First of its kind academy in UAE is seen as a historic step based on scientific vision to preserve and promote Arabic language
SHARJAH, UAE/Sharjah Media Centre, December 25, 2016 – Senior government figures, educationists, intellectuals and influencers in the UAE have widely welcomed the initiative by His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Member of UAE Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, last week announcing the establishment of the Sharjah Arabic Language Academy, as a historic and much needed step to preserve and promote one of the world’s oldest and richest languages.
Announcing the Arabic Language Academy during a visit to Al Qasimia University on the World Arabic Day (December 18), HH the Ruler of Sharjah said: “It is a nice occasion to announce the issuing of a decree establishing the Sharjah Arabic Language Academy. It will help and serve other Arabic academies in all Arab countries and even outside Arab countries.”
Aisha Saif, former Secretary General of Sharjah Education Council
Aisha Saif, former Secretary General of Sharjah Education Council, lauded the move describing the establishment of the Arabic Language Academy in Sharjah as yet another initiative by HH the Ruler of Sharjah for the preservation and protection of the Arabic language against distortion.
She cited a series of initiatives implemented by Sharjah under the directives of HH Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohamed al Qasimi to preserve the Arabic language within the social and educational system as a basis for building generations and strengthening national identity and sense of belonging.
Aisha Saif said: “The Arabic Language Academy would come in handy at a time when the language is suffering alienation within its very home, as it is being used incorrectly, mixed with foreign languages and replaced with these languages by younger generations. Hence, it is imperative that we mobilise our efforts to identify the challenges and restore the prestige of “Al-Dad” language, thereby maintaining our legacy and building the future of our generations according to our identity and values.”
She hoped that the Arabic Language Academy would promote awareness about the importance of the proper use of Arabic and strengthen its position as one of the world’s greatest and oldest languages.
Dr Hamid Al Nuaimi, Chancellor of the University of Sharjah
Dr Hamid Al Nuaimi, Chancellor of the University of Sharjah, expressed his pride in the decision of HH Ruler of Sharjah, who also happens to be the President of the University of Sharjah, to establish the Arabic Language Academy in Sharjah. He dubbed the decision as nationalistic in outlook and spiritual in essence.
He explained that such an academy would help preserve the Arabic language and safeguard it against the invasion of other cultures. “It would also support the concerned bodies in their quest to address the major challenges posed by the technological revolution that is currently sweeping the world, along with all the foreign languages it involves”, added Dr Al Nuaimi.
The Chancellor went on to say: 'As for the spirituality in essence, it comes from the noble objective of preserving the language chosen to convey the words of Allah the Almighty to all humanity, which is of spiritual significance to every Muslim keen to reinforce their faith through understanding the verses of the Holy Quran.”
Habib Al Sayegh, Secretary General of the Arab Writers
Union and Chairman of the Emirates Writers Union
For his part Habib Al Sayegh, Secretary General of the Arab Writers Union and Chairman of the Emirates Writers Union, said: 'The decision to establish the Arabic Language Academy comes at a time of growing interest in national identity, which is currently exposed to a range of challenges. Language is undoubtedly one of the key components of our identity, and one of the most vulnerable to distortion and erasure, given a global irresponsible tendency toward dissolving various cultures and imposing one single culture under the slogan of globalisation.”
He added: “The Academy is a practical move to counter such a tendency, and we have great faith in it for several reasons. First, it will be directly patronised by HH the Ruler of Sharjah, a man with a vast experience in addressing cultural issues. Second, it will be in Sharjah, a city that has all the necessary ingredients of success, including its high status both on the Arab and international levels, its well established institutions, its material resources, and its experience in dealing with issues as major as the difficulties facing the Arabic language.
Al Sayegh continued: 'In our meeting with HH the Ruler of Sharjah, we realised that his decision is founded on a clear scientific vision and on realistic data. He already has a number of plans involving this project, including building a comprehensive and historic dictionary of the Arabic language.”
According to the Sharjah government decree, the Arabic academy shall have the following goals: maintaining the Arabic language and making it up to date with all sciences, literatures and arts, reviving and documenting Arab and Islamic heritage, encouraging authoring Arabisation, translation and publishing, and strengthening links between the academy and other Arabic academies in the world, among many others.