The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) collaborated with the King Salman Global Academy for Arabic Language (KSGAAL) to observe World Arabic Language Day, which is celebrated every year on December 18. Under the patronage of HH Prince Bandar bin Abdullah bin Farhan, Saudi Minister of Culture, and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the KSGAAL, the event was held under the theme “Arabic: The Language of Poetry and Arts” at the OIC headquarters in Jeddah on Sunday, January 14, 2024.
During the celebration day, H.E. Mr. Hissein Brahim Taha, the OIC Secretary-General, expressed his gratitude to Saudi Arabia, the host country, for its support of the OIC and its objectives. In his speech, he highlighted the significance of Arabic – the language of the Noble Quran – as a crucial aspect of Islamic worship and prayer. Moreover, he emphasized that Arabic is one of the oldest, most spoken, widespread, and utilized languages worldwide. The Secretary-General’s remarks underscored the importance of Arabic in the Islamic faith and its significance in the global context
During the 49th Session of the Council of Foreign Ministers (CFM) held in Nouakchott, the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, last March, the OIC adopted a ministerial resolution regarding the celebration of World Arabic Language Day. This resolution was adopted with the cooperation and initiative of Saudi Arabia to support the presence of the Arabic language in regional and international forums.
The Secretary-General highlighted the partnership between the OIC General Secretariat and KSGAAL in celebrating the Arabic language. This partnership showcases the OIC’s commitment to working with all stakeholders in Saudi Arabia and its Member States who aim to give the language the recognition it deserves. The Secretary-General further emphasized that this cooperation has resulted in a range of programs and activities, including training courses for beneficiaries from the Member States. Moreover, the Secretary-General expressed the OIC’s desire to expand cooperation with KSGAAL to enhance the capabilities of relevant institutions in the Member States. The Secretary-General expressed gratitude and appreciation to KSGAAL for its valuable contribution to this partnership.
In his speech, H.E. Dr. Abdullah bin Saleh Al-Washmi, the Secretary-General of KSGAAL, expressed his gratitude to the OIC Secretary-General and the staff of the General Secretariat for their cooperation. He emphasized the importance of the celebration, which serves to highlight the strategic cooperation between OIC and KSGAAL, as well as their active partnership in promoting the Arabic language in international forums. He further stressed the unique significance of the Arabic language, not only as a potent symbol of national and Arab identity but also as the language of the Noble Qur’an, with a structural connection to the Islamic dimension. For centuries, it has been the medium through which many of the cultural, religious, and intellectual achievements of Islamic civilization were expressed.
H.E. Dr. Saleh bin Hamad Al-Suhaibani, the Permanent Representative of Saudi Arabia to the OIC, highlighted the significant role that the cultural heritage of the Arabic language plays in various aspects. He emphasized that the Arabic language is not only the first language of Muslims but also a key contributor to their rich culture. His remarks underscored the importance of preserving and promoting the Arabic language, both as a means of cultural preservation and as a way to enhance mutual understanding and communication among diverse communities
In turn, H.E. Shahin Abdullayev, Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to Saudi Arabia, referred to the efforts made by his country to care for and teach the Arabic language, in addition to the historical biography of the Arabic language in Azerbaijan.
It is worth noting that the commemoration consisted of two-panel sessions, a poetry session featuring poets from the Member States, and an exhibition of Arabic poetry. All these events emphasized the significance of the Arabic language and its role in constructing a global civilization.