Arabic Language and Overall Vision of National Security

  • 22 January 2008

The Arabic language is undeniably facing a major crisis because of the undue importance given to foreign languages, the local dialects, the difficult teaching methods that is reducing interest in its study, and the effects of the challenges of globalization which are promoting the use of other languages at the expense of Arabic.
It is in this context that one finds the importance of the conference organized by the ECSSR under the title “The Arabic Language and Education…Future Vision for Development.” It covers important issues facing the Arabic language, the mechanism, and methods for its teaching. The importance of this conference lies in its strategic vision. The Arabic language has a direct link with Arab identity and to the concept of the national security of Arab countries. For this reason, if it faces any crisis it would constitute a threat to the Arab identity. These concerns have pushed important establishments—such as the ECSSR, universities, and Arabic language institutes—to resolve the difficult reality facing the Arabic language and to search for causes behind the crisis and the ways for resolving the same.

There is a lot of talk about the threat posed by globalization and Westernization to the Arabic language. This is true, but it constitutes only a part of the crisis that our mother tongue is facing. There are other reasons that one should study before developing an effective strategy to support the Arabic language and to make it capable of warding off a challenge against it. Some of the areas to be looked into are the ways of teaching the language, the methods for dealing with it in the media and the care given to it in order to bring it in sync with the new era and its inventions. Any strategy aimed at reviving the Arabic language would have to focus on devising new methods of teaching classical Arabic language, its use in the media to offset the domination of the spoken language, and to the invention of new Arabic words that cater to new inventions and developments in different spheres of human pursuit.

If every nation takes care of its national language from cultural, security and strategic points of view, Arabs have an additional dimension, which is the religious one. Arabic is not only a language for conversion but is the language of the Holy Quran. For this reason, it will remain strong and remain a basis for identity. The Arabic language fortifies us against any damage to our identity, culture and heritage. AT the same time, adhering to the Arabic language does not imply the negation of globalization or the negligence of other languages. It simply suggests means the prevention of any language from replacing our national language.