Parents say ‘Arabish’is harming Arabic

Updated 20 April 2013

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.”

Makkah workshop approves 27 initiatives to enhance religious moderation and tolerance

Updated 22 April 2018

Makkah workshop approves 27 initiatives to enhance religious moderation and tolerance

  • Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal receives book on “Following the Steps of the Role Model”
  • Second workshop tackles use of technology in crowd control

JEDDAH: Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal has inaugurated the “mithaq” initiative, the first of its kind to be held at the Holy Mosques, and received the book on “Following the Steps of the Role Model” from the General President of the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques Sheikh Abdulrahman Al-Sudais.

The initiative included three workshops: The first workshop, Creating Initiatives in Moderation and Tolerance, was managed and supervised by the Prince Faisal Center for Moderation. It attracted many scholars and academicians and approved 27 initiatives to enhance moderation and tolerance.

The second workshop was on using technology in crowd control — engineering solutions for better crowd flow and for enhancing security control.

The third workshop was about the media and the global mission of the Holy Mosques. It was attended by many media personalities and university professors, and was characterized by serious discussion before agreement on quality initiatives with tangible results.

During the Makkah cultural days, Prince Khaled inaugurated the pact of the role model, which represents a holistic commitment to quality service from leaders, employees, security personnel and everyone serving at the Holy Mosques. This pact is an interpretation of the directives of King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Prince Khaled toured the exhibition and praised the efforts of each department in the service of the pilgrims and visitors of the Holy Mosques.

Al-Sudais held a conference about the impact of the Holy Mosques in enhancing the role model, presided over by Sheikh Saleh Al-Taleb, imam of the Holy Mosque. It was attended by Sheikh Saad Al-Shathri, adviser at the royal court, and Sheikh Hassan bin Abdul Hameed Bukhari.