Parents say ‘Arabish’is harming Arabic

Updated 20 April 2013
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Parents say ‘Arabish’is harming Arabic

Writings by youth occupy a wide space on the Internet and smartphone applications. Often young people communicate through using a common language that mixes Arabic with English words.
These usually combine Arabic letters and their equivalent in English to form words that can only be understood by those who mastered Internet-speak. This language called “Arabizi,” was derived from Arabic and English. Others call it “Arabish.” This form of language has spread among young people, and is only understood by them.
Parents find it difficult to decipher or understand its meaning. Had they known the language, they would have been able to understand what goes on between their children just by checking their phones.
Hani Mukhtar, an IT expert, said the new language came with mobile phone services in the Arab world. These only had English characters at the beginning, which made users look for a way to send text messages, and spread quickly after that.
“When Blackberry came into existence, youths perfected the use of this language in chat programs,” Mukhtar said.
Mukhtar pointed out: “Users of this language only know a few English words. But it contributed a great deal to their curiosity and motivated them to learn it, if only to add a few words to their chats.”
Wafa’ Al-Mughaidi, an English teacher in a public school, said: “Arabish improved the girls’ standards in English, and they wanted to learn it as they thought they would be considered more cultured and slick by using it in chatting sites on their mobile phones.”
Even though this cyber language is spreading quickly, many people say this way of writing is obliterating the Arabic language and tarnishing its authenticity.
Mona Al-Asmari, an Arabic language teacher for 15 years, said the new language is strengthening the English language and abusing Arabic. In the past girls were much better at Arabic, but Arabish is slowly obliterating the features of the alphabet.
Al-Asmari added: “Children are being spoiled by being given mobile phones with chat websites. This is making Arabic more difficult to understand and less respectable while taking care of English, which has become a source of pride between teenagers.”
Saleh Al-Ghamidi, member of the Language Forum and director of the education office in eastern Makkah, emphasized teachers’ role in educating young people and correcting their behavior. He does not agree with the idea that modern technology has a great role in affecting education if it has a strong basis. Al-Ghamidi said if educators do their job without complacency and complaint, they will have motivated students who defy all odds. Nothing will affect their beliefs, he added.
He said he is not worried about Arabic.
“Our language is the language of the Qur’an, and Allah preserved it with the Qur’an,” he said. “The founding of new languages that accompany modern technology doesn’t mean it is dying. If there is a fault in education, and students find it difficult to learn the language of the Qur’an, the fault must be that of Arabic teachers who are neglecting their duty or not carrying it out in the right way.”


High-level investment forum aims to further boost business between Saudi Arabia and Japan

Updated 18 June 2019
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High-level investment forum aims to further boost business between Saudi Arabia and Japan

  • Japan is one of Saudi Arabia’s most important economic partners

TOKYO: More than 300 government, investment and industry leaders on Monday took part in a high-level gathering aimed at further boosting business opportunities between Saudi Arabia and Japan.

The Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) welcomed key figures from the public and private sectors to the Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 Business Forum, held in Tokyo.

Hosted in partnership with the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO), the conference focused on the creation of investment opportunities in strategic sectors of the Kingdom. Delegates also discussed key reforms currently underway to enable easier market access for foreign companies.

Speaking at the event, Saudi Economy and Planning Minister Mohammed Al-Tuwaijri, said: “Today’s forum is a testimony to the success of the strategic direction set by the Saudi-Japanese Vision 2030 two years ago, which seeks to drive private-sector involvement, both by partnering with public-sector entities.”

SAGIA Gov. Ibrahim Al-Omar said: “At SAGIA, we have been working on creating a more attractive and favorable business environment in Saudi Arabia, which is making it easier for foreign companies to access opportunities in the Kingdom.”

Japan is one of Saudi Arabia’s most important economic partners. It is the Kingdom’s second-largest source of foreign capital and third-biggest trading partner, with total trade exceeding $39 billion.

JETRO president, Yasushi Akahoshi, said: “Saudi-Japan Vision 2030 has made great progress since it was first announced. Under this strategic initiative, the number of cooperative projects between our two countries has nearly doubled, from 31 to 61, and represents a diverse range of sectors and stakeholders.”

Since 2016, the Saudi government has delivered 45 percent of more than 500 planned reforms, including the introduction of 100 percent foreign ownership rights, enhancing legal infrastructure and offering greater protection for shareholders.

As a result, the Kingdom has climbed international competitiveness and ease-of-doing-business rankings, with foreign direct investment inflows increasing by 127 percent in 2018 and the number of new companies entering Saudi Arabia rising by 70 percent on a year-on-year basis in the first quarter of 2019.