Beirut’s Heritage Listed Among The Most Endangered Places For 2022

Hussein Malla/AP

The World Monuments Fund (WMF) published 25 important places of “heritage facing global challenges” that need mobilization and safeguard, and Lebanon is on the list.

The WMF biennial list, issued on February 28, underlined the threatened cultural and historical sites around the world.

Its 2022 edition listed four Lebanese areas that describe shared challenges: climate change, underrepresentation, imbalanced tourism, and crisis recovery. 

The WMF has raised millions in U.S. dollars over the years to increase the efforts put to preserve places like Chile’s Easter Island, Cambodia’s Angkor Archeological Park, and Iraq’s Mosul Cultural Museum.

For over 20 years, this nonprofit organization releases lists of fragile places threatened by tourism, terrorism, and climate change, in order to raise awareness and funds to protect them.

This year’s list includes the heritage buildings of Beirut, impacted by the massive Beirut blast that struck hundreds of historic buildings.

According to WMF, these heritage buildings are “distributed throughout the neighborhoods of Gemmayzeh, Mar Mikhael, and Karantina, as well as Ashrafieh… These four neighborhoods contain one of the largest concentrations of heritage buildings in the city, dating from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.”

RestArt Beirut

As described by the WMF, “many of the facades of these buildings follow a distinctly Beiruti style that integrates three arched bays on the upper floors, often separated by marble columns and screening a large central hall behind them.”

Below is the full list of sites included on the 2022 World Monuments Watch list:

  • Kinchela Aboriginal Boys Training Home in Kinchela, Australia
  • La Maison du Peuple, Ouagadougou in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso
  • Mosque City of Bagerhat in Bagerhat, Bangladesh
  • Lamanai in Indian Church Village, Belize
  • Monte Alegre State Park in Brazil
  • Fortified Manors of Yongtai in Fujian, China
  • Abydos in Egypt
  • Hurst Castle in Lymington, United Kingdom
  • Asante Traditional Buildings near Kumasi, Ashanti Region, Ghana
  • Sumba Island in Indonesia
  • Tiretta Bazaar in Kolkata, India
  • Cultural Landscape of the Bunong People in Mondulkiri Province, Cambodia
  • Heritage Buildings of Beirut in Lebanon
  • Benghazi Historic City Center in Benghazi, Libya
  • Koagannu Mosques and Cemetery in Maldives
  • Teotihuacan in San Juan Teotihuacan, Mexico
  • Hitis (Water Fountains) of the Kathmandu Valley in Kathmandu Valley, Nepal
  • Tomb of Jahangir in Lahore, Pakistan
  • Yanacancha-Huaquis Cultural Landscape in Miraflores District, Peru
  • Alcântara and Rocha do Conde de Óbidos Marine Stations (Almada Negreiros Murals) in Lisbon, Portugal
  • Fabric Synagogue and Jewish Heritage of Timișoara in Timișoara, Romania
  • Nuri in Sudan
  • Africatown in Mobile, Alabama, United States
  • Garcia Pasture in Brownville, Texas, United States
  • Soqotra Archipelago in Yemen

Currently, the heritage buildings in these areas of wounded Beirut are undergoing reconstruction, funded by the World Bank, to restore the beautiful and rich history and heritage of timeless Beirut.

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