A group of UNESCO volunteers have set out to restore Qatar’s Al Zubarah.
A group of over 50 people have set out to the middle of the desert, to the abandoned town of Al Zubarah, in efforts to restore and preserve what’s left of it. The conversation project is part of a UNESCO Volunteers program, who want to see Qatar’s only UNESCO World Heritage site protected from weather and climate can pose.
The project will be carried out on location over a period of 20 days, were over 50 young volunteers aged between 18 and 30 will be participating. The initiative is part of UNESCO’s efforts to raise a generation of individuals who appreciate and respect heritage, history and cultural diversity.
Having already started, the group will learn and be trained in traditional building techniques, like how to apply and remove plaster, and what to do with weak parts of a building.
The initiative is a collaborative effort organized by Qatar Museums, UNESCO and the Qatar Tourism Authority.
Historically, Al Zubarah was a coastal town just 100 kilometers northwest of Doha, and was once a thriving community. It was founded by merchants from Kuwait, who settled in the town as pearl divers and turned it into a trading center between the 18th and 19th century.
Even though it survived destruction in 1811 and re-flourished, it was abandoned a century later, in the early 1900s. The town’s history now lies under the desert sands.
Al Zubarah was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013, making it Qatar’s first.