ALGIERS, Meetings are to be held among experts from Maghreb countries under a project to have couscous, a traditional Maghrebi food, listed as their common culinary heritage by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco).
Announcing this here Tuesday, the Director of Algeria’s National Centre for Prehistoric, Anthropological and Historical Research (CNRPAH), Slimane Hachi, said: Couscous’ listing as a universal heritage is a common project by the Maghreb countries. The proposal for the listing is being prepared and meetings between experts will soon take place.”
The listing will shed light on the ancient origin of this dish and its trans-cultural character because it belongs to many peoples. The dish of small steamed balls of crushed durum wheat, usually served with a stew on top, is a staple food throughout North African and has remained authentic, resisting time and change.
A researcher at the CNRPAH says the possible listing of this heritage dish is recognition and a way to strengthen the solid links between the peoples of the Maghreb — Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Libya and Mauritania — which share the same culinary expressions. Like any cultural element, couscous is a mean to bringing people together.
For these peoples, couscous is “a way to express their solidarity and relationship with nature”, he adds. The Maghreb states would benefit from launching a joint study to identify all the thrusts of this common heritage.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK