28 September 2022 10:09 PM

Arabic Language Day

Thursday، 19 May 2016 - 12:00 AM

During its 190th session the UNESCO Executive Board adopted a decision to celebrate 18 December of every year as International Arabic Language Day. The new initiative, proposed by Morocco and Saudi Arabia, seeks to promote multilingual and cultural diversity, as well as celebrate Arabic language’s role in and contribution to the safeguarding and dissemination of human civilization and culture. The decision recognizes the need to implement more wide-ranging cooperation between peoples through multilingualism, cultural rapprochement and dialogue among civilizations.

Language is not merely a tool for communication, but rather the bearer of a whole range of cultural expressions and a bridge enabling close relations between societies. The Day creates an occasion to raise awareness about the cultural and social treasure of the Arabic language and gives an opportunity to discover more about the language and its contribution to human civilization.

Arabic is the language of 22 of the Member States of UNESCO and is one of the Organization’s official languages.  It is one of the most widespread languages spoken by more than 422 million people; most of them live in the Middle East and North Africa.

Arabic became a UN official working language on 18 December 1973 by virtue of a United Nations General Assembly resolution.  In an effort to support and strengthen linguistic and cultural diversity within the UN system, on 19 February 2010 the United Nations Department of Public Information announced the decision to celebrate an international day for each of the six official languages of the UN: French (March 20), English (April 23), Russian (June 6), Spanish (October 12), Chinese (November 13) and Arabic (December 18).  Arabic Language Day is celebrated on 18 December, the date on which the UN General Assembly designated Arabic as the sixth official language of the United Nations.

Preserving Arabic

The Academy of the Arabic Language was founded in Cairo in 1934 in order to develop and regulate Arabic.


Celebrating the Day

Marking the UN Arabic Language Day 2013, events shall be held at:
• The General Authority for Cultural Palaces
• The Egyptian General Book Authority
• The National Library and Archives
• The Fine Arts Sector
• The Greater Cairo Library
• The Cairo University Center for Arabic Language & Culture
UNESCO celebrations
UNESCO is set to mark the Day under the theme: “Media Role in Strengthening or Undermining Arabic”. Attending will be a number of media personnel from Satellite Channels broadcasting from inside and outside the Arab region. Linguists and media experts alongside writers, researchers, diplomats and UNESCO personnel will also participate.

Discussions will focus on how satellite channels contribute to spreading the language. The motives behind creating Arabic Language editions of foreign channels will also be investigated together with the role of the social media in bringing Arab youth to using their language.



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