Mr. Hamad Hamdan Al-Mohannadi, Advisor at the Minister of Culture’s Office, said he is optimistic that the Arabic language would assume its true place, not only through daily conversation, but also through research, studies and interactions, as is the case with any language in the world, pointing out that many countries preserve their languages and consider doing so a patriotic mission.
He said: “The State of Qatar and some Arab countries have been making demands at the level of international organizations in support of the internationalization of the Arabic language, given the number of its speakers,” and he drew attention to the UNESCO’s adoption of the Arabic language, but there are other organizations that have not followed suit.
He added: “The issue of the Arabic language is not linked only to the Arab region, as there are many countries in Europe and in the Americas, as well as many universities and research centers, where the Arabic language is taught. Therefore, it is a matter of perceiving the Arabic language as a bastion of human knowledge and one of the most important tributaries of civilization.”
He continued: “We are more entitled to preserve the Arabic language than international organizations, and we hope that the issue of the Arabic language and its importance should be clear to everyone.”
He stressed the need for private education to take into account the issue of teaching and valuing the Arabic language, because if we demand the preservation of the Arabic language at the international level, we should, first and foremost, enable our children to learn the Arabic language in the private education sector.
He pointed out that private education poses a challenge in preserving the Arabic language in much of the Arab region; so, the issue of teaching our children the Arabic language in private schools must receive more attention.
He said: “It is true that diversity in the sources of knowledge, as conveyed through private education, is something important, but a large segment of the youth is not proficient in their mother tongue,” adding: “We do not reject private education, but there is a national mission, and while the presence of private education is important, it should not be achieved at the expense of marginalizing the Arabic language,” pointing out that private education does pose a real challenge.
Al-Mohannadi stressed the need for solutions for children enrolled in private schools, stating that it is rather paradoxical that foreigners are learning the Arabic language in various universities around the world in order to understand the history of Arabs and their language, when it would have been more appropriate for our children to be the carriers of this message.
He emphasized that the State of Qatar endeavors to empower the Arabic language in society through the passing of the Protection of the Arabic Language Law, which is expected to be implemented in due course. He stressed the need for us, as Arabs, to contribute to the civilization of this world, and that the Arabic language be present and have an impact on international decisions, research and human progress.