The Qatari Forum for Authors highlighted the leading initiatives serving the Arabic language in the present times. As part of the activities by the Qatari Forum for Authors in celebration of the Arabic language, which will last until March 1st, the Forum dedicated a session moderated by Dr. Abdulhaq Balabad, professor of critical studies at Qatar University and supervisor of the celebration of the International Day of the Arabic Language on the Forum channel on YouTube, to talk about one of the leading initiatives serving the Arabic language. Dr. Abdul Rauf Zahedi was hosted during the session for further scholarly input. He is a professor at the Department of Arabic Language and former Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences in the Middle East University and founder of project «al-Tanal al-Arabi» serving and promoting Arabic to the world.

Dr. Abdul Rauf explained that the project, which began around 2004, is a standardized language test to assess the linguistic adequacy of Arabic language skills; similar to the TOFEL and DALF tests based on the criteria of the European Common Reference Framework for Languages. It is intended for Arabic speakers in order to promote it, as well as to non-Arabic speakers who have finished high school in their country or in Arab countries. This test has been developed in order to promote Arabic language against  exclusion, marginalization and replacement of other languages. He also pointed out that the name of this test is derived from the Qur’anic verse stating “You will not get righteousness until you spend out of what you love”, and the definitive article in Arabic “al” (the) was introduced metaphorically to the verb “get” to be defining of who gets or reaches aspiration; for example a job or promotion and so on.

On a similar note, the Qatar Forum for Authors, through its social media accounts, invited writers in Qatar to participate in the competition set for the award of “Sharjah Children’s Book”, with the aim of encouraging writers and distinguished creative contributors to be more creative, as the award targets the publishing houses and authors and is awarded annually to a range of categories such as the children’s book in Arabic for ages 4 to 12 years, the youth’s book in Arabic for ages 13 to 17 years, and the children’s book in English for ages 7 to 13 years.

It is worth notice that the deadline for applications is March 13th.