Lama Abboud Syria First Aid to Heritage Course Participant

‘The FAC course was extremely well received in Homs. ...This important course had huge impact - participants not only enhanced their knowledge but also started thinking differently about the role that cultural heritage can play in building peace in our society.’

Lama Abboud's picture

Lama Abboud

Participant in 2016 course ‘First Aid to Cultural Heritage in times of Crisis’

What can you possibly do if you are an architect in a country at war? Lama Abboud, is an architect in Syria. When she took part in a course on giving First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis (FAC) she knew what she wanted to do: preserve and protect Syria’s ancient cultural heritage.  The FAC course was a collaboration between the Prince Claus Fund ’s Cultural Emergency Response (CER) programme, the Smithsonian Institution and ICCROM (the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property) and given in Washington, DC in 2016. Abboud wanted to spread the knowledge she’d gained, to make more people aware of the importance of Syria’s cultural legacy and the urgency of protecting it. She organised a 2-week training course in August 2017 in the Syrian city of Homs. Thirty people from different institutions and different educational backgrounds took part - 21 women and 9 men. Not only was the training a great success, many organisations subsequently asked her to replicate the course in other Syrian cities.

FAC courses are designed to prepare trainers for giving courses in the techniques of safeguarding heritage in their own regions. The goal is to multiply the number of qualified heritage rescuers who can assess damage, take action to avoid the loss of heritage and respond quickly in emergency situations. Participants also form a network of mutual support, offering their own experience and advice to others. 

Lama Abboud is taking part the Leadership course for the 2018 First Aid to Cultural Heritage in Times of Crisis Training in August 2018.