[lg policy] Need to preserve Arabic language highlighted

Harold Schiffman haroldfs at gmail.com
Mon Apr 22 12:56:53 EDT 2019


Need to preserve Arabic language highlighted

  21 Apr 2019 - 7:54
[image: Need to preserve Arabic language highlighted]
H E Lolwah Rashid Alkhater speaks during an event at QNL yesterday. Pic:
Abdul Basit / The Peninsula
By Fazeena Saleem | The Peninsula

Doha: The law introduced recently for the protection of the Arabic language
has highlighted the responsibility Qatar has in preserving the language,
said a senior official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, yesterday.
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The Spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, H E Lolwah Rashid
Alkhater, shed light  on the challenges , policies and opportunities Qatar
has in preserving the Arabic language, while delivering the keynote speech
at an event held at the Qatar National Library.

Qatar National Library, in collaboration with the Qatari Literature
Initiative, hosted a lively public event yesterday, which discussed ‘The
Law on the Protection of the Arabic Language.’

A public event on ‘The Law on the Protection of the Arabic Language’
focused on the on the new law passed earlier in 2019, which establishes
measures to increase the use of Arabic in Qatar’s professional and public
life as a national language.

“The role of a language remains rooted in your own culture. Same time we
have to aspire for modernity which play part in the present world,” said
 Alkhater while speaking on the sidelines of the event.

The law and policy we have in Qatar reflect the responsibility we have to
protect the Arabic language,” she added.

Alkhater also said that traditional capitals of Arabic Culture and Arabic
language such as  Bagdad, Beirut and Damascus are going through difficult
times. “So it’s our responsibility to kind of bear the burden of preserving
the Arabic language,” she added.

Dr  Ali Al Kubaisi, Director General of the World Organization for the
Renaissance of Arabic Language, and Azudin Al Boshikhi, Head of Doha
Historical Dictionary of Arabic, were also among the speakers of the event.

The event featured two panel discussions on ‘language and identity’ and
‘language policy and its procedures.’

“The library is promoting Arabic language in many ways, firstly, through
our extensive collection of Arabic books available to the community, which
is continuously expanding. Our efforts to promote literacy among future
generations are also reflected in our support to Arabic writers and
publishers,” said Dr Sohair Wastawy, Executive Director of the Library.

“Another important focus area is to increase the range of Arabic content
available on the web, and we do this through a process where we digitise
and use optical character recognition methods to make the Arabic text
accessible and searchable online. In this way, we are using our digital
resources to facilitate a wider use and understanding of the language,” she
added.

The vital task of protecting the role of the Arabic language in Qatar’s
educational, cultural, economic, and media sectors began with an initiative
launched by H H Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation,
in 2013, which established the World Organisation for the Renaissance of
Arabic Language. The law is a continuation of those efforts to raise
awareness of the importance of Arabic as a national language.

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 Harold F. Schiffman

Professor Emeritus of
 Dravidian Linguistics and Culture
Dept. of South Asia Studies
University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6305

Phone:  (215) 898-7475
Fax:  (215) 573-2138

Email:  haroldfs at gmail.com
http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/~haroldfs/

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