group of musicians playing drums and bagpipe in street
Group of musicians returning from a wedding at Rashadieh camp stop to speak to the team and play traditional music

Swansea City Opera Lebanon Heritage Project is the first Welsh organisation to be awarded Cultural Protection funding.

The Cultural Protection Fund supports projects to protect cultural heritage at risk in the Middle East and North Africa.

The fund supports organisations to deliver projects in the wider Middle East and North Africa region to protect heritage at risk. These organisations are helping local people to identify and value cultural heritage; building skills so that local experts can protect their own cultural assets for future generations; and ensuring that heritage under threat is documented, conserved and restored.

£96,700 has been awarded to Swansea City Opera to create a permanent record of the intangible cultural heritage of Palestinian and Syrian refugee groups across five camps in Lebanon, seeking to bring communities together through the re-creation of festivals, the exchange of recipes, dances and shared stories. 

This project is delivered in partnership with two charities that support refugees in Lebanon: the Dreams of Refugee Association, Social Humanitarian Economical Intervention for Local Development as well as the American University of Beirut.  

The team will work with refugee groups to research their cultural heritage and to exchange stories which will be documented and published on the American University of Beirut website, which will help to preserve the cultural identity of displaced communities. 

"This project comes at a very important stage, especially in the past years of asylum, where the project seeks to document the heritage that may have ended or is not important for young generations". Tarek Othman, Trustee, Dreams of a Refugee

A key feature will be to engage with individuals and with local organisations to build capacity for positive societal change, which it’s hoped will lead to economic growth and better social welfare.


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