Paris: The global community will mark December 18 as the World Arabic Language Day under the theme ‘Arabic Language, a Bridge Between Civilisations’.
According to UNESCO, Arabic is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, used daily by more than 400 million people. World Arabic Language Day is celebrated every year December 18 since 2012. The date coincides with the day in 1973 when the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted Arabic as the sixth official language of the organisation.
To celebrate the Day, UNESCO is organising a virtual panel discussion today, where experts, academics, journalists and representatives of specialised institutions will gather to discuss the historic role of Arabic in creating and transmitting knowledge and Arabic language as a tool to enhance dialogue and build peace.
The rich diversity
The celebration also resonates with the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2013-2022), for which UNESCO is the lead UN Agency.
On the occasion, UNESCO is also organising an exhibition on ‘Arabic Language, a Bridge Between Civilisations’ with the support of the Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud Foundation, on the fences of its Headquarters in Paris, from December 6-20, 2021. The rich diversity of Arabic Language, its strong bonds with various forms of cultural expressions and its significant role in connecting people and promoting dialogue will be showcased, along with the diverse approaches to using Arabic language and calligraphy.
Addressing humanist themes
The exhibition includes works by 18 artists from 13 countries around the world. Applying various techniques, from classical calligraphy to contemporary graffiti styles, these artists incorporate the Arabic letters in their work to address humanist themes and convey messages of hope, peace, resilience and unity.
In the diversity of its forms, classic or dialectal, from oral expression to poetic calligraphy, Arabic language has given rise to a fascinating aesthetic, in fields as varied as architecture, poetry, philosophy and song. It gives access to an incredible variety of identities and beliefs and its history reveals the richness of its links with other languages. Arabic has played a catalytic role in knowledge, promoting the dissemination of Greek and Roman sciences and philosophies to Renaissance Europe. It has enabled a dialogue of cultures along the silk roads, from the coast of India to the Horn of Africa.
‘Arabic Language, a Bridge Between Civilisations’
This year’s World Arabic Language Day theme ‘Arabic Language, a Bridge Between Civilisations’ is a call to reaffirm the important role of the Arabic language in connecting people through culture, science, literature and many more domains.
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The theme highlights the historic role of Arabic in creating and transmitting knowledge, as well as in enhancing dialogue and building peace. For centuries, Arabic was the common ground, the connector, that reflected the richness of human existence and provided access to numerous resources.
In increasingly globalised, digitalised and multilingual societies, the 2021 theme is of urgent relevance. It recognises the changing world and the imperative to reinforce dialogue between nations and peoples.