Kerala to mark UN Arabic Language Day

Updated 15 December 2013
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Kerala to mark UN Arabic Language Day

A renowned South Indian group which runs a chain of religious and general educational institutions in the state of Kerala has lined up a host of events in the run-up to the UN Arabic Language Day celebrations.
Organizers of the event said the Fiesta Arabia, comprising various programs, would commence at the Ma’din Academy center in the Muslim-dominated Malappuram district of Kerala on Sunday. Speakers and contestants from nine Indian states and seven leading universities in the country will participate in the event. Giving the details of the program, Ibraheemul Khaleelul Bukhari, chairman of the Ma’din Academy said, “The program aims at celebrating the cultural and literary tradition of Arabic language as well as promoting the awareness of Arabic across the nation.”
Bukhari said the three-day event will also examine the influence of Arabic on other languages and various civilizations.
A national elocution contest in Arabic language will also be organized in this regard. The winners will be awarded gold medals and certificates.
Kerala has hundreds of religious schools imparting Arabic language courses. The state-run colleges also offer bachelors degree in Arabic language.
In 2010, UNESCO declared Dec. 18 as the World Arabic Language Day to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity across the world.

This is for the first time the day is being celebrated in the state which has a major chunk of Indian workers in the Gulf states. UN General Assembly approved Arabic as an official language in 1973.
Ma’din Academy will also award scholars who have made outstanding contributions to Arabic language. The prizes will be distributed at the concluding ceremony of the event.


More than 60 dead in South Africa flooding after heavy rains

Updated 24 April 2019
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More than 60 dead in South Africa flooding after heavy rains

  • Rescue workers were digging through collapsed buildings on Wednesday
  • The rains mainly hit areas around the port city of Durban

DURBAN: At least 60 people have been killed and more than 1,000 have fled their homes after heavy rains caused flooding and mudslides along South Africa’s eastern coast, authorities said on Wednesday.
Most of the deaths were in KwaZulu-Natal province. Flooding also killed at least three people in neighboring Eastern Cape province, state broadcaster SABC said.
The rains mainly hit areas around the port city of Durban. Multiple dwellings collapsed in mudslides, said Robert McKenzie, a KwaZulu-Natal Emergency Medical Services spokesman.
Rescue workers were digging through collapsed buildings on Wednesday.
Victor da Silva, a resident of the coastal town of Amanzimtoti, said his family managed to evacuate before the floods destroyed their home and cars.
“On Monday, the water was just crazy. And yesterday morning I got here, everything was fine, my garage was still here, the other part of the house was still here, and it just couldn’t stop raining,” Da Silva said. “And then an hour and a half later, everything poof (vanished) because the rain just hasn’t stopped.
Authorities in southern Tanzania ordered evacuations of residents from low-lying areas and the closure of schools and offices ahead of landfall of Tropical Cyclone Kenneth on neighboring Mozambique’s coast on Thursday.
“We’ve decided to evacuate all residents of valleys and other low-lying areas and we advise them to seek refuge at public spaces,” Mtwara regional commissioner Gelasius Byakanwa, told reporters.
Johan Fourie said he fled his home in Amanzimtoti, Kwazulu-Natal, just before part of it collapsed.
“I nearly lost my life, and my neighbor, I believe, is in hospital,” Fourie told eNCA television.
The region had been hit by heavy rains for days, but authorities did not foresee the extent of the downpour late on Monday, said Lennox Mabaso, a spokesman for the provincial Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs department.
“As a result, there was flooding and some structures were undermined and collapsed on people,” Mabaso said.
Some people were swept away by the water, he added.
President Cyril Ramaphosa visited affected communities in KwaZulu-Natal on Wednesday and was expected in the Eastern Cape in the next few days.
“This is partly what climate change is about, that it just hits when we least expect it,” he said.
Last week, 13 people were killed during an Easter service in KwaZulu-Natal when a church wall collapsed after days of heavy rains and strong winds.