Regional Director of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) for the Maghreb Eric Falt congratulated Tunisia on the inscription of the Island of Djerba as the 9th site on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The island of Djerba is among 27 new sites, 24 cultural and 3 natural sites, which are added to the 1,157 sites in 167 countries already inscribed on the World Heritage List. In a statement issued on Monday, the UN official congratulated «Tunisia and all Tunisians, particularly, the locals of Djerba,» who worked very hard to ensure the inscription of the Island of Djerba on the World Heritage List. Falt said there had been a «long and tortuous path» leading to Djerba’s inscription as a World Heritage Site because of «seven areas of the island and 24 monuments». He pointed out that the last time a site in Tunisia was included on the UNESCO world heritage list was the Dougga archaeological site in 1997. It is «exceptional testimony to a unique settlement pattern and remarkable human adaptation down the centuries to the constraints of an environment marked by water scarcity and threats from the sea,» he underlined. Djerba is known for its religious diversity. It has churches, synagogues including the Ghriba, the oldest in Africa, and fortified mosques from the Ibadi school of Islam, some of which are underground. The inscription of «Djerba: Cultural Landscape, Testimony to a settlement Pattern in an island territory» is on the agenda of the 45th extended session of the World Heritage Committee which takes place from September 10 to 25 , in Riyadh, KSA. A Tunisian delegation, chaired by Cultural Affairs Minister Hayet Ketat Guermazi, is participating in the 45th extended session of the World Heritage Committee. On Monday afternoon, the Cultural Affairs Ministry announced the inscription of the Island of Djerba on the World Heritage List.
Source: Agence Tunis Afrique Presse