Sharjah: His Highness Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, released 19 new volumes of the Historical Corpus of the Arabic Language on Tuesday at the Arabic Language Academy (ALA) in Sharjah in the presence of representatives of 14 Arabic language academies from 12 countries.
The new volumes cover four Arabic letters (haa, khaa, dal, and thal), which have been added to the existing 17 volumes that focus on nine letters, from hamza till thal.
The Corpus, a first-of-its kind project to chronicle 17 centuries of development in the Arabic language, now has 36 volumes in all, each designed and published by Al Qasimi Publications. This unprecedented historical feat translates the efforts of the Ruler of Sharjah in supporting and fostering the growth of the Arabic language.
Sheikh Sultan welcomed the members of Arabic Language Academies from different countries and lauded their efforts in producing the Corpus, asserting that it is one of the critical tools that nations should build on to promote Arabic. He highlighted the importance of language academies in protecting and promoting the Arabic language and granting Arabic its rightful place in studies, research, education and learning.
Endowment for academies
The Ruler of Sharjah announced a Sharjah-based waqf, a charity endowment dedicated to support Arabic Language Academies and emphasised the importance of establishing special centres managed by their respective academies, as a sustainable resource for bolstering the presence of Arabic language across the Arab world.
He spoke about the efforts to support the learning of the Arabic language in Sharjah that led to the founding of the Al Qasimia University in Sharjah.
“We established Al Qasimia University here in Sharjah. Students from around the world graduate here each year including from Japan and the Americas,” said Sheikh Sultan.
“We have established institutions dedicated to the Arabic language and issued decrees and laws to protect and ensure that these institutions will not be in vain, and to also engage the lovers of this language in promoting it.”
The Sharjah Ruler concluded by elaborating on the rich history of Sharjah as mentioned in a report written by a statesman sent by Alexander the Great to Persia in 331 BCE. His Highness pointed out the enduring role of Sharjah and its people in enriching the Arabic language, literature, and poetry and supporting and disseminating knowledge over the centuries.
For their part, a number of attendees from Arabic Language Academies expressed their appreciation to the Ruler of Sharjah for the ongoing efforts to reinforce and elevate the role of the Arabic language. They stated that through the vision and close follow up and under the directives of Sheikh Sultan, the Corpus came into fruition after being a dream for decades and has enriched Sharjah’s status as a world-class destination of culture and language.
The Ruler of Sharjah had unveiled the first 17 volumes of the Historical Corpus of the Arabic Language last year at the opening ceremony of the Sharjah International Book Fair, along with the official website of the Corpus which facilitates easy access for users to a variety of its resources.
Researchers can read the volumes, look up entries and roots of each word, browse the digital platform that was created to access the online Historical Corpus, explore the bibliography of books that were consulted to write the initial set of volumes, and also refer to the list of editors, linguists, experts and the heads of the Arabic language academies in the region who worked on this important project.