Ambassador of the Sultanate of Oman to Egypt Abdullah Al-Rahbi
This year's World Arabic Language Day theme, ‘Arabic Language, a bridge between civilisations,’ is a call to reaffirm the important role of the Arabic language in connecting people through culture, science, literature and many more domains.
Abdullah Al-Rahbi, ambassador of Oman to Cairo and its permanent representative in the Arab League, welcomed on 26 December a galaxy of Arab intellectuals, poets and artists from Oman, Egypt, Yemen, Jordan, Syria and Iraq at the cultural salon.
The salon was enlivened with a performance by munshid (religious chanter) Ahmed Saad El-Din.
Attending the salon were Ahmed Darwish, professor of literature at Cairo University, Yemeni poet Zein Al-Abidin Al-Dhubaibi, artist Helmy Fouda, poet Mahmoud Al-Gamaai, together with Deputy Director of the National Theatre artist Khaled Abdel-Salam, journalist Magdy El-Shazly, and the salon was moderated by the Iraqi poet and writer Abdel-Razzaq Al-Rubaie.
"Orientalists expressed the difficulty in resisting the beauty of this language, its beautiful logic and its unique charm, as it is like a pyramid carved from the alphabets of history and the experience of ancient human civilisations," he said.
The Omani ambassador said that there is a rise in demand around the world to learn the Arabic language, and that South Korea has included it as a second language.
Professor Darwish spoke about the significance of this celebration being hosted by Oman, as "it is said that in the Sultanate of Oman, behind every stone there is a poet, they are all poets by nature." He then concluded his talk by reciting a poem he translated from French into Arabic.
The poet Mahmoud Al-Gamaai discussed his book, in which he collected several Omani readings of the Holy Quran, which took him 12 years to document.
The artist Khaled Abdel-Salam, deputy director of the National Theatre, recited a poem by Nizar Qabbani in a distinguished artistic theatrical style.
For his part, journalist Magdy El-Shazly warned that social media is destructive to the classical Arabic language, especially with writing on mobile screens.
At the end of the event, Ambassador Al-Rahbi compiled in a booklet the salon’s recommendations for preserving the Arabic language.
Arabic language is a pillar of the cultural diversity of humanity. It is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, used daily by more than 400 million people. World Arabic Language Day coincides with the day in 1973 that the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted Arabic as the sixth official language of the organisation.
In the diversity of its forms, classic or dialectal, from oral expression to poetic calligraphy, the Arabic language has given rise to a fascinating aesthetic, in fields as varied as architecture, poetry, philosophy and song. It gives access to an incredible variety of identities and beliefs and its history reveals the richness of its links with other languages.
Arabic has played a catalytic role in knowledge, promoting the dissemination of Greek and Roman sciences and philosophies to Renaissance Europe. It has enabled a dialogue of cultures along the silk roads, from the coast of India to the Horn of Africa.