Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum today opened the 5th International Conference for Arabic Language, in the presence of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and H.H. Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, and also honoured winners of the Mohammed bin Rashid Arabic Language Award.
Sheikh Mohammed noted that Arabic will remain the language of the future, as well as of science and innovation, thanks to its flexibility and its historic role in different cultures.
“If we look at the history of science, mathematics and medical books, we will find that many of them were written in Arabic and translated into other languages. We will also find many Arabic terms that are still in use in foreign languages. This is because the Arabic language is flexible and adaptable,” he said.
Sheikh Mohammed underlined the responsibility of Arabic language institutions in updating approaches and developing programmes to foster the use of Arabic in modern fields.
“We want to see collaboration among these institutions to enable the Arabic language to regain its past glories and to again become a global language for culture.”
Sheikh Mohammed honoured the award winners, including the Swiss-based ‘Dar Al Farah’ institute, for the best programme to teach Arabic as a second language.
Also, Saudi Arabia’s National Centre for Assessment in Higher Education, won the award for the category of best initiative to teach Arabic at undergraduate levels, while UAE’s Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalid Al Nahyan Centre won the award in the Arabic reading category.
Bait Al Lugha, or House of Language, a Lebanon-based centre, won the category for best smart application to teach Arabic.
Additionally, the award for the best project to develop and publish Arabic digital content went to Taha Zarougi from Algeria, who launched a project in Arabic language processes.
The categories for best media work in Arabic and best programme in language policy and planning were won, respectively, by Idris Jawhar from the Indonesia-based Lisan Arabi website and the King Abdullah International Centre for Arabic Language.
Further, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology won the Arabisation category for best Arabisation and translation project.
A special honour was awarded to the Arab Language Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organisation (ALECSO) for its efforts to foster Arabic culture and preserve and develop the language through pilot projects for Arabic curricula.
ALCSO Director General Dr. Abdullah Muharib accepted the award.
The awards, launched by Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is the highest accolade given in appreciation to those efforts of both individuals and organisations in the fields of Arabic language. It aims to encourage exceptional contributions in serving the Arabic language and honouring its patrons, along with highlighting successful and outstanding experiences in disseminating and educating the public about the Arabic language.
The award includes five branches, whereby outstanding initiatives will be honoured, along with exceptional contributions to support the Arabic language in education, media, Arabisation, technology, preservation and dissemination of the Arab linguistic heritage.