Al Maktoum foundation launches Arabic promotion drive
Dubai, December 12, 2013
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation (MBRF) has launched the ‘Bel Arabi’ initiative, seeking to promote the use of the Arabic language on social media and related online resources.
The initiative specifically aims to reverse stereotypical perceptions that the Arabic language is just about literature, poetry or calligraphy, said the foundation in a statement.
It is aimed at enhancing the visibility of websites and applications that support the Arabic language.
Jamal bin Huwaireb, managing director, pointed out that the launch of the ‘Bel Arabi’ initiative coincides with the first ‘International Day for the Arabic language’ on December 18.
Earlier this year, the United Nations had announced that the day would be marked annually to celebrate the Arabic language and encourage its active use.
The initiative will kick off at midnight on December 18, with youth across the Arab world encouraged to communicate only in Arabic throughout the day across all social media platforms including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
As part of this objective, MBRF will create a specific hashtag for the Arab youth that will trend the initiative across various networking platforms.
“Arabic is the language of the Holy Koran and the Hadit. The language is spoken by nearly half a billion people around the world and carries the region’s identity, values and vision as a unique agent of cultural diversity,” said Huwaireb.
“The hashtag created specifically for Bel Arabi will aim to inform people about key developments of the campaign and serve as an effective measurement tool for tracking the success of the programme. The mere appearance of the hashtag on the list of tags in circulation on Twitter will prove a success in itself,” he added.
Representing the youth, Mehdi Al Ghafari, who is credited with conceptualising the initiative, said: “Among half a billion people who speak Arabic as a native language, only 140 million people use the internet.
"The Bel Arabi initiative will encourage this entire population base to express its love for the mother language. This will add up to an incredible number of almost 1.4 million tweets within 24 hours or about 16 tweets per second.” - TradeArabia News Service