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    In celebration of the World Arabic Language Day: High-caliber participation in ICESCO International Conference, “Diplomatic Outlook on the Arabic Language”

    26 December 2023

    As part of its celebration of the World Arabic Language Day, the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and cultural Organization (ICESCO) held the International Conference, Diplomatic Outlook on the Arabic Language, on Tuesday, December 26, 2023, at its headquarters in Rabat. The Conference brought together high-caliber participation including officials, ambassadors and members of foreign diplomatic missions in a number of countries, for whom Arabic has played a key role in advancing their careers. The Conference discussed the importance of developing programs for teaching Arabic for diplomatic purposes and raising awareness of this language’s civilizational significance and great impact in the political and diplomatic scene.

    The Conference opened with the recitation of verses from the Holy Quran, followed by an address by Dr. Majdi Hajji Ibrahim, Head of the Center for Arabic for Non-Arabic Speakers, who welcomed the participants, commending their efforts to promote and disseminate the Arabic language.

    In his address, Dr. Salim. M. AlMalik, ICESCO Director-General, stated that the Conference is held at the end of a year full of achievements and initiatives, including the leading initiative to coin the concept of civilizational diplomacy, stating that language communication is one of the pillars of the civilizational diplomacy ICESCO seeks to anchor.

    Dr. AlMalik added that the creative contributions of the Arabic language in computer and digital applications remain scarce, noting that foresight studies indicate that Arabic can score more outreach on the global linguistic scene, which calls for according more attention to strategic linguistic planning to disseminate Arabic and consolidate its global status.

    Afterwards, Amb. Dr. Abdulaziz Ahmad, Ambassador of Indonesia to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, talked about his journey learning Arabic, which started with memorizing the Holy Quran, calling for providing modern Arabic dictionaries. Speaking next, Amb. Mohammad Sami Rahman, Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan to the Kingdom of Morocco, stated that language is one of the key tools to reflect nations’ cultures, noting that a language’s beauty is manifested through its strong expressive abilities and rich vocabulary.

    For his part, Dr. Rachid Lahlou, Former Moroccan Ambassador to the UN, highlighted the history of adopting and using Arabic in international diplomacy, starting with its first use in the United Nations in 1955, up to its adoption as an official UN language as the General Assembly held in 1973.

    The Conference featured a video screening on ICESCO’s series, Diplomatic Outlook on the Arabic Language, which included meetings with a number of foreign ambassadors who talked about their experiences and interesting journeys learning the Arabic language.

    Following the opening session, the first working session was held under the theme, “Challenges to learning Arabic in the international diplomatic and political sphere”, with the participation of a number of diplomats from Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Chad and Spain.

    Afterwards, the names of the winners of ICESCO Youth Contest for Digital Arabic Content were announced. The ICESCO Director-General presented the prizes to the three winners, namely, “International Open Arabic Platform” from Türkiye (first prize winner), Shuruq Library App from Kuwait (second prize winner) and the Arabic Garden App from Morocco (third prize winner).

    The second working session discussed the theme, “Prospects of the Arabic language in the fields of politics and diplomacy”, which saw the participation of a host of experts from Morocco, Japan, Jordan and Türkiye. The Conference concluded its proceedings by holding a specialized training session on modern methods to teach Arabic for diplomatic purposes, moderated by the international expert, Dr. Mohamed Alaoui from Sultan Moulay Slimane in the Kingdom of Morocco.

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