World Arabic Language Day 2021: Saturday, December 18 marks World Arabic Language Day which celebrates the cultural diversity of the Middle Eastern region and the language spoken. The annual celebration of Arabic culture falls on the same day in 1973 when the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted Arabic as the sixth official language of the Organization.
WORLD ARABIC LANGUAGE DAY 2021: HISTORY AND ORIGINS
Not much is known about the father of the Arabic language or the founder of the ancient language but the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) mentions that the language first emerged in the northwest of the Arabian Peninsula.
Arabic is described as the member of the Semitic family of languages which also includes Hebrew and Aramaic.
Earliest traces of Arabic language date back as far as the 8th century BCE, and it has been defined and refined over a considerable period of time. Significant amount of Arabic language’s development occurred between the third and sixth century AD, with more additions made to the script in the seventh century AD when ancillary signs were added to letters in order to avoid confusion over how to read text.
It was in the tenth century that intense interest amongst Arabic linguists was noticed. The period saw compilation of six Arabic dictionaries alongside more niche works aimed at presenting particular varieties of vocabulary such as synonyms and homonyms.
WORLD ARABIC LANGUAGE DAY 2021: THEME
UNESCO has announced the theme of 2021 World Arabic Language Day as, ‘Arabic Language, a bridge between civilisations.’ In a statement shared by the UNESCO, this year’s event is a call to reaffirm the crucial role of the Arabic language in connecting people through culture, science, literature and several other fields.
The theme highlights the historic role of Arabic in creating and spreading knowledge, as well as in enhancing dialogue and building peace.
UNESCO mentioned in its statement that Arabic was the common ground, and the connector, that presented a mirror to the prospering human existence and provided access to numerous resources for centuries.
Describing its 2021 themes as of urgent relevance, UNESCO said that, “it recognizes the changing world and the imperative to reinforce dialogue between nations and peoples.