By Ashraf Padanna/Thiruvananthapuram

Ma’din Academy, which runs a chain of religious and general educational institutions in the southern Indian state of Kerala, has lined up a host of events in the run-up to the UN Arabic Language Day celebrations on Wednesday.

Organisers said the Fiesta Arabia comprising various programmes would commence at Swalath Nagar on the Ma’din Academy campus in the Muslim-dominated Malappuram district tomorrow.

Speakers and contestants from nine Indian states and seven leading  universities in the country are expected to participate. “The programme aims at celebrating the cultural and literary tradition of Arabic language as well as promoting the awareness of Arabic language across the nation. The three-day event will also examine the influence of Arabic on other languages and various civilisations,” said Ibraheemul Khaleelul Bukhari, chairman of the Ma’din Academy.

A national elocution contest in Arabic language among 40 candidates selected from hundreds of applicants will begin at 8.30am. Those who finish among the first three places will get gold medals and certificates while another ten top contestants will get certificates for ‘best performance’.

In Kerala, there are hundreds of Chennaisas or religious schools imparting lessons in basic Arabic language while colleges under the state’s universities offer bachelors’  degree in Arabic besides Arabic being taught as a second language after English.

In 2010, the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) declared December 18 as the World Arabic Language Day to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity and to promote equal use of all six of its official working languages throughout the organisation. This is for the first time the day is being celebrated in a big way in the state which boasts of sending the major chunk of Indian workers in the GCC countries.

It was on December 18 in 1973 that the UN General Assembly approved Arabic as an official language to promote equal use of all six of its official working languages throughout the organisation.

Ma’din Academy will announce awards for scholars who made outstanding contributions to Arabic language and literature on Monday. The prizes will be distributed at the concluding ceremony of Fiesta Arabic Wednesday.

“Ma’din Academy has been celebrating this day since 2011 with various events and programmes,” said Dr Hamid Hussain, co-ordinator of Fiesta Arabia. P Naseer, director of Minority Welfare Department of Kerala, will inaugurate the event while Ma’din chairman Sayyid Ibrahimul Khaleelul Bukhari will preside over the function. V Abdul Jaleel Saqafi, president of the Sunni Students Federation, Prof Mohamed Alungal and Prof Aboobacker Mandalil will grace the occasion.

Dr Mohamed Mustafa Shareef, professor and chairman of the Board of Studies of Arabic, Dept of Arabic, Osmania University, Hyderabad, will inaugurate the National Arabic Seminar Wednesday. The Arabic Day messages will also be delivered by the Ma’din Academy chairman.

 Prof KV Veeran Moideen, Dr N Abdul Jabbar, Dr P Ahmed Saeed, Dr PP Abdul Latheef Faizi, Prof Aboobacker Mandalil and Dr Fazludheen NK will present papers on various topics of Arabic language and literature. Dr Hussain Saqafi Chullikkode, Jamia Markaz vice-chancellor, will moderate the seminar.



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