“It is Mosul that I love the most, that I consider home. A city surrounded by vast green plains (...), gardens dappled with red poppies and yellow chamomiles”. But that Mosul is now gone.
This is how Iraqi novelist Inaam Kachachi describes a city she remembers from the past. Once, famed for its silks, the city was a melting pot of people and ideas, bustling with colorful markets and soaring minarets straddling the Tigris River. But Mosul’s occupation by ISIS has left the city ravaged. Neighbourhoods have been entirely wiped out, schools are destroyed and many historical sites lie in ruins. Hundreds of thousands of the city’s residents have fled their homes to save their lives.
Today, many residents are slowly returning - they have not given up on their home. Rebuilding takes combined efforts. Now, UNESCO’s initiative #ReviveTheSpiritOfMosul aims to coordinate international efforts for the city's restoration. But this is not only about restoring stones. Reviving the spirit of Mosul is about restoring its social fabric of men and women who inhabit it. It is about education, culture and a future for all.
Photo credit: Ali Albaroodi
On this day in 1903, famed author George Orwell was born in Bengal (present-day India). The year before his passing, he published one of his most famous works – 1984 – a fictional story that took readers into a dystopian future of government control and surveillance.
Orwell, whose birth name was Eric Arthur Blair, was convinced from a young age that he would be a famous author. Much like his peers, Orwell considered Lenin one of the most significant men of his time, but his refusal to conform often led him to be deeply critical of imperialism and capitalism. Later in life, Orwell vehemently criticized communism, as evidenced in his book 'Animal Farm'. Today, we take the opportunity to remember Orwell’s contributions to literature and for his critical eye on social norms.
You tell us, how does today compare to Orwell’s predictions for the future?
21 June is International Day of Yoga.
Yoga means union -- harmony between the body and mind of each individual and the world. Awakening this sense of wholeness, Yoga reminds women and men of the values, dreams and needs they share with all others, providing them with strength to overcome conflict and promote peace. In this way, Yoga is a truly transformative force, a path to create more peaceful, just and harmonious societies. Let's celebrate today this essential humanism and the aspiration for all women and men to live in harmony with themselves, with others and with the planet.
Happy Yoga Day!
Photo: An Indian sadhu sitting in a temple. A sadhu or saddhu, is a religious ascetic, monk or any holy person in Hinduism and Jainism who has renounced the worldly life. They are sometimes alternatively referred to as Yogi. The vast majority of sādhus are yogīs, but not all yogīs are sādhus.
Photo credit: Getty Images
In two seconds a person’s life can change forever.
Every two seconds a person is forced to flee home. Every minute, 25 people are forced to run for safety. Every day, 37.000 people leave everything behind to keep their families safe.
Today, more than 70 million people around the world are displaced. Refugees and migrants often live through traumatic experiences as they move countries or homes, more than half of them are under 18. In conflict an crises, children are often the most affected.
Education builds up their resilience and restore futures. Yet, more than 4 million refugee children are out of school, even though they’re bursting with potential.Host countries must guarantee their right to education. They all have their own unique story and it is up to us to welcome them and help them chase their dreams .
On today’s, June 20, World Refugee Day, it is more important than ever to join our collective efforts and stand with refugees.
Photo: (Algeciras, Spain) A woman prepares to spend the night aboard the Maria Zambrano boat from Spain's Maritime Rescue Service.
Photo credit: @inasio_marin#Education#Unesco#WorldRefugeeDay#Refugees#Refugee#RefugeeDay#WithRefugees#StepWithRefugees#HumanRights#RightToEducation#Solidarity
Today @UNESCO welcomes 18 new Biosphere Reserves in its 🌎 network, including the very first biosphere reserve in Eswatini.
Congratulations 👏👏👏 These special sites reconcile people and nature to find local solutions to global problems.
UNESCO Biosphere reserves seek to reconcile human activity with the conservation of biodiversity through the sustainable use of natural resources. This reflects UNESCO’s key objective of fostering innovative sustainable development practices and combatting the loss of biodiversity by accompanying communities and Member States in their work to understand, appreciate and safeguard the living environment of our planet.
Photo: Isle of Wight Biosphere Reserve (United Kingdom) 📸📸📸
Our world is drying up. Today's global desertification crisis affects more than 165 countries. Drought, climate change, biodiversity erosion, intensive farming and poor water management are behind the crisis.
This situation has a dramatic impact on our common environmental heritage and is a threat to global peace and sustainable development.
Desertification and drought increase water scarcity, at a time when two billion peoplestill do not have access to safe drinking water – and over three billion may have to confront a similar situation by 2050. The world’s most vulnerable communities cannot fulfil essential water needs, sometimes causing them to migrate from lands that have become dry and barren.
According to the Secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, 135 million people are likely to migrate worldwide by 2030 as a result of the deterioration of lands. These migrations and deprivations are in turn a source of conflict and instability, demonstrating that desertification is a crucial challenge to peace.
Today, on World Day to Combat Desertification and Drought, we launch an urgent call: we all must take immediate action against desertification. It is our responsibility towards future generations. Together, let's grow a sustainable future by respecting our lands and preserving their abundance and beauty. We can and we must.
Photo credit: iStock/Getty Images
“A couple record their love and togetherness at the Taj Mahal, which is regarded as the symbol of Love. The lovers in silhouette were appealing to me against the bright monument. My image is photographed against the backdrop of the Taj Mahal, which depicts Mughal architecture influenced by Islamic architecture trends and culture. My image also depicts love, which is the universal language that might have travelled along the Silk Roads with the trade and ideas”
These are Rishab Nandi's words. He is a 14 years old boy from India who won with this picture the second prize (category 14-17 years old) of the Youth Eyes on the Silk Roads Photo Contest UNESCO launched last year.
The contest was part of UNESCO's Silk Roads Online Platform for Dialogue, Diversity & Development launched in 2013. Through this initiative, UNESCO is promoting the concept of intercultural encounters which occur among diverse populations along travel routes. As a result of these projects, we are not only succeeding in reviving the historical Silk Roads, but also promoting the present-day legacy of human interactions, shared values, and common heritage.
Photo Credit: Rishab Nandi 📸
Chip, chip...chipa!!! 😉 Wait, you don't know what chipa is? Let us introduce you to this small but tasty bread because Chipa is clearly more than just a food. It is a shared history and one we can celebrate together.
Not surprising, food often transcends national boundaries. We have been eating long before the established nation-state. At UNESCO, we seek to find the opportunities that unite us in a common appreciation of the good things that life can bring. Today, Paraguay, the northeast region of Argentina, Uruguay, Southeastern Bolivia and Southwestern Brazil are blessed with the Chipa, a shared culinary heritage that according to some food historians dates back to early human settlements in the region and is credited to the indigenous Guarani people.
Chipa is an ideal accompaniment to coffee and other beverages or any breakfast food. It is made from cassava starch, an ingredient typical to the region, along with the Yaboti Biosphere Reserve in Argentina. The cassava flour is very versatile for preparing several dishes common to the region, including this bread with cheese. The best part of chipa is that it is not only delicious but also gluten-free.
Along with being a national dish in Paraguay, back in the Yaboti Biosphere Reserve, when the community sits together at the table to share a meal prepared with local ingredients and local know-how, it is, in fact, a way of celebrating life and transmitting knowledge, demonstrating that humans can live harmoniously with nature.
@unesco_mab has collected sustainable recipes from UNESCO's Biosphere Reserves across world and created its very own cookbook. Stay tuned for more recipes that are delicious, sustainable, and celebrate the beauty of biodiversity.
👉Swipe to the side to see the recipe👈
Photo credit: @tembiupy 📸
Ready for a trip? Come with us to the English city Bath!
Nestled in the picturesque Avon river valley, in the heart of the countryside, and popular in the Georgian and Victorian era among the elites of London, Bath was a place of architectural experimentation. With older buildings like the 12th century Gothic Abbey and the even older Roman Baths, the new city, built in the 18th century, was listed as a World Heritage site in 1987 for it’s unique garden city style. It blends the rolling green hills of Somerset into crescents, terraces and parks that flow naturally through the golden stone colonnades and townhouses nestled on its steep slopes.
This distinctive integration of architecture, urban design, and landscape setting, and the deliberate creation of a beautiful city are central to Bath’s UNESCO World Heritage status, and were central to the city’s architects, John Wood and his son, as they laid out many of the city's present-day squares and crescents within a green valley and the surrounding hills to create England’s finest example of the 19th century #GardenCity. Did you like this? To see more of the UK's World Heritage treasures, give the new @unescouk account a follow, and discover their latest posts.
Photo credit: @brilliantbath @email@example.com 📸📸📸