The City: An Evolving Organism

Dates: 10, 11 & 12 November, 2017

Venue: THAAP, 43-G, Gulberg-III, Lahore, Pakistan




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"Our mission is to enhance and disseminate knowledge of the culture and history of Pakistan through research and practice with innovative projects and support of scholarship. Protection and promotion of the tangible and intangible cultural heritage and diversity, informed through a historic consciousness and its links to identity, social cohesion, development and rights form the core of THAAP’s mission."


The first Accredited NGOs in Australia, Tajikistan and Pakistan


The seventh session of the General Assembly of the States Party to the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage took place from 4 to 6 June 2018 at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.


The Assembly approved the accreditation of twenty-nine NGOs recommended by the intergovernmental Committee at its twelfth session in South Korea in December 2017. UNESCO-accredited NGOs provide advisory services to the Committee based on their expertise in the ICH field. The recent accreditation has led to a total of 176 accredited NGOs.


In the Asia-Pacific region there are now twenty-seven accredited NGOs, including the three recently accredited- Many Hands International in Australia, Public Association Pamir Mountains in Tajikistan, and THAAP in Pakistan. As they are the first UNESCO-accredited NGOs in their respective countries, they are expected to engage in various ICH safeguarding activities.


Many Hands International is helping rebuild communities recovering from armed conflicts or suffering poverty, by providing support for various cultural activities to enhance the identity of such communities and assisting in their economic independence. Public Association Pamir Mountains primarily works in the Pamirs, which is known as the roof of the world. Its activities focus on safeguarding the traditional knowledge of local communities and researching and publishing information about traditional knowledge, including traditional hunting essential for locals to adapt to the mountain environments. THAAP is involved in ICH safeguarding activities, such as meetings, publications, and crafts markets as well as community-based ICH inventory making.

THAAP and the Institute for Art & Culture (IAC) would like to congratulate the Pakistani people especially the Kalasha communities of Mumuret, Birir and Rumbur valleys of Chitral for the inscription of Suri Jagek on the Urgent Safeguarding List of the Convention 2003 that is ‘Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage’. Suri Jagek was inscribed on Wednesday, 28th November, 2018 at the 13: COMM (UNESCO 13 Intergovernmental Meeting of the Convention on the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage) held in Mauritius.




The project team of THAAP and IAC included the following:


1. Prof. Sajida Haider Vandal (Head Programs),


2. Ghiasuddin Pir (Project Manager)


3. Tariq Ahmed Khan (Field Manager),


4. Meeza Ubaid (Field Manager),


5. Mehreen Mustafa (Field Manager),


6. Ashfaq Toru (Field Manager),


7. Syed Atef Amjad Ali (Documentary Film Maker)


8. Imran Munir (Field Manager)


9. Ahsan Masood Anwari (Field Manager)


10. Ibrahim Mahmood (Field Manager),


11. Zamir Hussain Abbasi (Field Manager)


12. Qaiser Abbas (Field Manager)




THAAP and IAC (Institute for Art & Culture) jointly facilitated the Kalasha communities of the three valleys to prepare the nomination dossier based on the extensive work carried out through 2015 and 2016 preparing the Community Based Inventory (CBI), from which the ICH element of Suri Jagek was selected by the community concerned for nomination. THAAP & IAC with the support of UNESCO and the government facilitated the preparation of the dossier.




The element chosen by the Kalasha community for inscription was Suri Jagek: The Kalasha Meteorological and Astronomical Practice of Observing the Sun, Moon, Stars, and Shadows. Suri Jagek demonstrates the communities’ relationship with their sentient surroundings and highlights a long history of recurring “events” tied to topographical interaction with celestial bodies. For instance, if the Sun rises from a marking known as Satratadau observed on the Goremon Mountain in Mumuret, the word itself indicates that it may snow for seven days and seven nights. The logic behind this diachronic conjecture is that multiple times in the past stretching over millennia it has been observed that it tended to snow heavily when the Sun rose from that particular spot. Through the practice, the traditional Kalasha lunisolar calendar was formed based on which was the subsistence economy (transhumance, animal husbandry, and agriculture) and important feasts, festivals, and rituals. Appropriate times for travelling to pastures and returning to villages, planting and harvesting of crops, the type of seed to sow depending on the weather are still decided on the basis of this practice. Visual cues existing within the periphery of the topography are used to mark the positions of the rising as well as setting Sun.




THAAP and IAC (Institute for Art & Culture) would like to acknowledge the unwavering support of the Governments of KPK, Chitral and representatives from the National, Provincial, and District personnel. They were an integral part of the CBI process and awareness raising processes. The District Government’s support has been critical whilst carrying out fieldwork with the late DC Osama Ahmed Warraich who had been well briefed on THAAP and UNESCO’s endeavours in the Kalasha valleys, which he supported fully. Ex-Joint secretary National History and Literary Heritage Division – Nasiruddin MeshoodMirza and current joint secretary Nazir Ahmed had been crucial at all the stages of the project. This research endeavour has been funded by the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives and the Embassy of Switzerland. We extend special thanks to UNESCO Islamabad office and the Director Ms. Vibeke Jensen for her valuable support and persistent efforts to help Pakistan in discharging its obligations as signatories to UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.




We are especially pleased that the Kalasha project added important methodologies and documents, including the Community Based Inventorying form along with a detailed instruction sheet so that Pakistani communities could add to the endeavour of identifying and inventorying their Intangible Cultural Heritage assets which gives communities, groups and sometimes individuals their special unique identity and is a source of pride for them. The forms are available on the Ministry of National Heritage website, the Institute for Art and Culture and THAAP Websites.


From the local community the project team was assisted by many as part of the team:




Rumbur Valley:




1. Bakhtawar Shah - (Qazi, Kalashgrom, Rumbur),


2. Daud Shah – (Daud Shah - Social Volunteer (AVDP), Board members (KEPS), Kalasha Welfare (Ex- vice president), Rumbur Welfare Society (General Secretary)] Kalashagrom community based school; Kalashagrom, Rumbur


3. Saifullah Jan - (Village elder, ex member of district Government, and tourism operator, Balanguru, Rumbur),


4. Sher Wazir – (B.A. Political Science & Law – Chitral Degree College., School teacher) Location – Kalashagrom village, Rumbur valley


5. Naseem Bibi (School teacher) – Kalashagrom, Rumbur


6. Ishak Kalash – Student (FC College Lahore) - Grom, Rumbur


7. Rehmat Wali (Craftsperson) – Kalashagrom, Rumbur


8. Firoze Khan (Kalashgrom, Rumbur),


9. Jabbar Khan (Craftsperson) – Grom, Rumbur


10. Yasir Khan Kalasha (hospitality) – (Balanguru,


Birir Valley:


1. Meer Bacha (Qazi) – (Aspar  Birir)


2. Noor Baig/Gulistan (Qazi) – (Guru, Birir)


3. Shah Hussein – Tour Guide – (Guru, Birir)


4. Siyaz Gul – (Grambetkuy, Birir)


5. Shezadiya – (Grambetkuy, Birir)


6. Mayani – (midwife) – Guru, Birir


7. Ustoor Khan – Craftsperson - (Guru Birir)


8. Jameel Babar – School employee and musician (Guru, Birir).


9. Iqbal Shah - (School teacher, Aspar Birir)



Bumburet Valley:



1. Malang Khan – (Qazi) – Broun, Bumburet


2. Salamat Khan (Qazi) – Krakal, Bumburet


3. Krishna Mochik – (Qazi) – Krakal, Bumburet


4. Imran Kabir (District Counselor, minority member, Chitral) – Broun, Bumburet


5. Akram Hussain Bulasing (Museum in charge, Kalasadur museum) – Broun, Bumburet


6. Sher Alam Kalash (School teacher, Government Kalasha Primary School) – Sarukjal, Bumburet


7. Arab Gul (M.A, Archaeology, Quaid-e-Azam University) – Krakal, Bumburet


8. Shah Feroz Kalash (Msc – Environmental and Biological Sciences) – Anish, Bumburet


9. Luke Rehmat (CEO, Ishpata News and Kalasha Peoples Development Network) – Anish, Bumburet


10. Zarin Khan Kalash – TDCP office manager (Anish, Bumburet),


11. Mohamed Rafi – Bumburet Nazim - (Broun Bumburet -),


12. Millat Gul  - (District Government representative), (Broun Bumburet),


13. Shahi Gul (craftsperson and village elder, owner of crafts centers) – Broun, Bumburet.


14. Qari Khalilullah (Sheikhanandeh, Bumburet),


15. Faizi Khan Kalash (Village elder) – Broun, Bumburet


16. Rehmat Din (School teacher, Kalasadur) – Broun, Bumburet


17. Nimar Gul (School teacher, Kalasadur museum) – Anish, Bumburet


18. Bhutto Khan (Tourism operator) ,Broun Bumburet),


19. Shaira Bibi (M.A International relations, Peshawar University) – Krakal, Bumburet


20. Shaira Bibi (Government Degree College, Chitral) – Broun, Bumburet


21. Ishfaq Ahmed (tour guide) – Batrik, Bumburet




We would like to encourage people from all parts of Pakistan to contribute to the inventorying process that has been officially started across all provinces of the country and the CBI (Community Based Inventory form is available on IAC and THAAP websites & Government websites also. These documents have now been adopted nationwide through consensus achieved by Ministry of National History and Literary Heritage Division. This inventory has been prepared by THAAP and IAC Researchers. The IAC & THAAP researchers are available to help communities anywhere in Pakistan to assist them in explaining the process. They can be contacted at THAAP and Institute for Art and Culture (IAC).



IAC’s mission is to bring Pakistan on the cultural map of the world and celebrate the cultural diversity of the Pakistani people.














THAAP, established in 2006, is registered as a not-for-profit Section 42 Company with the Securities Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP). It is a forum of academics and professionals dedicated to improving the state of education, particularly in the fields of Art and Culture, where multi-disciplinary discourses take place and diversity thrives; our particular focus is on teachers for they will, and can, lead the way and give us hope for a richer future - a future which is not stagnant with unitary thought but which carries the variety of a thousand flowers. To achieve this goal, International Conferences are held on an annual basis, while Seminars, Colloquiums, Consultative meetings are organized throughout the year. THAAP recognizes the intrinsic link between history, tradition and culture and acknowledges that our present day beliefs, value systems and world view which constitute the culture of a society or community are shaped by the historical past. The resultant entity, while composed of many parts, operates as an integral body. Knowledge has grown into many fields of specializations yet as it flows from the human mind, it is integrated towards the common goal of human welfare. THAAP promotes integration and inclusivism and not the opposite. It aims to reassess and revisit history and create scholarship and knowledge of the old and recent history from the people’s perspective and disseminate to a wide audience. There is no better way to learn than to learn from each other.