Saudi Saudi Arabian Cultural Mission (SACM) to Australia organized on Friday 18th December 2015, in collaboration with Centre for Arab and Islamic (CAIS) of the Australian National University, in Canberra an event celebrating World Arabic Language Day. Following the welcoming speech delivered by Professor Amin Saikal, Director of CAIS, Dr. Abdulaziz Bin Abdallah Bin Taleb, Saudi Cultural Attaché to Australia, delivered a speech whereby he welcomed the attendees and thanked ANU and CAIS for their co-operation in organizing such an important event. He expressed his pleasure and valued the event, pointing out to the importance of the Arabic language and the role it played in the formation of the civilizations of many nations and enriching multilingualism and multiculturalism in all parts of the world. Leila Kouatly of CAIS also delivered a speech on the importance of the Arabic language. Three Arabic language students at CAIS talked about their experiences with studying Arabic language and the associated advantages and goals. A number of Arab ambassadors and diplomats attended the event.
UN Arabic Language Day provides an opportunity for all keen people around the world to celebrate the Arabic language and place great value on multilingualism and multiculturalism. Arabic is among the most commonly spoken native languages in the world. It is the official language of over 20 countries and there are well over 300 million native speakers of the language. These speakers are largely concentrated in the Middle East, but there are minority groups of native speakers throughout the world. The importance of Arabic language is attributed to the role it plays in the Islamic faith, as it is the language in which the Holy Quran was revealed. Arabic is the fourth of top 20 languages spoken at home in Australia (1.3 per cent of population – 2011 Census). It also is an official language of the United Nations, the Arab League, the Organization of Islamic Conference, and the African Union.
The event was a good boost of multilingualism in Australia thanks to the efforts of the Australian National University represented by Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies and the efforts of the organizers and participants. World Arabic Language Day is annually celebrated across the world to highlight the historical role of the Arabic language in science, research and the dissemination of knowledge, and to also highlight the importance of multilingualism. On 18th December 1973, the United Nations General Assembly included Arabic among its official and working languages, endorsing a proposal submitted by Saudi Arabia and Morocco.