Doha Language has a great intrinsic value in the life of every society and nation. It is the vessel that carries ideas, conveys concepts, and establishes links of communication between different social groups. Today, the Arabic language faces clear dangers and challenges that must be addressed and confronted.
In this context, a symposium was held in the main theater of the Doha International Book Fair entitled “The Arabic Language and Identity Challenges”, and witnessed the participation of a number of intellectuals and specialists.
The participants emphasized that the relationship of the Arabic language with identity is a close relationship, as the language of the Dhad is an identity for its Arab owners, being the language of the Holy Qur’an and its close connection to the civilization of the Arab nation, and it is an existential issue for the future of culture and societies, and therefore this identity must have exceptional importance in dealing with it.
The former head of the Arabic language department at Qatar University and a member of the Scientific Council of the Doha Historical Dictionary of the Arabic Language, Dr. Ali Al-Kubaisi, says that lovers of the Arabic language and those who are jealous of it are fully aware of the status of this language and its pivotal role in building the Arab identity, and they see that continuing to exclude it from the positions of its use and the desirability of the language They produce negative effects in the formation of identity and belonging to it.
He affirms that the challenges of the Arabic language are identity challenges in the first place, pointing out that the most prominent challenges facing the Arabic language are awareness, as he sees that awareness of the challenges of identity and the Arabic language was not the result of our present era, but it is old and renewed, and perhaps its first manifestation was addressing the prevalence of melody in The Arabic language, which was considered a harbinger of danger threatening it, especially when it increased after the Islamic conquests and the spread of Islam, its scholars came to set rules that strengthen the linguistic faculty in order to preserve the Holy Qur’an and preserve the Arabic language.
Al-Kubaisi points out that the Arabic language remained strong and well-established. When the Islamic caliphate weakened, Arabic later faced calls for colloquialism and writing in foreign letters and triumphed over them, and today it is facing challenges of a new kind.
The head of the Arabic language department at Qatar University previously spoke about the indicators of identity challenges, saying that there are some indicators that warn of dangers that threaten identity and constitute a challenge to it, the most important of which is the emergence of what opposes identity values and threatens cultural privacy in an attempt to replace alternative values and behavior patterns that contradict the local culture. cultural globalization).
Al-Kubaisi also explained that the absence of awareness of the importance of language, heritage and culture in building the cultural specificity that distinguishes a nation from other nations, and the attempt to underestimate and neglect the elements of identity, and the failure to differentiate between the fixed and the transformed elements of identity, are clear indications of the threat to identity.
Excerpts from the symposium on “The Arabic Language and Identity Challenges”, which dealt with several axes, including the sound linguistic concept, and the importance of preserving the status of the Arabic language, within the activities of the Doha International Book Fair. #Doha_Book31 #Noor science pic.twitter.com/nmsbehxZPj
— Doha International Book Fair (@DIbookfair) January 20, 2022
Two sides of one thing
A member of the Scientific Council of the Doha Historical Dictionary affirms that our Arabic language is a major component of our Arab and Islamic identity, in its individual and collective dimensions, and an important element in its formulation and construction. They are two sides of the same thing, which is our Arab-Islamic existence with its characteristics and advantages.
Regarding the challenges of the Arabic language in our present time, Al-Kubaisi indicated that the most important of these challenges is everything that distances the Arabic language from use in the place in which it should be used, or does not achieve growth and development for it in its acquisition, teaching, learning and dissemination as a global language, explaining that the linguistic reality It reveals the existence of a number of challenges that the Arabic language faces in its use in several areas, the most important of which are the family, education, media, social environment and information technology.
He believes that one of the most dangerous dangers to the Arabic language is the existence of a strange phenomenon in our societies, which is the frequent use of a “hybrid” language far from the Arabic language, whether in addressing expatriate workers in the Gulf countries in particular or in communicating through social media.
He stressed that the exclusion of the Arabic language from its social environment is unacceptable and negatively affects our Arab identity, and has a direct harm to the younger generations. Therefore, it is necessary to activate the implementation of laws protecting the Arabic language to enhance identity and consolidate belonging to it.
Two souls are inseparable
For his part, Professor of Literature and Criticism and the first linguistic expert in the Doha Historical Dictionary of the Arabic Language, Dr. Ali Abu Zaid, says that he is mistaken who thinks that language is only a means of communication, and if that were true, the solution would have become a call to a global language, and God would not have made us peoples and tribes. Let’s get acquainted, adding that language and identity are inseparable, and if one sprouts from the other, they die together, for language does not die unless identity follows it.
He points out that language is a criterion for identity, and the preservation of language preserves identity, pointing out that no colonizer entered a country but tried to attack its language and, by extension, its identity, adding, “A nation only comes from its language.
Abu Zeid believes that education and the media are among the most important tools through which it is possible to preserve the language and strengthen the identity of the younger generations, criticizing at the same time the pride of some parents that their children learn foreign languages without their mother tongue.
The linguist expresses his regret over the inability of the language academies in the Arab countries to provide something tangible to preserve the language, considering that these academies have become just complementary institutions, not carrying a message and fulfilling the role assigned to them.
Abu Zeid concluded his speech by asking, “Are we able to motivate ourselves, then the family, the school, then the community and the state to return to our language, own this language, preserve it, belong to it, and be proud in international forums that we speak it? If we reach this stage, we and our identity are in peace.”