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Loghati to provide wider access to Arabic literature

allows publishing of multilingual versions of text

  • By Habib Toumi, Bureau Chief
  • Published: 00:00 April 18, 2012
  • Gulf News

Shaikha Mouza Bint Nasser
  • Image Credit: EPA
  • The Arabic language is poetic, but it risks being marginalised because it has not modernised..., says Shaikha Mouza Bint Nasser.

Manama: Shaikha Mouza Bint Nasser Al Misned, chairperson of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), has called for efforts to revitalise Arabic as a language.

"One of the great challenges in the Arab world is the Arabic language," Shaikh Mouza said in Rome, following the unveiling of Loghati, an integrated e-communications solution developed by the Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP).

"The Arabic language is poetic, but it risks being marginalised because it has not modernised to meet today's challenges. We need to revitalise the language."

A demonstration of Loghati showed how it can facilitate the publishing of multilingual versions for all written text.

"The Arab tradition for transferring knowledge, particularly among Bedouin people, was by word of mouth and the direct interaction between people," Tidu Maini, Science and Technology Adviser and chairman of the QSTP, said.

"Loghati is the 21st century version of this tradition. This platform allows anyone to interface directly and seamlessly with great Arab works from anywhere in the world."

The QSTP has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with partners in Italy that will launch a series of projects to demonstrate the influence of Arab culture on western culture. The use of the Loghati platform will facilitate new research, develop new works and publish new books.

Loghati — My language in Arabic — allows for the creation of virtual libraries comprised of ancient and modern texts, where each document is a multi-dimensional information repository that can be accessed, amended and instantly translated from Arabic into other languages and vice-versa. Loghati can host audio and video content in its virtual library.

The Galileo Museum in Florence plans to use Loghati. Professor Paulo Galluzzi, director of the museum and Professor of the History of Science at the University of Florence, said: "I have seen the Loghati platform at work and have been very impressed. I can see the very high level of contributions that Loghati will provide to improving communication and understanding between cultures."

Preserving culture

The Universita Orientale Napoli, the world's oldest state university, will use the Loghati platform to enable the promotion and exchange of information related to preserving cultural heritage. Hundreds of manuscripts and documents of Arabic text, most of which are unknown to the world, lie in the archives of the university. Loghati will be used to digitise and translate these manuscripts on Arab culture and innovation and in doing so provide a new platform for shared learning and discovery.

The European Centre for Study on Normans (CESN) is also partnering with the QSTP and will use Loghati for research activities on the history of the Normans and their relationships with the Arab world.

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