December 18th is World Arabic Language Day and this year's theme is "Arabic Language and Artificial Intelligence." Celebrated since 2012, World Arabic Language Day marks the anniversary of the United Nation's 1973 adoption of Arabic as one of its official languages. In a message to the public, UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay said, "While it poses its share of threats to multilingualism, artificial intelligence is also a formidable source of opportunities and promise. With the development of instantaneous translation tools, it could facilitate dialogue between peoples and cultures. With improved and personalized teaching, it could also greatly facilitate the learning of several languages and thus promote the development of the Arabic language."
In celebration of Arabic Language Day, UNESCO has planned a series of round tables at its headquarters in Paris, France. Topics of discussion include:
- The impact of artificial intelligence on the preservation and promotion of the Arabic language
- The computerization of the Arabic language and the cognitive future
- The launch of the regional report "Arabic as a gateway to access and transmitting knowledge"
The organization has also planned a concert featuring Palestinian singer Dalal Abu Amneh. The aim of the performance, UNESCO said, is to "carry the message of peace, safety and harmony, resonating with the values promoted by UNESCO for interreligious dialogue and peace." Other events planned for the occasion include a concert at Carnegie Hall presented by the United Nations Chamber Music Society and a fête hosted by the Muslim American Leadership Alliance in Washington, DC.
Here are some ways YOU can celebrate!...
- Listen to Arabic-language music
- Sample traditional Middle Eastern cuisine
- Visit a Middle Eastern art exhibition
- Watch an Arabic-language film