Sharjah 24: The Arabic Language Academy in Sharjah (ALA), in collaboration with the Department of Arabic Language at Bayero University Kano and the Charitable Foundation for the Teaching and Spreading of Arabic in Nigeria, organised a linguistic conference titled "Ways to Empower Arabic in Nigeria" with the support and patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah.
Over 500 individuals attended the conference in Nigeria's capital, Abuja, including university professors, educators, students, and a wide audience of Arabic enthusiasts.
The conference, which was held as part of the Academy's seasonal seminar series, aimed to create a platform for those interested in empowering Arabic in Nigeria, unify and coordinate scattered efforts, open the door for discussion between researchers and language lovers to identify mechanisms for empowering Arabic in Nigeria, identify the challenges it faces, and search for strategic solutions, as well as highlight the efforts of the Emirate of Sharjah and the role of His Highness.
The conference featured five research papers that discussed the role of Arabic speakers in empowering Arabic in Nigeria, the efforts of the Emirate of Sharjah in this context, the role of international relations between Arab countries and Nigeria in overcoming the challenges of the spread of Arabic in Nigeria, and a review of government and private institutions' efforts to enhance the presence of Arabic and the opportunities available to them.
Dr. Mohammed Safi Mustghanmi, Secretary General of the Arabic Language Academy of Sharjah, spoke on the significance of the conference and what Sharjah is built on to develop the Arabic language:
"This conference, as well as other efforts made by the Academy at the local and international levels, reflect His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, to support the presence of the Arabic language in various countries around the world, as well as to facilitate and provide opportunities to learn and master it. His Highness believes that the spread of Arabic in countries such as the African continent is a central engine for strengthening relations between Arab culture and its foreign counterpart, as well as an important foundation for strengthening the characteristics of Arab identity in various parts of the world."
"The strength of the language, as well as the extent of its spread and presence in the world," he said, "is an expression of the strength of its nation and culture.As a result, Sharjah continues to innovate projects and organise efforts to promote Arabic at all levels, whether among foreign speakers or in strengthening its research efforts, academic courses, and even its usage in the production of information and creative material. As a result, the Academy is eager to hold such conferences in order to coordinate efforts and capitalise on strengths and possibilities in addressing the challenges of Arabic's growth, particularly in foreign nations such as those on the African continent."
"The conference in Nigeria witnessed a remarkable presence of Arabic lovers and reviewed academics' and university professors' visions on options for enhancing the presence of the Arabic language," he stated. "This enabled us to identify chances for collaboration and cooperative work with cultural and academic organisations in order to broaden our efforts to spread Arabic in Nigeria."
The conference participants praised the Emirate of Sharjah, represented by His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, for his generous and unlimited support in holding such conferences, forums, and cultural activities in Nigeria, as well as supporting everything that would empower the Arabic language not only in Nigeria but throughout the African continent. They expressed their heartfelt gratitude to the Arabic Language Academy in Sharjah for organising this significant conference, which they characterised as the first of its type in Nigeria that discusses strategies to expand Arabic's growth.