Jeddah (UNA-OIC) – The King Salman Global Academy for Arabic Language issued a documentary book entitled “The Arabic Language in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation” to document the Arabic language’s situation in this international organization and its various organs.
The book launch came during the celebration of the World Arabic Day for the Muslim Ummah, organized by the Academy in Jeddah last Thursday (February 2, 2023), in cooperation with the OIC.
The publishing of this book comes as part of KSGAFAL’s initiatives to enable the Arabic language in international organizations, support Arabic translation, and build linguistic policies that strengthen the use of the Arabic language.
These initiatives are based on the vision of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and his Crown Prince, Prime Minister Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to spread Arabic at the global level in service of the language of the Holy Qur’an.
In accordance with this vision, the KSGAFAL held on December 6-7, 2022, its international conference on “Arabic Language in International Organizations” under the generous auspices of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz, with the participation and presence of a group of Arab ministers of culture, heads and officials of international organizations, as well as a constellation of scholars, thinkers and Arabic language specialists.
The KSGAFAL’s global initiatives included the largest international organization, the United Nations and its various organs. The KSGAFAL chose the UN headquarters in New York to celebrate World Arabic Language Day 2022 in cooperation with the Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United Nations.
Held under the auspices of Prince Badr bin Abdullah bin Farhan, the Saudi Minister of Culture and Chair of the KSGAFAL’s Board of Trustees on 19-20 December 2022, the celebration included specialized sessions presented by several prominent linguistic experts on “linguistic and cultural pluralism in the United Nations,” “Translation from and into Arabic at the United Nations,” and the “March of the Arabic language at the United Nations.”
It also included panel discussions on “Linguistic Management in Social Media”, “Arabic Language and the Arts”, and “Principles of Translation in International Organizations”.
The latest KSGAFAL book dedicated to the OIC is an extension of these qualitative initiatives to promote the use of the Arabic language in this organization, which is the collective voice of 57 Islamic countries and the second-largest intergovernmental organization after the United Nations.
Introducing the book, Dr Abdullah Al-Washmi, the KSGAFAL Secretary-General, affirmed that the edition comes within the efforts of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to support the presence of the Arabic language in the OIC and its organs in order to advance their mission in promoting joint Islamic action in various fields.”
“The book is intended to be a reference for everything related to strengthening the presence of the Arabic language in the OIC,” Al-Washmi said.
The OIC Secretary-General, Hissein Brahim Taha, confirmed in his forward to the book that it reflects the reality of the Arabic language in the organization and the knowledge and cultural enrichment it has contributed, calling for greater efforts to enhance the presence of this rich and creative language in international forums.
The book included a number of studies to survey and analyze the use of the Arabic language in the OIC, taking into consideration that the Arabic language is one of the three official languages of the organization, along with English and French.
In his study “The Arabic Language in International Organizations: The Organization of Islamic Cooperation as a Model; Reality and Prospects,” the Saudi Permanent Representative to the OIC, Dr Saleh bin Hamad Al-Suhaibani addressed the situation of Arabic in the organization and its various organs, whether in relation to official documents and digital platforms or the initiatives undertaken by the organization and its institutions to support the use of Arabic and promote its spread.
“The future of the Arabic language in the OIC depends on the extent of the Arab group’s commitment to speaking their language and taking pride in it within the framework of the organization and its various organs, as well as writing their notes and letters in it and adopting specific initiatives to enhance its presence,” Al-Suhaibani stressed.
He pointed out that this is only done in coordination, integration and cooperation between the countries of this group and some Arab regional institutions concerned with this field.
In his study on “Arabic language in UNA and its member agencies: survey and analysis”, the Acting Director General of the Union of OIC News Agencies (UNA), Muhammad bin Abd Rabbo Al-Yami, presented detailed documentation of the presence of Arabic in UNA’s activities and the Union’s contributions to promoting the use of Arabic in the OIC Member States.
Al-Yami’s study also included a comprehensive review of the use of the Arabic language in the member news agencies (57 official agencies), in terms of content sources, writing challenges and the media used in its presentation, and linguistic issues related to editing and translation.
Al-Yami provided in his study recommendations to enhance Arabic content in news agencies in non-Arabic-speaking Islamic countries to help policymakers in member states make the best decisions in this regard.
In his study “The Arabic Language in the Organization of Islamic Cooperation,” Dr Hisham Khogali discussed the status of the Arabic language in international organizations, whether in the UN or in the OIC and the need to distinguish between the official language and working language in the terminology of international organizations.
Dr Khogali traced the uses of Arabic in the OIC and its organs in detail through the organization’s internal and external documents, the Secretary General’s speeches, the content of websites, and conferences and events.
He referred to the role of the universities affiliated with the organization in spreading the Arabic language in the regions they serve and the need to cooperate with international institutions working to support and spread the Arabic language.
Dr Majdi Haj Ibrahim addressed the “Presence of the Arabic Language in the Islamic World Educational and Cultural Organization – ISESCO”.
He reviewed the organization’s efforts in holding many conferences, seminars and training courses in teaching the Arabic language as well as issuing books, scientific journals and Arabic translations.
Ibrahim also touched on ISESCO’s projects to serve Arabic, such as the “Writing the Languages of Islamic Peoples in the Qur’anic Letter” project and the establishment of several university chairs.
He presented recommendations and proposals to enhance the presence of the Arabic language in international organizations.
The book included a brief paper submitted by the Islamic Development Bank Group to introduce the efforts made by the Bank to support the Arabic language.
As indicated by the paper, these efforts involve setting up programs, projects and initiatives to empower the Arabic language, as well as supporting the establishment of schools for primary and vocational education and institutes for preparing Arabic language teachers in Muslim societies in Africa.
In a paper on the Arabic language in the OIC States Broadcasting Union (OSBU), the President of the Union, Dr Amr Ellissy, reviewed OSBU’s initiatives in preserving the Arabic language in the media.
Ellissy also touched on the media language and the role of globalization in opening up languages to one another, referring to the role of journalism in preserving the language.
It is noteworthy that the KSGAFAL was established by a decision of the Saudi Council of Ministers in September 2020. It seeks to be a global reference in the fields of the Arabic language and its applications by publishing research and books specialized in the Arabic language, Arabic language tests and standards, artificial intelligence in the Arabic language, Text corpus and dictionaries, Arabic language learning centres, and media campaigns that enhance the value of the Arabic language and support the enrichment of Arabic language and Arabic content.