I decided to start World Heritage Alert first as a Twitter feed, which is primarily what it will continue to be. With whatever time I am able to devote to this small avocation I want to aggregate and highlight stories from around the world that deal with the preservation of our (meaning “humanity’s”) cultural and historical heritage, and the seemingly constant threats to that heritage. I have come to realize that I care deeply about the degradation of historical sites and the loss of those unique places and things that tie all of us to the past and help us to understand where we’ve been. I was always the annoying person who went on vacation and wore everybody else out with my need to see as many “old buildings” as possible instead of spending time on the beach or by the pool. I studied history through several graduate degrees, primarily with a Middle Eastern focus but with interests far beyond that. But it wasn’t until very recently, with the attacks on Sufi shrines and irreplaceable manuscripts in Mali and elsewhere, and the terrible risk to vital archaeological sites brought on by the ongoing Syrian Civil War, that I really woke up to the challenges we face if we want to preserve our heritage.
I don’t know how much I can put into this effort, but I will do what I can. Most of what I do will happen on Twitter, @heritage_alert, where I collect and tweet stories of threats to our heritage as well as efforts to preserve it. Those who see or know of stories that deserve whatever small amount of coverage I can provide can comment here at the blog, email me at worldheritagealert at gmail dot com, or tweet them to me using #HeritageAlert. I will write here less frequently, when something moves me to write at length, and maybe to share some of my own experiences enjoying sites, museums, and artifacts, with photos of course. I thank you for reading and following me.