Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), officially launched the second Renaissance of Arabic Language Forum at the Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC) earlier today.
The two-day Forum, entitled ‘Linguistic Upbringing of The Arab Child - The Reality and Prospects for the Future’, is being hosted by the World Organization for Renaissance of Arabic Language (WORAL), a member of QF. The initiative promotes the teaching and learning of Arabic, and, therefore, supports QF’s mission to develop a knowledge-based society that upholds and promotes the region’s heritage and culture.
In her opening remarks, Her Highness Sheikha Moza said, “Our failure to effectively use modern communication techniques has led to an inability to preserve the Arabic language. It is unfortunate that a few decades ago the Arabic language was more prevalent in children than it is today.”
Her Highness highlighted some of the challenges facing the Arabic language, some of which can be attributed to families, weak school curriculums, television programmes, and globalisation. “If we want to save our identity we have no choice but to advance ourselves and enhance the Arabic Language in order to adjust with the contemporary era.”
Proposing several solutions, Her Highness concluded by calling for the unification of intellectual scholars, legislatures, cultural figures, and the media to protect the Arabic language, explaining the need for it to be simplified in schools systems and encouraging television programmes to adopt formal Arabic.
His Excellency Dr Abdulaziz bin Abdullah Al-Subaie, Chairman of the WORAL Board of Trustees, was also present during the opening ceremony. Stressing the importance of the linguistic upbringing of children, he said: “The role of language when nurturing the Arab child is crucial in building identity and maintaining culture in order to master the fields of science and knowledge. This will support the outcome for the continuous contribution of different generations in advancing civilisation.”
Exploring development strategies, the first day of the Forum featured a variety of lectures and workshops. The panels included ‘The Development of Arabic Language Skills for Children’ and ‘The Effects of Children’s Exposure to Current Arabic Media Content’.
Alongside the Forum, the QNCC is also hosting an interactive Arabic language exhibition for children. Various QF centres are taking part, including Qatar National Library (QNL), Qatar Nanny Training Academy (QNTA), QatarDebate, and Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI).
WORAL was established in 2013 to enhance the Arabic language through creative and proactive initiatives that address language and research culture.