The Maghreb countries will jointly propose to list couscous in UNESCO’s Intangible Heritage List next March.
Rabat – Algeria, on behalf of the Maghreb countries, will submit a proposal to list couscous in UNESCO’s World Intangible Heritage List next March, said Algeria’s Minister of Culture Azzedine Mihoubi on Tuesday.
Algeria’s prime minister said on Thursday that Morocco was “taking credit for this Maghrebi dish.”
Mihoubi implied that he disagreed with the prime minister’s quibble. “It is unnecessary to say that couscous is a dish shared by all the Maghreb countries. We must protect our heritage, especially if it is shared with our neighbours,” Mihoubi said.
”The application to list this thousand-year-old and very popular dish in the Maghreb is now being finalized,” said Farid Kherbouche, director of the National Center for Prehistoric, Anthropological, and Historical Research.
Algiers hosted the first International Couscous Festival, called Couscoussi, in May 2018. The festival brought together chefs from Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia.
The next annual meeting of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Committee on the Protection of Intangible Cultural Heritage will take place December 2019 in Colombia. Morocco is taking part in a joint Arab proposal for the date palm and has made another proposal for Moroccan Gnaoua culture that the committee will review.
Several Moroccan sites have already earned a place on the World Cultural Heritage List, including the archaeological site of Volubilis; the ksar (Berber castle) of Ait-Ben-Haddou; and the medinas (old cities) of Essaouira , Meknes, Fez, Marrakech, and Tetouan.