Couscous Joins UNESCO List of World Intangible Heritage

UNESCO recognized the dish after a joint bid from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Mauritania.

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The UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has added the dish of couscous to its Intangible Heritage List.

“The knowledge, know-how, and practices pertaining to the production and consumption of couscous: An example of international cooperation,” UNESCO wrote on Twitter.

The UN organization announced the addition of couscous to the Intangible Heritage list on Wednesday.

The recognition of the dish as a world heritage came after a joint bid from Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Mauritania. While each country prepares the dish with different ingredients, the preparation methods are very similar. The four countries submitted the bid in December 2018.

Read also: Maghreb Seeks to List Couscous as World Cultural Heritage in 2019

UNESCO organized an online conference to announce the bids that earned recognition as intangible heritage. Morocco’s Minister of Culture, Othman El Ferdaous, and Permanent Ambassador to UNESCO, Samir Addahre, represented the country at the event.

El Ferdaous expressed his pride about UNESCO’s recognition of couscous and said on Twitter that the joint bid showcased “multilateralism at its best.” 

Couscous is Morocco’s 10th appearance in the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Moroccan entries in the list include Gnawa music, the Taskiwin dance, argan, the Sefrou Cherry Festival, the Jemaa el-Fna Square, and the Moussem of Tan-Tan.

Morocco is also included in several collective entries with other countries: Date palm, falconry, the Mediterranean diet, and now couscous.

Read also: UNESCO Lists Moroccan Gnawa as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity