Decisión del Comité intergubernamental: 9.COM 10.25

The Committee

  1. Takes note that Lebanon has nominated Al-Zajal, recited or sung poetry (No. 01000) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

Al-Zajal is a form of Lebanese folk poetry declaimed or sung at social and family celebrations and in daily life. The performers, both men and women, express themselves either individually or collectively on a variety of themes including life, love, nostalgia, death, politics and daily events. During poetic jousts, troupes of poets and musicians gather around a table laden with dishes of meze and arrack to perform verses in front of a mixed audience to the rhythm of the tambourine and derbouka. The poets declaim verses, often in the form of challenges, which are then repeated by the singers and audience. These verbal exchanges evoke the beauty of Lebanon, the importance of tolerance, dialogue between communities and religions, and the right to difference. Transmission of Al-Zajal is largely informal, transmitted and renewed within the family or in a spontaneous manner through observation, imitation and participation. Troupes and non-governmental organizations are also actively involved in its practice and recreation. The religious and communitarian inclusiveness of Al-Zajal promotes its continuity, with poetic jousts serving as a safety valve and playing an important role in resolving conflicts and strengthening social cohesion.

  1. Decides that, from the information included in the file, the nomination satisfies the following criteria for inscription on the Representative List:

R.1:   Practised throughout Lebanese territory, Al-Zajal plays an important role in promoting social cohesion and inclusion and provides Lebanese people with a sense of cultural identity and continuity;

R.2:   Inscription of Al-Zajal on the Representative List could encourage dialogue while promoting human creativity and diversity, particularly given that it is practised by different cultural and religious groups;

R.3:   Past, on-going and proposed measures to safeguard and promote Al-Zajal include formal and non-formal education, inventorying, documentation and research, as well as development and promotion of the element;

R.4:   A variety of actors including Al-Zajal poets, non-governmental organizations and institutions were involved in the process of elaboration of the nomination, and the non-governmental organizations provided evidence of free, prior and informed consent;

R.5:   The element was pre-inventoried in the framework of the Mediterranean Living Heritage Project (MedLiHer) and included in 2013 in the national register of intangible cultural heritage established by the Ministry of Culture.

  1. Inscribes Al-Zajal, recited or sung poetry on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.