First of all a very big congratulations to all of the LGBT readers out in blogger land. Today, the Supreme Court of The United States overturned the Defense of Marriage Act, thus clearing the way for full legal recognition of same gender marriages. I raise a glass of champagne to you. Now on to today's topic.
The National Historic Preservation Trust in the United States released its annual endangered historic sites list last week. On June 23, 2013 the United Nations Economic, Scientific, and Cultural Organization inscribed nineteen new world heritage sites at their annual conference, held this year in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, Cambodia. Quickly reviewing the list, I noticed the diversity of sites around the world. This year's list include sites in Qatar, Ukraine, Iran, Niger, and Fiji(!) The list includes natural properties and approved extensions for certain cultural properties. I bring this topic to your attention because preservation is not just an Western thing but happens all over the world. The benefit of inscription is that it brings attention to places and buildings that would've otherwise gone un-noticed and fallen into disrepair. Also, it save pieces of global history are a necessary part of the story of humanity. Rather than go through all nineteen places, I'd like to pick a few places in the non-Western world and tell you about them.
|Historic Center Agadez, Niger|
|Golestan Palace, Iran|
|Levuka Historical Port Town, Fiji|
|Namib Sand Sea, Namibia|
|Tajik National Park, Tajikistan|
|Al Zubarah Archeological Site, Qatar|
A lost city on the edge of a desert. The stuff of mythology. Al Zubarah Archeological Site in Qatar in the Persian Gulf once flourished as center of urban trade and pearling. Yes, people dove for pearls off the coast. Did you think that pearls were only found in the Far East? The city thrived int he late eighteenth, early nineteenth century before it was destroyed in 1811 and abandoned in the early 1900s. Al Zubarah was founded by Kuwaiti merchants and had trade links across the Indian Ocean and Western Asia. Excavation has only taken place in a small part of the city, which present excellant examples urban trade and pearl diving that sustained the region's major coastal towns and led to the development of independent states outside the Ottoman, European, and Persian Empires leading to the emergence of the modern Gulf States.
Thanks to the efforts of historic preservation around the world, people are saving tangible links to their heritage for the future. Love your natural sites and buildings, their your history.
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