Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth Development. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Abu Dhabi: Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and in line with the strategic objectives of the Ministry of Culture and Youth, the ministry will be organising the first Arabic Language Summit on December 19 and 20. The summit is being organised in partnership with Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre and conveys the message of Expo 2020 Dubai — ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’. The inaugural session of the summit is being held under the theme ‘Bridging Cultures. Connecting Civilisations’ in conjunction with the 22nd session of the Conference of Arab Culture Ministers.

The Arabic Language Summit is a platform for forging conversations between stakeholders, decision-makers and the public. It showcases the efforts of the Ministry of Culture and Youth and Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre to enhance the status of the Arabic language and make the UAE a centre of excellence for the language. The summit will also mark World Arabic Language Day, observed on December 18 every year. The day was established by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), to commemorate the status of Arabic as a pillar of humanity’s cultural diversity and as one of the most common languages spoken by more than 400 million people.

Language experts under one umbrella

The summit is a reference platform for the Arabic language that aims at strengthening its status, culture, arts and literature, offering a new approach to empower the language as a means of communication and acquiring knowledge. It’s a cultural event that brings together language experts under one umbrella to chart the future of Arabic language based on a careful understanding of the current challenges.

‘Keenness and commitment’

Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth Development, said: “The Arabic Language Summit is the first official government event of its kind in the Arab world. It reflects the UAE’s keenness and commitment to promote the Arabic language and strengthen its global standing. It bears testament to our efforts to strengthen the language’s current status and secure its future.”

Al Kaabi further said: “The summit will focus on a number of topics, most notably the Status Report and the Future of the Arabic Language, published by the UAE Ministry of Culture and Youth, in partnership with the Arabic Language Advisory Council. The key findings and recommendations of the first report issued in December 2020 will be discussed at length alongside ways to launch and develop the language further.”

Al Kaabi added: “The summit will discuss some of the most pressing topics related to Arabic language and how we can leverage it in different fields such as education, national policy, technology and digital content. The discussions will also focus on the role of Arabic in today’s times and how young Arabs relate to it. The summit will also adopt the outcomes of the Status Report and the Future of the Arabic Language and discuss how to tackle challenges facing the language today. It will act as a platform to share experiences and voice opinions and a bridge to connect decision makers with researchers and academics.”

‘Rooted in Arab heritage’

Dr Ali Bin Tamim, president of Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre, said: “We are proud to be partnering with the Ministry of Culture and Youth to host this first-of-its-kind event. It’s a befitting tribute to the year of the 50th when the UAE is on the threshold of the next 50 years towards it centennial. As the UAE strides ahead on the road to success and into the future, it stays firmly rooted in its Arab heritage and continues to be connected to its language. The summit marks the first year of the founding of the Abu Dhabi Arabic Language Centre and coincides with the International Arabic Language Day which is being celebrated under the theme ‘Arabic Language, a bridge between civilisations.”

Read more

The summit promotes efforts to spread the Arabic language globally as a language of knowledge, culture and creativity. It aligns with the UAE’s national strategy to promote Arabic by shaping the present and planning the future of the language in line with the cultural consciousness that the world is witnessing today.