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As a UNESCO-accredited NGO for Intangible Cultural Heritage, we echo the UN Secretary General’s statement that “[h]ostilities in Gaza and Israel have created appalling human suffering, physical destruction and collective trauma across Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory. The international community has a responsibility to use all its influence to prevent further escalation and end this crisis”.

Despite not operating in the region, we agree that it is incumbent upon all of us, individuals and organisations alike, not to remain silent at this moment in history. We do not claim to have the answers to the complex political situation, but, like so many others, are here to listen to and learn from those directly involved. What we can do is bear witness to the humanitarian and cultural catastrophe and lend our voice to the calls for an immediate ceasefire and for all parties to uphold international law.

Our thoughts and feelings remain with all those subject to violence, displacement, and trauma, as we continue to learn how best to respond to the unfolding situation.