Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid attends Global Arabic Language Summit at Expo 2020

A series of panel discussions and workshops will be held

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, on Sunday attended the first Global Arabic Language Summit at Expo 2020.

He was accompanied by the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States and Arab Ministers of Culture.

“The Arabic language deserves many summits because it is a summit [pinnacle] in beauty, a summit in breadth and comprehensiveness, and a summit in being a vessel for civilisation in all its dimensions,” Sheikh Mohammed wrote on Twitter.

“I also witnessed the signing of the UAE Declaration on the Arabic Language. I signed it with the Arab Ministers of Culture.

“We declare our commitment to it as the language of our identity, culture and sciences.”

Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth, opened the event on Sunday.

“We gather today to write together a new chapter of co-operation and partnership aimed at supporting and empowering the Arabic language ... to become the language of knowledge and civilised communication.”

The inaugural event, happening in conjunction with Arab Culture Ministers at Expo 2020 Dubai, is hosted by the UAE Ministry of Culture and Youth in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, under the theme “Bridging Cultures. Connecting Civilisations”.

Experts will discuss the importance of the Arabic language through a series of panel discussions and workshops on December 19 and 20.

The summit aims to have a meaningful discussion on the future of the language and its importance in boosting the region’s global presence, Ms Al Kaabi said.

“Our meeting today is a window of hope from which we look at a bright and promising future for our language,” she said.

The Arabic language is still alive and capable and for nations who are also capable
Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary General of the Arab League

The opening of the event coincides with World Arabic Language Day, celebrated on December 18 every year.

It was on this date in 1973, that the General Assembly of the UN adopted Arabic as the sixth official language of the organisation.

“The Arabic language is still alive and capable and for nations who are also capable,” said Ahmed Aboul Gheit, Secretary General of the Arab League.

“Arabic is the language of the Quran – a language we use to read the holy book.”

Dr Mojeb Al Zahrani, general director of Institut du Monde Arabe, was honoured as the personality of the year for his contribution to the Arabic language.

Iraqi singer Kadim Al Sahir performed at the event to thank countries and people who are working to raise the profile of the language.

What is the UAE Arabic Declaration?

The UAE Arabic Declaration has 10 principles.

1. The Arabic language is intrinsic to the Arab identity;

2. New ways of teaching and studying the language in schools should be developed, with work carried out with specialist research centres to introduce modern curriculums based on international best practice and to develop programmes for teachers of the Arabic language. This can help them to teach it in a scientific way;

3. The declaration emphasised the importance of improving the quality of Arabic digital content to provide Arab users with useful and reliable material that helps them in their lives and work;

4. Technology should be used to build digital infrastructure that incorporates the use of Arabic;

5. The fifth principle focuses on education and media sectors in promoting the use of the Arabic language. It emphasises the need to introduce grants and build a framework in which intellectual property rights are protected;

6. The development and investment in translation services for Arabic are necessary to grow its contribution to knowledge globally;

7. The declaration calls for investing in the translation of science and research papers to make them available to researchers and scientists. Their work should also be translated in other languages;

8. The eighth principle focuses on Arabic as a global language. Knowledge should be shared by building global partnerships with academic institutions and cultural centres;

9. The ninth principle is national references and policies. Arab societies need sound linguistic planning, to be drawn by governments and community institutions, to be translated into linguistic policies concerning the Arabic language in education, media and industry;

10. The 10th and final principle is devoted to the declaration on the future of the Arabic language. The aim is to establish modern approaches to counter the challenges the language faces today.

Updated: December 20th 2021, 5:26 AM