18.12.2017 - UNESCO Office in Doha

World Arabic Language Day 2017: Looking to the Digital World

The role of new technologies and how to harness them is the theme of this year’s World Arabic Language Day, which will be celebrated at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, on 18 and 19 December. The annual event will also feature a concert by Iraqi oud player Naseer Shamma.

Organized in cooperation with the Permanent Delegation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, with the support of the Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud Foundation, the events acknowledge the Arabic language’s immense contribution to science and culture, including philosophy and the arts. With more than 290 million native speakers, and millions of others gaining some level of fluency, it is one of the five most spoken languages in the world.

Arabic is also a very diverse language, with numerous dialects. It has deep historical connections to other languages, many of which use or have historically used the Arabic alphabet.

The two-day roundtable discussions (Room IV) will explore the Arabic language’s relationship to science; language planning and its role in the dissemination of Arabic; language engineering and the use of new technologies in the teaching of Arabic language; as well as the future of the language.

Ms Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO and Prince Saud Bin Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, Deputy Secretary-General of the Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud Foundation, will open the event.

Other speakers include Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al-Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah, President of the Arabic Language Academy in Sharjah (United Arab Emirates); Dr Saud Hilal Al Harbi, Director-General of the Arab Organization for Education, Culture and Science (ALECSO); and Mr Ghattas Khoury, Minister of Culture of Lebanon, as well as other renowned experts, academics, high-level representatives of international organizations and specialized institutions.

Naseer Shamma, renowned Iraqi composer, oud virtuoso and UNESCO Artist for Peace, will also perform an Oriental Jazz concert at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, on 19 December 2017 (Room I, starting at 6.30 pm) to promote interreligious dialogue and peace. He will be accompanied by Amine Bouhafa (Piano), Tunisian multi-awarded composer, orchestrator and musical director; Jorge Bezeera (Percussion), internationally renowned Brazilian percussionist; and Ali Shaker (Zither), Iraqi Zither player.

This celebration also resonates with the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2013-2022), for which UNESCO is the lead UN Agency.




<- Back to: All news