Centre for Cultural Heritage Preservation (CCHP) in partnership with the Palestinian Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities (MoTA) and Battir Municipal Council. This project rehabilitated an ancient spring and its associated square, part of the Palestinian World Heritage Site ‘Land of Olives and Vines’.
  • Enhancing vernacular heritage in As-Samou'. £641,204 awarded to HYDEA in partnership with Habash Consulting Engineers (HCE) and As Samou' Municipality. This two year project focused on the documentation, conservation and adaptive re-use of vernacular built heritage to address severe conflict damage in As-Samou'.
  • The revitalisation and development of rural Jerusalem. £1,018,470 awarded to RIWAQ Centre for Architectural Conservation, in partnership with the Al Jib, Qalandiya and Jaba' village council; and the Kafr 'Akab Municipality, Jerusalem to restore the historic centres of four villages in North West and North East Jerusalem, and build capacity in restoration for local workers and heritage professionals.
  • Preserving Palestinian Heritage. £98,000 awarded to The Khalidi Library in partnership with The Kenyon Institute. This project expanded access to the largest private collection of Arabic manuscripts in Jerusalem.
  • Protecting Bedouin Lived Cultural Heritage. £95,486 awarded to The Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations (CTPSR) in partnership with Al Maleh Agricultural Cooperative and Al Twani Crafts Cooperative. This 15 month intergenerational project will focus on the nomadic Bedouin communities of the Occupied-Palestinian Territories.
  • Protection and preservation of historical archaeological sites in the Gaza Strip. £1,755,000 awarded to Première Urgence Internationale (PUI), in partnership with The French Biblical School of Archaeology of Jerusalem (École biblique et archéologique française de Jérusalem), The Islamic University of Gaza and The University of Palestine. This project will rehabilitate two heritage sites in the Gaza Strip: the Saint Hilarion Monastery and a Byzantine Church in Jabaliyah.
  • Restoration of a Mamluk Façade in Jerusalem. £163,525 awarded to The Welfare Association in partnership with the Center for Development Consultancy and Istituto Veneto per i Beni Culturali. This year long project restored the main façade of a Mamluk building in Jerusalem.
  • Sufi Shrines: Centuries of Heritage under Siege, Protecting Nabi Ghaith Shrine through rehabilitation. £95,965 awarded to Rozana Association for the Development of Architectural Heritage to rehabilitate the shrine of Nabi Ghaith and establish a community park surrounding the restored monument. This project is delivered in partnership with the Center for Cultural Heritage Preservation (CCHP) and Deir Ammar Village Council.
  • Swansea City Opera Lebanon Heritage Project. £96,700 awarded to Swansea City Opera to create a permanent record of the intangible cultural heritage of refugee groups across five camps in Lebanon, bringing communities together through the re-creation of festivals, the exchange of recipes, dances and shared stories. This project is delivered in partnership with the Dreams of Refugee Association, the American University of Beirut, and Social Humanitarian Economical Intervention for Local Development (Lebanon).

Sudan

  • Circulating Artefacts: a cross-platform alliance against the looting of pharaonic antiquities project. £998,769 awarded to The British Museum awarded to create a new database of Egyptian and Nubian artefacts currently in circulation on the international art market, and those held in private collections, to counteract looting and illegal trafficking. This project is delivered in partnership with The Ministry of Antiquities, Egypt; The National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums (NCAM); The Art & Antiques Unit of the Metropolitan Police Service (New Scotland Yard).
  • Community museums of Western Sudan: Omdurman, El Obeid, Nyala. £997,000 awarded to ICCROM-ATHAR (Architectural and Archaeological Tangible Heritage in the Arab Region) to restore three museums and provide for the educational and cultural needs of their communities, visitors and tourists. This project is delivered in partnership with the National Corporation for Antiquities and Museums (NCAM); The Centre for Heritage Studies, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge; and Mallinson Architects and Engineers.
  • Conserving Sudanese cultural heritage. £817,221 awarded to King's College London (KCL) to conserve and digitise a range of written and photographic material held in archives in Sudan. This project is delivered in partnership with University of Liverpool (Centre for Archive Studies); Sudanese Association for Archiving Knowledge (SUDAAK), National Record Office of Sudan, Africa City of Technology.
  • Preserving traditional cuisine in Sudan. £76,749 awarded to DAL Charity to focus on the protection and preservation of traditional food and associated recipes in Sudan, with research and documentation taking place across the country. 

Syria

  • Dome houses from Syria. £84,616 awarded to arcenciel to preserve and revitalise the tradition of domed houses to offer a housing solution to displaced Syrian families. 
  • Music Schools for Refugees. £296,060 awarded to Action for Hope to preserve and promote traditional Syrian music and musical instrument making among refugee communities in Lebanon and Jordan. This project is delivered in partnership with the Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere and The Aga Khan Music Initiative.
  • Preserving Syrian Heritage. £109,445 awarded to The Institute for Digital Archaeology to train Syrians in digital documentation techniques in order to digitally document heritage sites at risk.
  • Protecting Levantine crafts through embedded training and traditional learning.  £97,060 awarded to Turquoise Mountain Trust awarded to train young Syrians and Jordanians in traditional craft-work skills including mother-of-pearl inlay, woodcarving, carpentry, and wood mosaic. 
  • Syrian Stonemasonry Training Scheme. £536,671 awarded to World Monuments Fund Britain to provide a group of Syrian and Jordanian trainees with traditional stonemasonry skills that can be used to repair conflict-affected heritage buildings. This project is delivered in partnership with Petra National Trust.
  • Swansea City Opera Lebanon Heritage Project. £96,700 awarded to Swansea City Opera to create a permanent record of the intangible cultural heritage of refugee groups across five camps in Lebanon, seeking to bring communities together through the re-creation of festivals, the exchange of recipes, dances and shared stories. This project is delivered in partnership with the Dreams of Refugee Association, the American University of Beirut, and Social Humanitarian Economical Intervention for Local Development (Lebanon).

Tunisia

  • The digital documentation of the Ksar Said Palace. The Virtual Experience Company awarded £93,125 to provide a 3D educational model of a historically important palace in Tunis, which has been closed for the last 50 years. This project is delivered in partnership with The Rambourg Foundation and Cambridge University Technical Services Limited.
  • Training in Endangered Archaeology Methodology. £2,161,055 awarded to a consortium of three UK higher education institutions (University of Oxford, University of Leicester, and University of Durham) with the University of Oxford acting as the lead applicant, to train archaeologists from eight countries in the use of an open-source aerial recording methodology, designed for conflict zones and other areas where access to the ground is restricted. This project is delivered in partnership with the Department of Antiquities, Jordan; Department of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage, Palestine; General Organisation of Antiquities and Museums, Yemen; Department of Antiquities, Libya; Directorate General of Antiquities, Lebanon; Institut National du Patrimoine, Tunisia; State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, Iraq; Ministry of State of Antiquities, Egypt; and Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Egypt.
  • Training in Action. £963,825 awarded to the University of Durham  to train 40 staff from Libyan and Tunisian national heritage organisations in documentation techniques, preventative conservation and heritage management. This project is delivered in partnership with the Institute National du Partimone de Tunisie, the Department of Antiquities, Libya and the Society of Libyan Studies. There is also involvement from scholars resident at Kings College London and the University College London.

Turkey

  • Carved in Stone awarded. £100,000 awarded to University of Liverpool to protect rock-cut reliefs at risk from damage and destruction in Turkey. This project is delivered in partnership with FETAV; Mediterranean Civilizations Research Institute (MCRI) Akdeniz University, Antalya, Turkey; and the Department of Archaeology, Hacettepe University. 
  • Heritage skills for peace and capacity building. £1,271,596 awarded to Edinburgh World Heritage to focus on the documentation and protection of built heritage in south-east Turkey through surveys, conservation work and a training programme. This project is delivered in partnership with the Association for the Protection of Cultural Heritage (KMKD).
  • Protecting Intangible Heritage in the Upper Tigris Valley. £99,911 awarded to Tarih Vakfi (History Foundation) to train people in the Upper Tigris Valley to document disappearing intangible cultural heritage, as well as establishing a new research resource to boost the region’s profile in the heritage and museum sector. This project is delivered in partnership with Tigris Development Agency and Mardin Museum.
  • Safeguarding Archaeological Assets of Turkey. £923,660 awarded to The British Institute at Ankara to build capacity and raise awareness for safeguarding archaeological assets in Turkey, with a focus on those in south-eastern provinces, Antalya and Istanbul.This project is delivered in partnership with Koc University Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations (ANAMED); Andolou Kültür A. S. (AK); and ICOM UK. 

Yemen

  • Integrating cultural heritage in conservation in Soqotra. The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh awarded £484,110 to address the needs of cultural heritage on Soqotra, a Yemeni archipelago between Yemen and the Horn of Africa, as well as conduct activities to promote the use of the endangered Soqotri language.  
  • Old City of Taiz: Building capacity in post-conflict heritage assessment and emergency conservation. £100,000 awarded to World Monuments Fund Britain to train museum professionals from the Yemeni city of Taiz, equipping them with the skills necessary to document the city's damaged cultural heritage. This project is delivered in partnership with University of Dohuk, Historic England, and Donald Insall Associates.
  • Postwar Reconstruction and Rehabilitation in Yemen. £220,220 awarded to the Prince Claus Fund to restore, reconstruct and renovate important cultural landmarks that have been affected by conflict in Yemen.
  • Training in Endangered Archaeology Methodology. £2,161,055 awarded to a consortium of three UK higher education institutions (University of Oxford, University of Leicester, and University of Durham) with the University of Oxford acting as the lead applicant, to train archaeologists from eight countries in the use of an open-source aerial recording methodology, designed for conflict zones and other areas where access to the ground is restricted. This project is delivered in partnership with the Department of Antiquities, Jordan; Department of Antiquities and Cultural Heritage, Palestine; General Organisation of Antiquities and Museums, Yemen; Department of Antiquities, Libya; Directorate General of Antiquities, Lebanon; Institut National du Patrimoine, Tunisia; State Board of Antiquities and Heritage, Iraq; Ministry of State of Antiquities, Egypt; and Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Egypt.