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Founders Statement

Iraq Heritage was established in January 2013 to meet a growing demand for accurate, timely and professional information on the Iraqi Heritage and culture sector with particular emphasis on the all-important archaeological discoveries, heritage sites, caring for heritage, preserving future heritage sites, and the introduction of heritage into the education system.

Iraq's heritage is poised for a massive expansion over the next decade to meet the country's reconstruction and development needs. Also Iraq's heritage needs to be available not only to the Iraqis but worldwide due to it being the Cradle of Civilization. In ancient times the land area now known as modern Iraq was almost equivalent to Mesopotamia, the land between the two rivers Tigris and Euphrates (in Arabic- Dijla and Furat), the Mesopotamian plain was called the Fertile Crescent. This region is known as the Cradle of Civilization; was the birthplace of the varied civilizations that moved us from prehistory to history. An advanced civilization flourished in this region long before that of Egypt, Greece, and Rome, for it was here in about 4000BC that the Sumerian culture flourished. More importantly to position Iraq as a long-term, reliable and responsible supplier to the world's tourism and culture markets. Iraq Heritage groups leading Iraqi and international experts in the heritage and culture sector drawn from a variety of fields including industry professionals, finance and banking executives, Iraqi and multinational corporations, academics and scholars, and consultants and policy advisers.

Iraq has undergone tremendous changes since 2003 and an entirely new political, economic and constitutional order is emerging. Iraq is obligated to revive its rich ancient heritage in ways that would provide the optimum benefit of future generations. Thanks to an exceptional combination of geographical and climatic factors, a surplus of agricultural production led to the development of sophisticated societies, the invention of writing and the establishment of the first urban settlements and legal codes. In more recent periods of our history, Baghdad has been the capital of the Abbasid Caliphate and the political and cultural centre of one of the three Monotheistic Religions.

An appropriate balance must be struck between the roles of the private and public sectors in meeting the challenges of Iraq's economic growth and the improvement in the incomes and livelihood of its people. The new federal Iraq is also based on the devolution of power to regions and provinces, and these will also have an important role to play in the evolution of the countries heritage.

The deliberate act of keeping heritage from the present for the future is known as Preservation (American English) or Conservation (British English), though these terms may have more specific or technical meaning in the same contexts in the other dialect. Iraq’s heritage is unique and irreplaceable, which places the responsibility of preservation on the current generation. Numerous outstanding sites still bear witness to the great technical and artistic achievements of the ancestors of the people of present day Iraq, and constitute a precious legacy for all humanity. Among these are the cities of UR of the Chaldees, birthplace of Abraham, Babylon, with the legendary Babel Tower, Ninveh, Hatra, Ashurs and Samarraa.In addition to the above-mentioned sites, Iraq houses some of the most important archaeological collections of the world.

The challenges, risk and opportunities for Iraq's Heritage are enormous. The Iraq heritage mission is to assist in advancing and protecting heritage site and monitoring the appropriate development of Iraq's heritage through the provision of timely reports and studies, the organisation of industry conferences and the provision of policy advise and services to both the Iraqi and foreign private and public sectors. Iraq Heritage will do so in a professional, unbiased and effective manner. Iraq Heritage seeks to become the principal source of authoritative information and policy-making advice on reviving heritage and protecting areas that are at risk and presenting the true value of the ancient heritage of Iraq.

Aymen Jawad, Co-Founder, Executive Director
Luay Al Khatteeb, Co-Founder, Board Member

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