In its efforts to protect the Arabic language in a globalised world, Qatar finds ways to encourage the education and fostering of the mother-tongue.
The Embassy of Qatar in Moscow, Russia, hosted its annual competition in the Arabic language “Doha Prize” for Russian students, where seven students rose as ultimate winners.
Held for the fourth year in a row, the first round of the annual competition this year hosted a total of 150 students from various universities across Russia. In the second round, out of the 150 only 15 proceeded to qualify for the final stage of the competition.
The jury awarded seven winners with a one-year scholarship at Qatar University, to study the Arabic Language.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs explained the significance of this annual competition to be part of Qatar’s vision of “spreading the Arabic language as a tool for civilised communication and building bridges of communication and rapprochement between Arab and Islamic culture and other cultures.”
Shura Council and the Arabic Language Protection Law
During a weekly session held on November 15th last year and chaired by Hassan bin Abdullah Al-Ghanem, the Shura Council discussed the activation of ‘Law No. 7 of 2019’ regarding the protection of the Arabic language.
In the meeting, a number of Council members discussed the importance of the law and its reflection on Qatar’s national identity. They also emphasised the role of educational institutions and families to maintain the application of the Arabic language to further encourage its use.
The law mandates “all ministries, government agencies, public bodies and institutions use the Arabic language in their meetings and discussions; in all resolutions issued, regulations, instructions, documents, contracts, correspondence, designations, programmes and visual, audiovisual, and text publications, and in all other transactions,” a multinational law firm based in Qatar, Dentons, confirmed.
The Shura Council’s Information and Cultural Affairs Committee held another meeting in January, headed by its Chairman Khalid bin Ahmed Al-Obaidan, which also reviewed the remarks and inquiries of the authorities pertaining to Law No.7 of 2019.
The Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani issued said law in early 2019.
In an attempt to further cement the use of the Arabic language across state-financed institutions, the law ratified that “data and information relating to Qatari products is to be written in Arabic and to be accompanied by translations in other languages.”