11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

What is the cultural value of crafts in today's society? How would the dialogue between past practices, present needs, and future aspirations offer an added value for Lebanese intangible heritage promotion? From mapping existing value chains to promoting new craft-based designs, the panel will offer a moment of exchange and reflection about the challenges and opportunities of establishing a sustainable ecosystem of crafts production. Different experts in documenting and promoting national intangible heritage will discuss the state of craftsmanship in the Lebanese context and the added-value of cross-sectoral connections for cultural value production.

Panel language: Arabic

Panelists: Joanne Bajjaly (Biladi), Rola Komaty  (Sursock Museum), Farah Makki (NAHNOO), Arpi Mangassarian (Badguer: Art & Crafts Heritage Center)
Moderated by Jessica Chemali (NAHNOO)


Farah Makki is an expert in participatory placemaking, connecting the horizons of disciplines and geographies around the Mediterranean. Being an advocate of sustainable urban futures, she promotes cultural heritage as a driver for critical planning and inclusive development. 
Her work includes strategic actions within NAHNOO, a research and advocacy platform for policymaking, and a portfolio of interventions in the Euro-Med region including cities like Venice, Beirut, Tyre, Alexandria, Tripoli, Vienna, Teheran, Tirana, Paris, and Lisboa. Since 2013, she worked in collaboration with cultural networks like Tandem for Culture; She cofounded Urbego, an international platform for urban professionals 2013-2017, and contributed to diverse cooperation projects, workshops, lectures, and publications. 
In 2017, she was one of WeMena’s 30 finalists: World Bank Program supporting MENA Women entrepreneurs for a resilient future. To achieve this vision, Farah maintains her engagement for sustainable urban action. 

Joanne Farchakh Bajjaly is an archaeologist and journalist who has worked from 1998 till 2013 in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq documenting discoveries and projects as well as destruction of heritage in the Middle East in several Lebanese newspapers (L'Orient le Jour and Al Akhbar) and international magazines (Archeologia, Patrimoine Mondial). She co-edited with Professor Peter Stone the book "The Destruction of Cultural Heritage in Iraq" winner in 2011 James R. Wiseman Book Award. 
In 2005, she founded Biladi, an NGO dedicated to promote and safeguard heritage through training for professionals and education activities for children to raise awareness and re link children of post conflict societies to their own history and heritage. Therefore, the NGO works on heritage (Tangible and Intangible) as a fundamental tool for our identity in order to build personal and collective self-esteem. 

Arpi Mangassarian, is an architect and urbanist. After heading the Bourj Hammoud Municipality's Technical and Urban Planning Office for more than twenty years, she founded in 2012 Badguèr, which aims to promote the Armenian cultural and culinary heritage, to support the local traditional crafts, and to contribute to the development of the artisans’ know-how and their network through the programming of activities related to crafts, music, exhibitions, and traditional Armenian celebrations and cuisine.

Roula Comaty, a graduate from the Sorbonne University, Paris, is the manager of the Sursock Museum store since its opening. The store compiles a distinctive and comprehensive selection of contemporary art books, gifts and a variety of objects that are related to the museum collections and exhibitions. The shop acts also as a concept store that aims to promote emerging Lebanese designers. True to the Museum's mission, the store also produces fun and engaging books, games, and educational tools for all ages. Roula is passionate about the fields of design, art, and architecture, and previously owned a concept store called Saya in Ain el Mreisseh.

Jessica Chemali is the Executive Director of NAHNOO, a research and advocacy platform for participatory policymaking in Lebanon, empowering youth and young professionals to work towards an inclusive society. A computer engineer and machine learning practitioner by trade, Jessica became passionate about participatory approaches to knowledge production, dissemination, and policy-making. Since 2013, determined to work for social change, she has been leading or contributing to a variety of multidisciplinary and grassroots projects for the promotion of cultural heritage, public spaces, and good governance. She has been experimenting with different research and co-creation methodologies applied to the fields of urbanism, law, social sciences, public administration, local development, and arts.