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    ICESCO publishes ten books on teaching Arabic to non-Arabic speakers

    The Center of Arabic Language for Non-Arabic Speakers of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO) has published the third series of the specialized studies in the field of Arabic language for non-Arabic speakers, as part of the “Specialized Studies Project”supervised by the Center.

    This 3rd series consists of 10 books authored by a group of experts and specialists in the field of teaching Arabic to non-Arabic speakers from nine countries: Saudi Arabia, Canada, the United States of America, Morocco, Palestine, Algeria, Malaysia, Iraq and Brunei Darussalam.

    This series of specialized books aims to strengthen the presence of the Arabic language worldwide, reinforce scientific and educational research, and keep abreast of developments in Arabic language teaching programs and pedagogical tools.

    The publications in the 3rd series are titled:

    • Technological applications and artificial intelligence in second language teaching and learning.
    • Teaching Arabic to non-Arabic speakers in Canadian universities, realities and challenges.
    • Supportive methods to facilitate the acquisition of language skills for Arabic language learners.
    • Word construction for Arabic language learners, metacognitive strategies and classroom practices.
    • Communicative competencies: Applications in teaching and learning Arabic for Arabic and non-Arabic speakers, an applied linguistic approach.
    • Role of mental conceptions in understanding lexical and syntactic significance in teaching Arabic to non-Arabic speakers.
    • Methodical and sustainable reading of literary texts, advanced level for non-Arabic speakers, an approach in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.
    • Application of ChatGPT and its impact on teaching Arabic in Malaysian universities.
    • Epistemological references in teaching Arabic to non-Arabic speakers.
    • The cultural question and its impact on Arabic teaching and culture in the Malay Archipelago.
       
      These publications can be consulted and downloaded free of charge from ICESCO website, via the following link: https://icesco.org/0erm

    First Issue of ICESCO Peer-Reviewed Scientific Journal for Arabic Language “Alem” Published

       The Arabic Center for Non-Arabic Speakers at the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO) published the first issue of its peer-reviewed scientific journal for the Arabic language (Alem). The journal reflects the Organization’s keenness to promote the presence of the Arabic language in non-Arabic speaking communities inside its Member States and beyond, with the aim of building a rich body of knowledge, supporting solid specialized research, and fostering research cooperation.

    This journal is also intended to serve as a new reference for specialists in the various fields of studies of Arabic, and a repository of remarkable works, both in theory and execution, to benefit researchers in the Islamic world and beyond.  

    The biannually-published journal (June and December) invites interested researchers and experts to submit their scientific research works for peer-reviewing and publication in its upcoming issues. For more information on the Journal, including latest news, please sign up to the Journal’s website at the link:

    https://ijal.icesco.org/index.php/journal/index

    ICESCO holds training session in Malaysia on role of automation in addressing environmental challenges

    The Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), in partnership with Naif Arab University for Security Sciences (NAUSS) and the International Islamic University of Malaysia, held a training session, themed, “Robotics for Sustainability: Knowledge Acquisition Program on Tackling Environmental Challenges and Risks with Automation.” The training session was held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with the aim of building the capacities of 46 experts, specialists and researchers in finding innovative solutions to harness the potential of renewable energies and improve waste management.

    Representing ICESCO, Dr. Adel Smeda, Expert at the Science and technology Sector, gave an address at the opening session of the three-day event, which kicked off on Wednesday, July 3, 2024. Dr. Smeda stressed the need to integrate robotics technology in addressing environmental issues, casting light on the key topics to be discussed. These include, he stated, scientific panels moderated by international experts, hands-on activities, and field visits to research centers specialized in the use of robotics and automation technology to contribute to achieving sustainable development.

    The session offered a comprehensive overview of the basic concepts in the field of automation and artificial intelligence technology, and discussed the potential of robotics in the field of monitoring climate change. The session also featured practical segments to identify tools and mechanisms to capitalize on modern technology in developing strategies to protect the environment.

    ICESCO Organizes Open Day for Participants in First Maghreb Education Federation in Rabat

    The Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO) hosted a delegation of 80 participants in the first edition of the Maghreb Education Federation on Thursday, 4 July 2024, at its headquarters. The Open Day brought together university professors and doctoral students from various universities in Europe, the Maghreb, and West Africa.

    In his welcoming remarks, Dr. Abdelilah Benarafa, ICESCO Deputy Director-General, outlined the Organization’s mission, vision, strategic orientations, key initiatives and programs in education, science, and culture, as well as the major achievements and transformations it has undergone in its new phase.

    Dr. Khalid Samadi, President of the Maghreb Education Federation, provided an overview of the Federation and its objectives, appreciating the delegation’s presence to learn about ICESCO’s areas of competence and its efforts in serving its Member States.

    A video introducing ICESCO was then screened, followed by presentations by Dr. Omar Halli, Advisor to ICESCO’s Director-General for the Federation of the Universities of the Islamic World (FUIW), Dr. Ahmed Al-Banyan, Supervisor of the Education Sector, Ms. Ramata Almamy Mbaye, Head of the Social and Human Sciences Sector, and Dr. Youssef Ismaili, Expert at the ICESCO Center of Arabic for Non-Arabic Speakers. These presentations covered the working mechanisms of the various sectors and centers within ICESCO, as well as the key programs and projects being implemented.

    The meeting concluded with a discussion session between the doctoral students, university professors, and ICESCO representatives.

    At the end of the meeting, Dr. Abdelilah Benarafa took the delegation on a tour of the International Exhibition and Museum of the Prophet’s Seerah and Islamic Civilization, currently housed at ICESCO’s headquarters.

    Regional Workshop on Islamic World AI Charter Concludes Proceedings in Oman

    On Wednesday, July 3rd, 2024, the Islamic World AI Charter for Asia and Middle East Regions Workshop concluded its proceedings. The two-day workshop featured rich discussions and an exchange of ideas among a select group of officials, experts, and representatives of ICESCO Member States. They presented the results of their discussions on the ethical principles of artificial intelligence to be included in the Charter, as well as their proposals for oversight and governance mechanisms to ensure the proper application of these principles.

    Participants in this workshop, organized by the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), in partnership with the University of Technology and Applied Sciences (UTAS) and the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology of Oman, and in collaboration with the Omani National Commission for Education, Culture and Science, emphasized the necessity of drafting legal and ethical frameworks to govern artificial intelligence. The participants also stressed the need to carry this out in tandem with building human capacities to use AI and the importance of aligning the Islamic World Charter for Artificial Intelligence with international charters, while considering the specificities and values of the Islamic world. Moreover, they called for balancing innovation and scientific research with the protection of individual rights, stressing the importance of awareness-raising and capacity-building.

    At the beginning of the second day of the Workshop, held as part of the activities of ICESCO Chair for Artificial Intelligence Ethics at UTAS in Oman and in preparation for the Islamic World Charter for Artificial Intelligence, Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, ICESCO Director General, gave his remarks prior to the start of the working group discussions, where he underscored the necessity of integrating an ethical value system into the Charter to achieve its intended purpose, with a focus on creativity, individual freedom, and equity.

    Dr. AlMalik added that although the application of artificial intelligence across various domains yields substantial advantages, its unethical use poses significant risks, such as its use in preparing research and studies for academic degrees, which represents a form of academic plagiarism and corruption.

    In his statement, Dr. Kais Hammami, Head of ICESCO’s Center for Foresight and Artificial Intelligence, reviewed the Center’s efforts and methodology in promoting the culture of foresight, foundational principles of methodological analysis, dynamic scenario building, and the use of the Arabic language in this domain.

    Speaking next, Dr. Said Bin Salem Jaboob, Deputy Vice Chancellor of UTAS for Postgraduate Studies, Research, and Innovation, stated that preparing the initial draft of the Charter’s articles is a significant step towards establishing a solid framework for AI ethics and governance in Asia and the Middle East.

    The second day’s agenda included brainstorming sessions to develop a comprehensive vision for the Islamic World Charter for Artificial Intelligence. Experts and researchers were divided into four groups, each discussing multiple scenarios to derive several ethical principles necessary for better drafting of the Charter.

    Agreement Signing to Hold Third Conference of Education Ministers of ICESCO Member States in Oman

    Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, Director-General (DG) of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), and Dr. Madiha Ahmed Al-Shaibani, Minister of Education and President of the Omani National Commission for Education, Culture, and Science, attended today, Wednesday, July 3rd, 2024, at the Ministry’s headquarters in Muscat, the signing of the agreement for Oman to host the Third Conference of Education Ministers of ICESCO Member States, scheduled for October 2-3 , 2024.

    The Agreement was signed by Ms. Amna bint Salem Al Balushi, Secretary-General of the Omani National Commission for Education, Culture, and Science, and Dr. Salim Al Habsi, Director of the General Secretariat of National Commissions and Conferences at ICESCO.

    During the meeting, attended by several Ministry officials, the DG expressed thanks and appreciation to the Sultanate of Oman, represented by its Ministry of Education and National Commission, for the initiative to host the Conference and for preparations made so far to ensure its success.

    Dr. AlMalik stated that this conference mirrors ICESCO’s efforts to revamp its ministerial conferences, as it will feature key documents addressing the state of the Islamic world post-Transforming Education Summit, in addition to other key themes such as Green Education, and Girls’ Education, prepared by experts from renowned international universities and research centers.

    For her part, Dr. Madiha Ahmed Al-Shaibani praised ICESCO’s efforts in preparing for the Conference, reaffirming her country’s keenness to provide all facilitations to ensure the success of this key event.

    The Meeting also touched upon the Conference’s organizational arrangements, with both sides emphasizing the importance of its outcomes, including studies, documents, and recommendations, to emerge as a significant addition to the efforts of Islamic countries in updating their educational systems to keep pace with the rapid global developments and transformations.

    Agreement to Develop Cooperation between ICESCO and Environment Authority in Oman

    Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, Director-General (DG) of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), met with Dr. Abdullah bin Ali Al Amri, Chairman of the Environment Authority in Oman, to discuss ways to enhance cooperation between the Organization and the Authority in areas of mutual interest, particularly in advancing scientific research in environmental protection.

    During the meeting, held on Wednesday, July 3rd, 2024, at the Authority’s headquarters in Muscat, and attended by Ms. Amna Al-Balushi, Secretary of the Omani National Commission for Education, Culture, and Science, Dr. AlMalik highlighted ICESCO’s new vision and strategic orientations that prioritize supporting Member States’ efforts to preserve the environment. He stated that ICESCO is committed to mitigate the negative impact of climate change, and rationalize the use of natural resources, in view of contributing to building a sustainable and green future in the Islamic world.

    Dr. AlMalik further emphasized the Organization’s commitment to fostering fruitful cooperation with the Authority, facilitating the transfer of expertise, and exchanging information with counterpart bodies in the Islamic world. He noted that ICESCO will participate with a distinguished pavilion at the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 29), which will be hosted by Azerbaijan next November.

    For his part, Dr. Al Amri commended ICESCO’s efforts in supporting its Member States in its areas of competence. He also outlined the main objectives of the Authority, including preserving natural and renewable resources and raising communities’ awareness of key environmental concepts.

    The meeting also discussed proposals for cooperation between the two sides, such as establishing a chair for environmental studies at an Omani university, ICESCO’s participation in the Oman Conference for Environmental Sustainability, held annually in Muscat in February, and the Environment Authority’s participation in the third Conference of Ministers of Education for ICESCO’s Member States, which Oman will host this year, on October 2-3.

    At the end of the meeting, the two parties agreed to maintain coordination and develop implementation plans for the proposed areas of cooperation discussed.

    The meeting was attended by Dr. Salim Al-Habsi, Head of the General Secretariat for National Commissions and Conferences, and Mr. Samy Al Kamhawy, Head of the Department of Information and Institutional Identity at ICESCO.

    ICESCO’s Seminar in Dakhla Explores Relationship Between Arabic and Hassaniya Dialect

    The Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), represented by its Center of Arabic for Non-Arabic Speakers, held a scientific seminar titled, “Arabic Language and Hassaniya Dialect: Origins, Interrelations, and Spread.” The Seminar was organized in collaboration with Cadi Ayyad Center for Humanities and Legal Studies (CCSHEJ) and Sahara Center for Human and Social Studies, at the National School of Business and Management of Dakhla in Morocco.

    The opening session of the Seminar, which took place on July 1-2 , 2024, featured remarks by Mr. Mohamed Salem Hammia, President of the Regional Council of Oued Ed-Dahab, Morocco, and representatives of the Seminar organizers.

    In his address, Dr. Majdi Haji Ibrahim, Head of ICESCO Center of Arabic for Non-Arabic Speakers, emphasized the significance of the Seminar as it reflects ICESCO’s commitment to extending its projects, programs, and activities in the Organization’s Seat Country, while also focusing on the intangible heritage of its Member States. Dr. Majdi noted that the Hassaniya dialect is a vital resource for cultural exchange across continents, nations, ethnicities, identities, and civilizations, as it exemplifies coexistence and the rejection of intolerance, thus promoting the principles of human fraternity and social security.

    The Seminar, which saw the participation of Dr. Adham Muhammad Ali, Expert at the said Center, featured several research papers that explored the heritage of Hassaniya dialect, its history, cross-cultural exchange and influence, and proposals for its preservation.

    ICESCO and Omani Ministry of Social Development Cooperation Prospects

    Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, Director-General (DG) of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), met with Dr. Laila bint Ahmed Al-Najjar, Minister of Social Development in the Sultanate of Oman, and together they discussed ways to promote cooperation between the Organization and the Ministry in social care and humanitarian affairs through the joint implementation of several initiatives and programs.

    During the meeting held on Tuesday, July 2, 2024, at the Ministry’s headquarters in Muscat, and in the presence of Ms. Amna Al-Balushi, Secretary of the Omani National Commission for Education, Culture, and Science, Dr. AlMalik emphasized that ICESCO places special importance on investing in human capital, as part of the Organization’s vision and strategic orientations to contribute to building healthy, prosperous, and strong communities. This goal, he added, is pursued through the implementation of various initiatives, programs, and projects that focus on supporting girls and women and building the capacities of youth.

    Likewise, Dr. AlMalik pointed out that ICESCO is currently developing its partnerships with countries, international organizations and bodies, and civil society institutions, for the benefit of its Member States and Muslim communities around the world. He seized the opportunity to commend the efforts of the Sultanate of Oman in supporting women and individuals with special needs.

    For her part, Dr. Laila Al-Najjar shed light on the Ministry’s most ambitious programs and projects under the social welfare and development axis of Oman Vision 2040, and the Ministry’s cooperation with the Ministries of Health and Education. The Omani Minister praised ICESCO’s efforts in supporting its Member States in its areas of competence, reaffirming Oman’s keenness to deepen cooperation with the Organization in humanitarian fields.

    At the close of the meeting, the two parties agreed to sustain coordination to collaborate on several programs, projects, and activities of mutual interest that were discussed during the meeting.

    The meeting was attended by Dr. Salim Al-Habsi, Head of the General Secretariat of National Commissions and Conferences, and Mr. Samy El Kamhawy, Head of Media and Institutional Identity at ICESCO.

    Regional Workshop on Islamic World AI Charter Kicks Off in Muscat

    The Omani capital, Muscat, is hosting the Islamic World AI Charter Regional Workshop (IWAIC) Asia and Middle East Regions, organized by the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO) in partnership with the University of Technology and Applied Sciences (UTAS) and the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology of Oman, and in collaboration with the Omani National Commission for Education, Culture and Science. The workshop kicked off on Tuesday, July 2nd, 2024, under the patronage and in the presence of Dr. Khamis bin Saif Al Jabri, Chairman of Oman Vision 2040 Implementation Follow-up Unit, bringing together high-level participation from officials, experts, and researchers from 23 countries.

    This Workshop is part of the activities of ICESCO Chair for AI Ethics at UTAS in Oman and the Organization’s preparation and draft of the Islamic World AI Charter.

    The Workshop opened with the recitation of verses from the Holy Quran, followed by welcoming remarks by Dr. Saeed bin Hamad Al-Rubaie, President of the University of Technology and Applied Sciences. Dr. Al-Rubaie highlighted that UTAS and ICESCO are focused on AI ethics and use, which is reflected in their joint plans and initiatives, mainly ICESCO Chair for AI Ethics, which was established this year at UTAS to address ethical issues arising from the advent of AI applications.

    Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, ICESCO Director-General (DG), began his speech with poetic verses in tribute to Oman and its people. Dr. AlMalik stated that scholars of the Islamic world have historically been at the forefront of advancing humanity.

    Dr. Al-Malik stated that the global AI market is growing at an annual rate of 33% and is expected to drive global economic growth by 14% by 2030. He added that AI market is projected to expand by at least 120% year-on-year and that 77% of the devices we currently use incorporate AI.

    The DG stressed that the Organization accords special attention to AI evident in its comprehensive foresight strategy for the field, particularly strategic governance and ethical dimensions. This focus, he explained, has led the Member States to task ICESCO’s General Directorate with drafting the Islamic World AI Charter.

    Dr. AlMalik concluded his address by thanking the Sultanate of Oman, Dr. Al-Jabri, the University of Technology and Applied Sciences, the Ministry of Transport, Communications, and Information Technology, and the Omani National Commission for their significant efforts in organizing the Workshop, which will help open new horizons for the use of artificial intelligence.

    Speaking next, Dr. Kais Hammami, Head of ICESCO’s Center for Foresight and Artificial Intelligence, reviewed the strategic and methodological framework for the IWAIC, emphasizing that the Charter is a milestone towards a prosperous and sustainable technological future for the Islamic world, aligning with its values and consolidating its position on the global stage.

    Mr. Mohamed Hedi Shili, Head of ICESCO Department of Legal Affairs and International Standards, presented an overview of the indicators used to measure countries’ readiness for artificial intelligence implementation, including “governance and ethics,” explaining that the differences in readiness among countries drive the Organization to work more on sharing experiences among its Member States to benefit from leading experiences.

    Dr. Said Bin Salim Jaboob, Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Technology and Applied Sciences for Postgraduate Studies, Research, and Innovation, discussed the prospects of development in artificial intelligence, its competition with humans and the need to keep pace with regulating research in this field, especially with regard to artificial intelligence ethics.

    At the end of the opening session, the workshop participants, including researchers and experts, were honored, and commemorative shields were exchanged between the heads of the organizing bodies and the patron of the event, followed by a group photo.

    The agenda of the two-day workshop features several interactive sessions, discussions, and presentations. Additionally, it includes the creation of working groups to exchange views and perspectives on artificial intelligence in Asia and the Middle East, as well as to discuss the ethical aspects related to its applications in the Islamic world.