[lg policy] Arabic language key to preserving heritage: UNESCO

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Wed Dec 18 15:37:48 UTC 2013

Arabic language key to preserving heritage: UNESCO
 December 17, 2013 12:28 AM
   The Daily Star
   [image: File - UNESCO Bulgarian general director Irina Bokova gives a
speech on October 4, 2013 at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, after being
re-elected to a second term. (AFP PHOTO / PIERRE ANDRIEU)]  File - UNESCO
Bulgarian general director Irina Bokova gives a speech on October 4, 2013
at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris, after being re-elected to a second

     [image: A+]  [image: A-]

BEIRUT: The Director-General of the U.N. Educational, Scientific and
Cultural Organization Irina Bokova stressed Monday the importance of
maintaining linguistic diversity to preserve cultural heritage.

Bokova’s remarks were made in a message published on the agency’s website
to mark World Arabic Language Day, which is observed on Dec. 18. The day
was established in 2010 “to celebrate multilingualism and cultural
diversity as well as to promote equal use of all six of [UNESCO’s] official
working languages.”

It coincides with the date on which the General Assembly approved Arabic as
an official U.N. language in 1973. It is for this reason that the
international day to celebrate the language is held on Dec. 18.

“World Arabic Language Day is an opportunity for us to acknowledge the
immense contribution of the Arabic language to universal culture and to
renew our commitment to multilingualism. Linguistic diversity is a key
component of cultural diversity. It reflects the wealth of human existence
and gives us access to infinite resources so that we may engage in
dialogue, learn, develop and live in peace,” Bokova said.

“The Arabic language bears the treasures of ancient Islamic wisdom and the
voice of poets, philosophers and scientists who placed the strength and
beauty of the language at the service of humanity,” she added.

This year, UNESCO is emphasizing the particular the role played by the
media to reinforce the use of Arabic, Bokova said in her message.

“The media are a key agent of public discourse, and UNESCO is committed to
supporting the Arab media as forces of dialogue, information and
citizenship. We should strengthen training for journalists and support for
media development so as to ensure that Arabic is heard and read in the
public arena,” Bokova said.

“The Arabic language and the possibilities it offers can help the citizens
of this globalized world to live together in their diversity,” she added.

“Arabic bears the identities and values of 422 million individuals in the
world and of 1.5 billion Muslims who use it for their daily prayers. It
drives the reinforcement of the values we share. With this in mind, UNESCO
supports the International Council for the Arabic Language, whose role is
essential in connecting the Arabic-language cultures and cultures of other
languages across the world.”

Read more:
(The Daily Star :: Lebanon News :: http://www.dailystar.com.lb)

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