SHARJAH, 29th October, 2023 (WAM) — H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member, Ruler of Sharjah, and Supreme President of the Arabic Language Academy (ALA), affirmed the Emirate’s ongoing commitment to supporting, promoting, teaching, and spreading the Arabic language worldwide while safeguarding it from decline.
He highlighted that projects related to the Arabic language, like the historical dictionary of the Arabic language, are progressing, offering a rich source of knowledge and culture for learners, speakers, and students of Arabic.
This statement was made during Dr. Sheikh Sultan’s participation in the inaugural session of the first edition of the Sharjah International Conference on Arabic Language Studies in Europe, which is taking place on 29th and 30th October. The conference, organised by the Arabic Language Academy in Sharjah, brought together a significant number of scholars, orientalists, and Arabists from various European countries.
The Ruler of Sharjah highlighted the Historical Dictionary of the Arabic Language, a project involving 500 specialists and language scholars. He underscored the continuous initiatives to preserve the Arabic language through various distinguished projects, such as conferences and more. He said, “Five years ago, we commenced the Historical Dictionary of the Arabic Language project. By this time next year, we aim to have completed 110 volumes, each containing 750 pages. The dictionary goes beyond defining words; it provides historical context and knowledge, serving the needs of those interested in exploring the language’s history and its usage throughout time. Inshallah, once the dictionary project is completed, we will initiate another project of equal importance. We consistently support the Arabic language with projects aimed at safeguarding it from decline. Our goal is to reach Arabic language enthusiasts and eager learners, whether they are in Africa, Asia, or Europe. However, having all the language enthusiasts gathered here in Sharjah is a significant achievement in preserving this language.”
For his part, Dr. Mohamed Safi Al Mosteghanemi, Secretary-General of the Arabic Language Academy (ALA), spoke about the conference’s objectives, which revolve around supporting, teaching, and fostering the Arabic language in different European nations. He also discussed the challenges the language faces.
The Ruler of Sharjah and the conference attendees then participated in a session titled “The Status of the Arabic Language in Poland, Kazakhstan, and Italy,” presided over by Dr. Abdullah Al-Washmi, Secretary-General of King Salman Global Academy for the Arabic Language.
Dr. Barbara Mikalak from Poland presented a paper titled “A Century of Arabic Language Studies and Literature at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland”. Her presentation delved into the initial interest in the Arabic language in Europe and Poland, largely driven by the geographical expansion of the Arab world and the travels of explorers. She also highlighted the notable Polish orientalists who displayed a strong passion for the Arabic language and made significant contributions, including the authorship of numerous books on the subject.
Dr. Francesca Quaro from Italy wrapped up the session with her presentation titled “Translating and Teaching Arabic Poetry in Italy.” She delved into the historical introduction of the Arabic language to Sicily during the third century of the Hijri calendar. She also shared her experiences working with Italian poets who have an affinity for the Arabic language, translating Arabic poetry into Italian, and arranging numerous literary gatherings.
The conference features participants from 11 European countries, including Italy, Poland, Germany, Spain, France, Kazakhstan, Russia, Turkey, Austria, and Denmark.
The conference’s objectives include an assessment of the Arabic language’s standing in European countries, a diagnosis of the current state of Arab culture in these nations, and the establishment of channels for intellectual cooperation and cultural exchange between the Arabic Language Academy and international institutions and global centres dedicated to Arabic language education and linguistic studies.