MILAN, 18th March, 2023 (WAM) — The Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) sponsored the 6th edition of the International Festival of Arabic Language and Culture, which was held by the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Milan, Italy. This is line with the vision of H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, to promote the Arabic language and culture on a global scale.
The festival, held under the theme “Bridges of Babel”, discussed how translation contributed to building civilisations; and brought together industry experts to explore the significance of the Arabic language and its vast intellectual output in various cultures over the ages.
During the festival’s opening ceremony, Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Ameri, Chairman of SBA, delivered a keynote speech, during which he highlighted the efforts of Sheikh Dr. Sultan to tirelessly support the Arabic language, not only as the language of the Arab world, but also as a language for dialogue, science, cultural exchange.
Al Ameri added, “We are proud to be the descendants of the Arabic language, which has provided humanity with great sciences and immortal literature. Its intellectual additions have been pivotal in civilisations’ development over the past thousand years, providing the world with the foundations of algebra, geometry, astronomy, navigation, and architecture.”
Al Ameri praised the theme for this year’s festival, saying, “Sharjah, under the vision of H.H. the Ruler of Sharjah, believes in translation as an engine for showcasing the human commonalities that unite the peoples and civilisations of the world. For this purpose, the authority launched the Sharjah International Book Fair Translation Grant, as well as the ‘Turjuman Award’, the world’s largest translation award, and translated many Arab and Emirati works into numerous languages.”
Mario Gatti, Director of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, extended his gratitude to Sharjah, saying, “We thank the Emirate of Sharjah, represented by SBA, for its great efforts in sponsoring the festival and its keenness on its success. We hope this year’s edition reveals the true impact of translation from the Arabic language on the cultural renaissance of the world and demonstrates the importance of the Arabic language on human knowledge in general.”
Dr. Wael Farouq, Professor of Language, Arabic Literature and Islamic Studies, Catholic University, stressed that Sharjah’s massive efforts succeeded in reaching different countries around the world, showcasing the beauty and richness of Arab culture and language. He noted that these efforts were the driving force for the university to present a project and festival that highlights the status of the language and sheds light on Arab culture and its significant contributions to literature, science, and art on a global level.
In the opening session of the festival, Giovanni Gobber, Dean of the Faculty of Linguistic Sciences and Foreign Literatures, Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, spoke about the importance of translation and its role in bringing people and cultures together.
The festival, which is regarded as the leading event celebrating the Arabic language in Europe, featured a series of discussions and sessions where participants highlighted the importance of translation and its impact on different fields.
The 3-day cultural event is organised by the Catholic University of Milan’s Arabic Language Research Institute (CARA), the Language Service Center (SeLdA), and SBA.