‘Bel Arabi’ initiative promotes use of Arabic in social media

‘Bel Arabi’ initiative will kick off at midnight December 18

Gulf News

Dubai: Among half a billion people who speak Arabic as a native language, only 140 million people use the internet.

For this reason, young Arabs living all over the world were called to communicate only in Arabic on social media platforms to show their love for the Arabic language and promote it’s use in social media.

The Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation (MBRF) launched today the ‘Bel Arabi’ (in Arabic) initiative at the Higher Colleges of Technology in Dubai, which aims to change the common perceptions that the Arabic language is an outdated one, only used for literature, poetry or calligraphy.

The Bel Arabi initiative will kick off at midnight on December 18, coinciding with the first ‘International Day for the Arabic language- with youth across the Arab world encouraged to communicate only in Arabic throughout the day across all social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

A hash tag will be created specifically for Bel Arabi to inform people about key developments of the campaign and serve as an effective measurement tool for tracking the success of the programme.

“The Bel Arabi initiative is based on ideas generated and shared by the young Arab community in the institutions of higher learning in the UAE. Our conversations with this generation have led to the creation of an initiative that empowers the Arab youth to contribute to the establishment of a knowledge-based economy,” Said Jamal Bin Huwaireb, Managing Director of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation

Representing the youth at the press conference, Mehdi Al Ghafari who is credited with conceptualising the initiative said that he hopes the initiative goes viral.

“Among half a billion people who speak Arabic as a native language, only 140 million people use the internet. On 18 December, the Bel Arabi initiative will encourage this entire population base to express its love for the mother language. This will add up to an incredible number of almost 1,400,000 tweets within 24 hours or about 16 tweets per second.”

The initiative will draw the collaboration of educational institutions and public and private sector enterprises.

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