ALULA: UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay on Friday hailed how well Saudi Arabia’s cultural gem of AlUla has been preserved and the lessons future generations can learn from the region’s history.
Speaking at the Hegra Conference of Nobel Prize Laureates, which is being held at the site’s Maraya Hall, Azoulay highlighted the importance of the site in promoting a cultural exchange.
She joined more than 20 Nobel Prize winners and 100 leading thinkers at the forum to discuss global social issues, and offer solutions in areas including education, technology, health care and sustainability.
The UNESCO leader said that she had been impressed by AlUla’s historical diversity and the lessons it offers visitors. “This ensures that heritage is a motive for peace, education and so much more.”
Later, in an interview posted on the conference’s Twitter page, Azoulay said: “AlUla’s diversity left an impression on me, how civilizations have lived here in harmony, and left traces and wisdom for us that we need to listen to.”
Asked what the most pressing issue facing the world today was, Azoulay said: “Right now we have an emergency, first and foremost, it is our relationship with nature. We need to learn how to live with nature in harmony, it’s something that we’ve lost. And that is our challenge.”
She dedicated a message to younger generations: “I would like to say that, first, it is our responsibility to pass (our heritage) on to them and it’s their responsibility to take care of it.”
Azoulay, who has met with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during her visit to the Kingdom, is a speaker at the three-day conference which began on Jan. 30.
During her talk, she discussed global issues related to innovation, sustainability, heritage preservation and building a common vision for the future. Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan Al-Saud, culture minister and governor of the Royal Commission for AlUla, shared a photo of the original transcript signed by Saudi
Arabia’s founder, King Abdul Aziz, that marked the Kingdom as the fourth country to join UNESCO.