World Monument Fund’s stonemasonry training programme has begun in Tripoli, Lebanon, where a new group of Syrian refugees and local Lebanese will be trained in the art of stonemasonry, learn about heritage preservation in their region, and be introduced to the basics of business planning. The training centre is located in Tripoli’s Lion Tower (Burj al-Sabah).
Previous Success in Jordan
Originally established in Mafraq, Jordan, World Monument Fund’s stonemasonry programme is a British Council funded conservation training initiative initially designed for Syrian refugees and Jordanians to help renew community strength and rebuild heritage skills in anticipation of the conservation work that will be needed in post-war Syria and across the region.
First implemented in 2017, the programme successfully trained two rounds of trainees, improving livelihoods and leading directly to new employment opportunities. In April 2020, the British Council announced its support for World Monuments Fund to transfer the programme to Tripoli, Lebanon, an area which faces similar challenges. World Monuments Fund hope that the move will have a wider benefit for the whole country, especially in Beirut, as the city begins to address the significant damage to built heritage as a result of this summer’s explosion.
Recruitment of students commenced at the end of August and a total of 41 trainees have been selected, 22% of those are female. The students have varied backgrounds and education levels; there are architects and engineers, an archaeologist, artisans and labourers.