[Final statement] INTIQAL 2030: Socio-economic Development Program for the Protection of Palestinian Cultural Heritage
“We believe that re-framing the relationship of Palestinians with their cultural heritage and archaeological sites, through empowering youth and enhancing their capacities, will allow Palestinian youth to move forward from the legacy of this heritage to brighter future.”
INTIQAL 2030 is a Youth-led initiative supported by Premiere Urgence Internationale, an innovative socio-economic development program that leverages on the protection of Cultural Heritage involving communities and local civil society stakeholders, encouraging their interaction on archaeological sites. This initiative creates and runs a safe space in which girls, boys, young people and families engage in concrete actions and express their fears and hopes in a protective environment while developing their resilience following violent or traumatic experiences.
Beyond its cultural and historical positive impact, the INTIQAL 2030 program champions other socio-economic development objectives. These include innovative activities aiming at achieving economic and energy independence, and bringing new sustainable solutions which will benefit and empower Gazans and their community in the long term.
Through strengthening and reframing youth’s relationships with cultural heritage, future societal outcomes are reimagined, more vibrant than ever, reflecting the resilience youth in the occupied Palestinian territory are well known for.
Hence, INTIQAL 2030 provides opportunities for Youth to be a positive force for development, engaging them in supporting and achieving comprehensive socio-economic development for their community, and to help accelerate the implementation of sustainable development goals (SDGs) approved by the United Nations.
Since 2017, and in close collaboration with Palestinian youth (workers, graduate and young professionals), the INTIQAL program has been instrumental in protecting two threatened historical sites in the Gaza Strip: Mukhaitem (Byzantine Church of Jabalya) and Tell Umm el-’Amr (Saint Hilarion Monastery). This program began within the “Protection, preservation, and promotion of archaeological sites in the Gaza Strip” project, funded by the UK Cultural Protection Fund managed by the British Council, in partnership with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
Premiere Urgence Internationale supports the initiative and continues to work on comprehensive projects with diverse activities such as protection and preservation, training and capacity building, promotion of cultural heritage while engaging the Palestinian community and raising awareness about the importance of cultural heritage and its future.
We are proud of our partnerships with local communities, schools, archaeological experts, cultural and academic institutions as we seek to contribute to the understanding of how youth engagement and social entrepreneurship can support youth social and economic development and help accelerate the implementation of the SDGs.
We seek to continue developing our relationship with Palestinians, urging them to engage and act on their heritage and archaeological sites, to enhance their steadfastness, protect their identity and basic human rights.