UNESCO adds Lebanon’s Manousheh to Heritage list

The popular Lebanese dish, thyme manoushe, has been recognized by UNESCO as part of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity. During their meetings in Kasane, Botswana, the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage decided to include Manousheh based on a request submitted by Lebanon in March 2022.

Described as a flatbread topped with thyme mixed with oil and baked in an oven or on a baking sheet, Manousheh is deeply ingrained in the Lebanese identity. It is enjoyed by people of all backgrounds in Lebanon for breakfast and holds symbolic value in the country. The preparation of the dough is accompanied by prayers, with Muslims reciting the beginning of Surah Al-Fatihah and Christians offering their own prayers.


The cultural attaché of the Lebanese mission to UNESCO, Bahjat Rizk, emphasized that Manousheh represents the common coexistence among the Lebanese, transcending sectarian divides. The ovens that prepare Manousheh can be found across the entire country, further highlighting its popularity.

Manoushe is traditionally baked in metal or stone ovens made of refractory bricks or on a concave metal sheet. It can be served with just thyme and oil or mixed with cheese, and sometimes vegetables are added. It is often enjoyed with labneh, a type of strained yoghurt.


Despite the economic crisis that Lebanon has been facing since 2019, Manousheh remains one of the more affordable food options in the country. Its price has increased due to inflation, but it still offers an accessible and delicious meal for many. Small bakeries that sell Manousheh play a role in the development of the community.

Today, Lebanese Manousheh can be found in bakeries and restaurants in numerous countries around the world, thanks to the global spread of the Lebanese people and their culture with them.

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