SHARJAH, 31st October, 2023 (WAM) — H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and the Supreme President of the Arabic Language Academy (ALA), has marked a watershed moment for Arabic language and culture by launching 31 new volumes of the Historical Corpus of the Arabic Language.
The Corpus – the first-of-its-kind project to chronicle 17 centuries of the development of Arabic language – was launched in the presence of the Board of Trustees and members of the Arabic Language Academy (ALA), including the presidents of the unions and councils of 14 language academies from 12 countries, at ALA headquarters in university city.
With the newly launched volumes comprising six letters Ra (ر), Zay (ز), Seen (س), Sheen (ش), Sad (ص), and Dad (ض), it brings the total number of completed volumes to 67, covering 15 Arabic letters.
The volumes were released by Al Qasimi Publications, in a unique scientific achievement that reflects the insightful vision and significant efforts made by the Ruler of Sharjah to support, preserve, protect, and promote the Arabic language and to introduce its history and evolution throughout the ages.
Announcing the launch of the new volumes in his keynote speech, His Highness welcomed the attendees and emphasised that the new volumes are a valuable addition to what has been completed in this extensive project. He said, “We present a newly completed phase of the great Arabic language project the (Historical Corpus of the Arabic Language). Today, we have reached this great milestone and are celebrating the completion of sixty-seven volumes covering fifteen letters of our Arabic language (from ‘hamza’ to ‘dad’).”
His Highness lauded the efforts of all those involved in the project, who worked diligently, striving for excellence, and persevered without giving up.
The Sharjah Ruler also expressed his gratitude to the heads of the Arab language unions and academies, emphasising the significant cooperation of various institutions. “You are at the forefront of those working on this corpus. Without the guidance of Allah and your knowledge and expertise, this project might have remained on paper and as a dream. Your efforts have united under the umbrella of the Scientific Linguistic Academies Union, coordinated by the Arabic Language Academy in Sharjah, involving thirteen linguistic academies, centres, and institutions, with around five hundred editors, experts, and scholars from twenty-six countries around the world. All of them participated in this great project, and we ask Allah to reward all on behalf of the nation.”
The Sharjah Ruler added, “We inform all Arabic language enthusiasts, and researchers that, if Allah wills, the remaining parts of the corpus will be released soon, and at that time the nation will rejoice, as Arabic will have its long-awaited Historical Corpus. This date is close if Allah wills. I also assure researchers and those working in linguistic studies that research and heritage service projects will not stop after the completion of this project. In Sharjah, we have committed ourselves to starting other projects to serve our Arabic language and its rich heritage.”
His Highness continued, “I must express my immense gratitude to my sons and daughters at the Arabic Language Academy in Sharjah and Al Qasimi Publications, who work tirelessly day and night in service of this project. I sympathise with them for the magnitude of the work and my constant monitoring and guidance until the corpus emerges in its beautiful form and on its scheduled date.”
The Sharjah Ruler noted that new volumes of the corpus are released at every new edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair. His Highness thanked Arabic language enthusiasts, alongside ALA and Al Qasimi Publications.
His Highness concluded his speech, “Goodness will remain in the children of this nation as long as we rely on Allah, equipped with knowledge, and work together, not apart. May Allah grant all of us the ability to serve this language and this nation.”
Scholars, including heads and representatives of Arabic linguistic academies in the Arab world, expressed their gratitude and appreciation to the Ruler of Sharjah for his generous support, personal interest, and direct supervision of various projects aimed at promoting, preserving, and disseminating the Arabic language, most importantly the Historical Corpus of the Arabic Language, which is considered a historic achievement for the Arabic language, preserving its rich history and making it available to researchers and future generations.
The corpus is one of the most important scientific and knowledge-based Arabic language initiatives, designed to promote its study, documentation, and research. The project is overseen by the Arabic Language Academy in Sharjah in collaboration with the linguistic academies, thereby supporting the efforts and their roles in safeguarding and directing the Arabic language towards the desired objectives.
The Sharjah Ruler launched the first 17 volumes of the corpus during the 40th Sharjah International Book Fair opening ceremony in 2021. Additionally, His Highness launched the second set of 19 volumes of the “Historical Dictionary of the Arabic Language” on 1st November, 2022.