Cool factor boost needed to ensure Arabic’s survival



DUBAI // It was the language of early astronomy and navigation; of deep, rich poetry and timeless tales.

Now Arabic also has to become “cool”, experts say, to ensure its survival through today’s pupils.

“They think English is cool and Arabic has nothing to do with being modern and being cool,” Yehiya Mohamed, assistant professor of Arabic at Georgetown University in Qatar, told the International Conference for Arabic Language in Dubai Thursday.

“We live in a completely westernised culture so students are not proud of their identity and culture.

“That, I guess, is the most challenging: to make students proud of their own culture and traditions, and their own language.

“There is no language that is better than other languages. It’s like they like hamburger more than shawarma. It’s just like that.”

Prof Mohamed was one of about 1,500 educators and researchers at the annual three-day forum, the opening of which was attended by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and the Ruler of Dubai, and other dignitaries.

Prof Mohamed said Arabic curriculums at schools needed to be changed to appeal to younger people and better engage them.

“We live in a different world. It’s not the classical and traditional ways,” he said. “Students are now using Facebook and the social networks, it’s become part of their lives.

“We should just catch and meet their expectations. If the students don’t have fun, you can’t expect any great goals.

“Arabic teachers, they’re just frozen in some period and they don’t like to go forward.

“They teach classical Arabic and that makes students think why do we study if we don’t use, we don’t understand. Why study structure? I’m not familiar with it and no one uses it.”

Dr Ali Abdulla Mosa, the conference’s coordinator general, said: “The purpose of this is just to allow people who are speaking Arabic to rethink about the language losing its place.

“Arabic used to be the language of the world, it used to be the language of science, technology, history, many sciences were born in the Arabic language.

“But now, because of so many historical facts, the Arabic language is shrinking and is losing its place.”

Organised by the Arabic Language International Council and Unesco, the conference features 75 panel sessions on promoting and preserving the language.

One discussion focused on producing more Arabic-language cartoons to be broadcast on TV, as opposed to running poorly translated western shows.

They also called on developing Arabic technology to be used as teaching tools in the classroom and more national textbooks.

Dr Naima Hassan, an Emirati professor and poet, said educators must do all they could to cultivate a love of Arabic among students.

“Arabic is a very, very, very important language because it is the language of the Quran,” Dr Hassan said. “For Muslims, this is very important.

“Next it’s pure, it’s very nice when you read poetry, when you read a story. It is an old culture so we must care about this.”

Randa Awaad, a Jordanian who teaches Arabic to high-school pupils in Muscat, said language was key to promoting national pride.

“That’s why I call my classes heritage language,” Mrs Awaad said. “Me and the parents, we help each other to keep the Arabic language for this generation because they use English a lot.

“It’s not an easy job but I get them to like the Arabic language. And some of them they write poems and literature, Arabic songs sometimes.

“Before, they didn’t know anything about Arabic culture and I get them to be proud of their identity because, I tell them, even if you go to study in America you have to be yourself – Omani or Lebanese or Jordanian or whatever. “You have to be proud of your identity.”

rpennington@thenational.ae

School counsellors on mental well-being

Schools counsellors in Abu Dhabi have put a number of provisions in place to help support pupils returning to the classroom next week.

Many children will resume in-person lessons for the first time in 10 months and parents previously raised concerns about the long-term effects of distance learning.

Schools leaders and counsellors said extra support will be offered to anyone that needs it. Additionally, heads of years will be on hand to offer advice or coping mechanisms to ease any concerns.

“Anxiety this time round has really spiralled, more so than from the first lockdown at the beginning of the pandemic,” said Priya Mitchell, counsellor at The British School Al Khubairat in Abu Dhabi.

“Some have got used to being at home don’t want to go back, while others are desperate to get back.

“We have seen an increase in depressive symptoms, especially with older pupils, and self-harm is starting younger.

“It is worrying and has taught us how important it is that we prioritise mental well-being.”

Ms Mitchell said she was liaising more with heads of year so they can support and offer advice to pupils if the demand is there.

The school will also carry out mental well-being checks so they can pick up on any behavioural patterns and put interventions in place to help pupils.

At Raha International School, the well-being team has provided parents with assessment surveys to see how they can support students at home to transition back to school.

“They have created a Well-being Resource Bank that parents have access to on information on various domains of mental health for students and families,” a team member said.

“Our pastoral team have been working with students to help ease the transition and reduce anxiety that [pupils] may experience after some have been nearly a year off campus.

"Special secondary tutorial classes have also focused on preparing students for their return; going over new guidelines, expectations and daily schedules.”

Results

1. Mathieu van der Poel (NED) Alpecin-Fenix - 3:45:47

2. David Dekker (NED) Jumbo-Visma - same time

3. Michael Morkov (DEN) Deceuninck-QuickStep   

4. Emils Liepins (LAT) Trek-Segafredo

5. Elia Viviani (ITA) Cofidis

6. Tadej Pogacar (SLO UAE Team Emirates

7. Anthony Roux (FRA) Groupama-FDJ

8. Chris Harper (AUS) Jumbo-Visma - 0:00:03

9. Joao Almeida (POR) Deceuninck-QuickStep         

10. Fausto Masnada (ITA) Deceuninck-QuickStep

Some of Darwish's last words

"They see their tomorrows slipping out of their reach. And though it seems to them that everything outside this reality is heaven, yet they do not want to go to that heaven. They stay, because they are afflicted with hope." - Mahmoud Darwish, to attendees of the Palestine Festival of Literature, 2008

His life in brief: Born in a village near Galilee, he lived in exile for most of his life and started writing poetry after high school. He was arrested several times by Israel for what were deemed to be inciteful poems. Most of his work focused on the love and yearning for his homeland, and he was regarded the Palestinian poet of resistance. Over the course of his life, he published more than 30 poetry collections and books of prose, with his work translated into more than 20 languages. Many of his poems were set to music by Arab composers, most significantly Marcel Khalife. Darwish died on August 9, 2008 after undergoing heart surgery in the United States. He was later buried in Ramallah where a shrine was erected in his honour.

Champion v Champion (PFL v Bellator)

Heavyweight: Renan Ferreira v Ryan Bader
Middleweight: Impa Kasanganay v Johnny Eblen
Featherweight: Jesus Pinedo v Patricio Pitbull
Catchweight: Ray Cooper III v Jason Jackson

Showcase Bouts
Heavyweight: Bruno Cappelozza (former PFL World champ) v Vadim Nemkov (former Bellator champ)
Light Heavyweight: Thiago Santos (PFL title contender) v Yoel Romero (Bellator title contender)
Lightweight: Clay Collard (PFL title contender) v AJ McKee (former Bellator champ)
Featherweight: Gabriel Braga (PFL title contender) v Aaron Pico (Bellator title contender)
Lightweight: Biaggio Ali Walsh (pro debut) v Emmanuel Palacios (pro debut)
Women’s Lightweight: Claressa Shields v Kelsey DeSantis
Featherweight: Abdullah Al Qahtani v Edukondal Rao
Amateur Flyweight: Malik Basahel v Vinicius Pereira

From Europe to the Middle East, economic success brings wealth - and lifestyle diseases

A rise in obesity figures and the need for more public spending is a familiar trend in the developing world as western lifestyles are adopted.

One in five deaths around the world is now caused by bad diet, with obesity the fastest growing global risk. A high body mass index is also the top cause of metabolic diseases relating to death and disability in Kuwait, Qatar and Oman – and second on the list in Bahrain.

In Britain, heart disease, lung cancer and Alzheimer’s remain among the leading causes of death, and people there are spending more time suffering from health problems.

The UK is expected to spend $421.4 billion on healthcare by 2040, up from $239.3 billion in 2014.

And development assistance for health is talking about the financial aid given to governments to support social, environmental development of developing countries.

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Starring: Prabhas, Saswata Chatterjee, Deepika Padukone, Amitabh Bachchan, Shobhana

Rating: ★★★★

THE BIG MATCH

Arsenal v Manchester City,

Sunday, Emirates Stadium, 6.30pm

Our family matters legal consultant

Name: Hassan Mohsen Elhais

Position: legal consultant with Al Rowaad Advocates and Legal Consultants.

The advice provided in our columns does not constitute legal advice and is provided for information only. Readers are encouraged to seek independent legal advice.

Your Guide to the Home
  • Level 1 has a valet service if you choose not to park in the basement level. This level houses all the kitchenware, including covetable brand French Bull, along with a wide array of outdoor furnishings, lamps and lighting solutions, textiles like curtains, towels, cushions and bedding, and plenty of other home accessories.
  • Level 2 features curated inspiration zones and solutions for bedrooms, living rooms and dining spaces. This is also where you’d go to customise your sofas and beds, and pick and choose from more than a dozen mattress options.
  • Level 3 features The Home’s “man cave” set-up and a display of industrial and rustic furnishings. This level also has a mother’s room, a play area for children with staff to watch over the kids, furniture for nurseries and children’s rooms, and the store’s design studio.
     
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Quarter-final: Beat Marketa Vondrousova 6-0, 6-2
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Job: Fitness entrepreneur, body-builder and trainer

Favourite superhero: Batman

Favourite quote: We must become the change we want to see, by Mahatma Gandhi.

Favourite car: Lamborghini

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Klipit

Started: 2022

Founders: Venkat Reddy, Mohammed Al Bulooki, Bilal Merchant, Asif Ahmed, Ovais Merchant

Based: Dubai, UAE

Industry: Digital receipts, finance, blockchain

Funding: $4 million

Investors: Privately/self-funded

The specs

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EMIRATES'S REVISED A350 DEPLOYMENT SCHEDULE

Edinburgh: November 4 (unchanged)

Bahrain: November 15 (from September 15); second daily service from January 1

Kuwait: November 15 (from September 16)

Mumbai: January 1 (from October 27)

Ahmedabad: January 1 (from October 27)

Colombo: January 2 (from January 1)

Muscat: March 1 (from December 1)

Lyon: March 1 (from December 1)

Bologna: March 1 (from December 1)

Source: Emirates

Selected fixtures

All times UAE

Wednesday
Poland v Portugal 10.45pm
Russia v Sweden 10.45pm

Friday
Belgium v Switzerland 10.45pm
Croatia v England 10.45pm

Saturday
Netherlands v Germany 10.45pm
Rep of Ireland v Denmark 10.45pm

Sunday
Poland v Italy 10.45pm

Monday
Spain v England 10.45pm

Tuesday
France v Germany 10.45pm
Rep of Ireland v Wales 10.45pm

Company Profile

Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

Teaching your child to save

Pre-school (three - five years)

You can’t yet talk about investing or borrowing, but introduce a “classic” money bank and start putting gifts and allowances away. When the child wants a specific toy, have them save for it and help them track their progress.

Early childhood (six - eight years)

Replace the money bank with three jars labelled ‘saving’, ‘spending’ and ‘sharing’. Have the child divide their allowance into the three jars each week and explain their choices in splitting their pocket money. A guide could be 25 per cent saving, 50 per cent spending, 25 per cent for charity and gift-giving.

Middle childhood (nine - 11 years)

Open a bank savings account and help your child establish a budget and set a savings goal. Introduce the notion of ‘paying yourself first’ by putting away savings as soon as your allowance is paid.

Young teens (12 - 14 years)

Change your child’s allowance from weekly to monthly and help them pinpoint long-range goals such as a trip, so they can start longer-term saving and find new ways to increase their saving.

Teenage (15 - 18 years)

Discuss mutual expectations about university costs and identify what they can help fund and set goals. Don’t pay for everything, so they can experience the pride of contributing.

Young adulthood (19 - 22 years)

Discuss post-graduation plans and future life goals, quantify expenses such as first apartment, work wardrobe, holidays and help them continue to save towards these goals.

* JP Morgan Private Bank 

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So what is Spicy Chickenjoy?

Just as McDonald’s has the Big Mac, Jollibee has Spicy Chickenjoy – a piece of fried chicken that’s crispy and spicy on the outside and comes with a side of spaghetti, all covered in tomato sauce and topped with sausage slices and ground beef. It sounds like a recipe that a child would come up with, but perhaps that’s the point – a flavourbomb combination of cheap comfort foods. Chickenjoy is Jollibee’s best-selling product in every country in which it has a presence.
 

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Starring: Akshay Kumar, Radhika Madan, Paresh Rawal

Rating: 2/5

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Apple One
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