- M. Softky, "From
ancient ruins to tourist destinations. Startup foundation seeks to save
and restore cradles of civilization on five continents, including in
China, India, Russia, Vietnam, Guatemala, Libya, Peru -- and Iraq,"
in The Almanac (California),
40, 7 (October 20, 2004): "'I'm bullish on Iraq.' Jeff Morgan of Menlo
Park ..." "The Global Heritage Fund (GHF), founded in March 2001, ...
is taking on the biggest challenge of all. Iraq hosts hundreds of the
most ancient and important archaeological sites in the world. The names
Nineveh, Babylon, Samarra and Ur are burned into the memories of school
children everywhere. While antiquities in Iraq have suffered
devastation from looting, war, and the current fighting, Mr. Morgan and
his foundation are planning for a time when Iraq becomes stable again.
'We believe tourism will be the No. 1 industry in Iraq -- after oil,'
..." "... in June[,] GHF and the World Bank co-sponsored a conference
for Iraqi archaeologists in the famous tourist attraction of Petra, ...
Thirty specialists in all aspects of antiquities from all over Iraq
spent 10 days in a hands-on workshop, learning what needs to be done to
preserve and restore their endangered sites. 'They thought they were
coming for a nice trip to Jordan,' says Mr. Morgan with a chuckle. 'We
made them work for 10 days straight to develop site-management plans
for the top five sites. And we did it all in Arabic.' Out of the
conference came five master conservation plan outlines for the five
most endangered sites out of the 16 sites that might qualify as world
heritage sites for the United Nations. ... This process can move
forward as soon as Iraq calms down, Mr. Morgan says. 'People don't want
war,' he says. 'All the people I met from Iraq are very positive about
the prospects for having a country. They're happy they're free, but
very scared for their children.'" "Son of Silicon Valley powerhouses
James and Becky Morgan, Jeff was trained as a city planner at Cornell
University, and worked for years with big-name companies and startups,
here and abroad. ... Mr. Morgan and archaeologist Ian Hodder, chairman
of Stanford's Archaeology Department, co-founded the Global Heritage
Fund ... Its goal is not only to preserve and restore ancient cultural
sites, but to promote tourism around them, and develop self-sustaining,
healthy communities. To this task Mr. Morgan is bringing Silicon Valley
know-how and organization to some of the most unlikely spots on earth.
His technique is to recruit donors and partners where the money and
expertise are, and then build partnerships and funding in the receiving
country." ".... GHF is now paying for 100 Iraqi guards to protect
Sumerian sites in the south from rampant looting." "GHF is also
supporting the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, which
is working with the Iraqis. Three teams created by the Congress to
create master conservation plans for each site will benefit from
mapping and GIS survey tools provided by GHF. Of 16 potential world
heritage sites in Iraq, the Congress focused on five as being of
highest priority and most endangered. These are Hatra, Samarra,
Ctesiphon, Al-Ukhaidir, and Ur. At Ctesiphon, for example, the highest
free-standing arch in the ancient world is threatened by deterioration,
vandals, climbers, salt seepage, and vibrations from large military
planes taking off and landing nearby."
Photo 1: [cover page; no caption as such for the picture; Kassite
(mid-2nd mill. BC) ziggurat remains at Aqar Quf (Dur Kurigalzu) near
Photo 2: "Iraqi Directorate of Antiquities. At 45 m meters high,
the freestanding arch at Ctesiphon in Iraq could become a thriving
tourist center if it — and Iraq — are stabilized. The Global Heritage
Fund in Palo Alto is working with the Oriental Institute of the
University of Chicago and the Iraq Department of Antiquities on plans
to stabilize the deteriorating structure, which is threatened by
everything from cracks and vandals to vibrations from military
airplanes taking off nearby."
Photo 3: "This famous relief of an Assyrian lion at Nineveh in Iraq is
one of thousands of treasures that have been vandalized in the wake of
the Iraq war. The Global Heritage Fund is paying for 100 guards to
fight looting in southern Iraq, where it is widespread and
organized. Copyright, Joanne Farouch"