Jeddah: The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the King Salman Global Academy for Arabic Language (KSGAAL) jointly organized an event on January 14 at the OIC headquarters in Jeddah to commemorate the first World Arabic Language Day. The event, themed “Arabic: The Language of Poetry and Arts,” aimed to highlight the global significance of Arabic.
Arabic, the language of the Noble Quran, has witnessed a resurgence beyond its geographical origins, with Arabic speakers settling worldwide. It stands as one of the four official languages of the UN and ranks as the fifth-largest language globally, following English, Spanish, Mandarin, and Urdu.
OIC Secretary-General’s Remarks: Hissein Brahim Taha emphasized the pivotal role of Arabic, considering it the language of the Noble Quran and an integral part of Islamic prayer. He underscored Arabic’s historical significance as one of the world’s oldest and widely used languages, emphasizing its relevance in the Islamic religion and the global context.
Collaboration Between OIC and KSGAAL: Taha highlighted the successful collaboration between KSGAAL and the OIC General Secretariat. This partnership, focused on celebrating Arabic, reflects the OIC’s commitment to working with Saudi Arabian and Member State stakeholders. Taha expressed a desire for increased collaboration to enhance the capacities of institutions in Member States.
KSGAAL Secretary-General’s Perspective: Dr. Abdullah bin Saleh Al-Washmi emphasized the strategic cooperation between OIC and KSGAAL, highlighting their active partnership in promoting the Arabic language globally. He stressed Arabic’s unique significance, serving not only as a symbol of national and Arab identity but also as the language of the Noble Qur’an, with profound connections to Islamic civilization.
Preserving Arabic Language’s Cultural Heritage: Dr. Saleh bin Hamad Al-Suhaibani, the Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia to the OIC, highlighted the Arabic language’s cultural significance. He emphasized its role not only as the first language of Muslims but also as a vital contributor to their rich culture. Al-Suhaibani stressed the importance of preserving and promoting Arabic for cultural preservation and fostering mutual understanding.
Historical Background in Azerbaijan: Shahin Abdullayev, the Azerbaijani envoy to Saudi Arabia, shed light on the historical background of the Arabic language in Azerbaijan. He shared insights into the nation’s efforts to preserve and propagate the language.
The celebration included panel discussions, a poetry session featuring poets from Member States, and an Arabic poetry display. Throughout the event, speakers highlighted the language’s importance in building a global civilization.
It is noteworthy that the OIC adopted a ministerial resolution during the 49th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers, designating December 18 as World Arabic Language Day. The resolution aimed to support the presence of the Arabic language in regional and international forums.
With a global Arabic-speaking population exceeding 466 million, the language plays a crucial role in diverse regions, including the Arabian Peninsula, the Middle East, and North Africa. Its recognition in international forums reflects its cultural, religious, and historical significance.