Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development holds a forum to discuss the future of Arabic language

The Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development hosted the inaugural forum at Manara Al Saadiyat yesterday to discuss the Status Report and Future of the Arabic Language. The report which was launched last year under the directive of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, as an extensive study to approach the challenges of the Arabic language in a scientific way to help develop the methods of use, education and empowerment as a means of communication and knowledge acquisition, in conjunction with the UN Arabic Language Day.

The forum congregated academics, researchers, writers and students from across the UAE discussing the current state of Arabic language legislation and curriculum development, as well as the culture of reading, the role of the media in supporting teaching of Arabic, Arabic in literature and scientific studies, and the intricacies of teaching Arabic to non-native speakers. In attendance were HE Dr. Ali bin Tamim, Director General of Abu Dhabi Media Company; HE Jamal bin Huwaireb, CEO of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation; HE Bilal Al Budoor, Secretary General of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Arabic Language Award; Ali Obaid Al Hameli, Director of Dubai TV’s News Centre; HE Ibrahim Al Abed, Advisor to the National Media Council; Dr Nashwa Al Ruwaini, CEO of Pyramedia; Jamal Al Shehhi, Founder and GM of Kuttab Publishing House; and Abdullah Majed Al Ali, Acting Executive Director of the National Library Sector at the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi.

Commenting on the event, His Excellency Sheikh Salem Al Qasimi, Assistant Under Secretary of Heritage and Arts at the Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development said: The Arabic language is the backbone of our culture and is integral to our national identity. Preserving our language and its nuances is a key focus for us at the Ministry to ensure that future generations can inherit their national identity, learn about their ancestral importance and traditions, and continue to champion the language. Forums like this provide an important platform to collaborate with experts and our esteemed partners to study the challenges faced by the Arabic language and lay the foundations that will ensure the success of the report’s study.

Mahmoud Al-Batal, Professor of Arabic in the Department of Arabic at the American University of Beirut and chief investigator for the report, is scheduled to tour a number of universities and teaching institutions across the UAE to survey their efforts in teaching Arabic and discuss to discuss methods of cooperation and improvement that will support the objectives set by the report.

The Forum held five workshops covering the ten pillars of the report.

The Status Report and Future of the Arabic Language is being prepared by a group of experts and researchers from regional and international universities, whose mission is to monitor and collect information from academic sources, interviewing stakeholders from institutions, writers, media and publishers, and monitoring changes in the Arabic language today. To monitor new approaches in teaching Arabic among the curriculums of a number of Arab countries, the team will also work on a special report on the UAE, focusing on the state of the Arabic language and its future in the country, in comparison to the Arab countries and their teaching curriculums.

Source: Ministry of Culture, Youth and Community Development