Commemorating the day when the United Nations approved Arabic as one of its six official languages in 1973, the Community College of Qatar (CCQ) celebrated the World Arabic Language Day with a host of activities organized by CCQ faculty and students. The event was attended by HE Mr. Li Chen, the Ambassador of China to Qatar, CCQ President Dr. Mohamed Al-Naemi, and the College Dean Dr. Abdallah Hazaimeh, alongside a number of VIP guests and Arabic language experts.
The activities ranged from interactive competitions and calligraphy exhibits to poetry recitations by students and speeches by experts that collectively defined this year’s theme “Our Language ... Creativity and Delight”, which aims at highlighting the aesthetic aspects of the Arabic Language, as well as its ability to incorporate new terminology related to arts and sciences.
As this year’s main speaker, H.E. Mr. Li Chen talked about his experience in learning Arabic, his efforts of teaching Arabic in China and finally the collaborative relations between Qatar and his home nation. The event’s acclaimed guest speakers also elaborated on key topics such as Arabic calligraphy and supporting creativity and intellectuals in Qatar. Moreover, the ceremony featured a play written by celebrated Arabic Writer Tawfik Al Hakeem under the title “The Devil in Danger”, which was performed in collaboration with the Theatre Arts program at CCQ.
Commenting on the occasion, CCQ President Dr. Mohamed Al-Naemi, said:
“We convene today to celebrate the World Arabic Language Day, and it is out of both pride and duty that we carry the banner of our beautiful language, for its greatness is not limited to a single chapter in the history of languages, but extends in esteem as it is the language of Islam, our civilization, and heritage. Arabic is the language through which we communicate and express our feelings of joy and sorrow, hopes and aspirations, as well as our past, present and aspirations for the future.”
He added: “On this occasion, I would like to tell our students to always remain proud of our Arabic language, renew the covenant to preserve it, and strive to learn it, so that everyday becomes one where we celebrate our beloved language. I would also like to express my heartfelt appreciation to the organizers of this wonderful celebration, as well as to the departments and institutions that contributed and participated in this well-regarded event.”
One of the event’s highlights was a speaking session on the making of the “Doha Historical Dictionary”, a momentous literary project that chronicles the origin, meaning and evolution of Arabic’s rich vocabulary over twenty centuries. With the first phase set to be launched later this month, the project – which has generously received the direct support and sponsorship of the Amiri Diwan and His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani – is considered an extraordinary accomplishment, after several attempts by different Arab nations to launch a historical dictionary of the Arabic language have failed.
Dr. Mohammed Al Obaidi, Deputy Executive Director of Doha Historical Dictionary Foundation and one of the project founders, pointed out that such attempts date back to the early 20th century, noting that the first phase of the project will available in electronic form, while the print version is set to be published with the launch of the second phase.
On her part, Ms. Tahani Abu Musa, the Arabic Track Coordinator at the College, commented:
“With a long history that dates back to the 6th century, there are many reasons why Arabic is one of the most fascinating languages in use today. The Arabic language combines strength, resilience and the ability to embrace the various arts and sciences, and it also carries the perfect blend of elegance and eloquence.”
She elaborated: “Today, Arabic is the 5th most widely spoken language in the world with an estimated 390 million speakers, in addition to being the liturgical language of 1.6 billion Muslims. Having contributed immensely to the cultural progression of the world, Arabic has earned its place as the language of science and culture for centuries, throughout which it continued to mesmerize and innovate, while presenting civilizations with a lasting legacy that has stood the test of time.”
The College concluded the ceremony by honoring the event’s participants and contest winners including the Best Short Story award and the Best Article award.
CCQ, stemming from its support of the Arabic language and its mastery among students, has expanded its academic offerings to include more Arabic courses as part of its programs, in addition to increasing the number of degree programs offered in Arabic at the College including its Associate of Arts, Associate of Applied Arts in Theatre Arts, Associate of Arts in Early Childhood Education, Associate of Applied Science in Logistics and Supply Chain Management, Associate of Arts in Public Administration, and Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration.
It is worth mentioning that the World Arabic Language Day is observed annually on December 18 to honor the pluricentric language. CCQ commemorates the occasion every year under a different theme that sheds light on the various aspects and features of the Arabic language, through a rich program of activities and contests.