The Continuing Education Center at the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Society for the Protection of the Arabic Language. This MOU lays out a general framework for strategic cooperation between the two sides in order to enhance the status of Arabic spreading the language to different sectors of the community.
The memorandum was signed by Dr. Nabil Bastaki, Director of the Continuing Education Center, and Dr. Jamal Yusuf Al Zarooni, Chairman of the Society for the Protection of the Arabic Language.
Dr. Bastaki said that this, “memorandum can benefit from our mutual expertise. The Continuing Education Center provides Arabic language courses to various groups inside and outside the university, and also operates the Al Ain testing center to measure proficiency in Arabic.”
Dr. Al Zarooni stressed the importance of these agreements for the promotion of the language in the UAE. He said that, “the most important factor is building a strong foundation for Arabic. The basics to achieve this goal are hard work and community engagement.” The memorandum also establishes a positive relationship between the two parties which will benefit both parties and society in general.
The Al Ain Test is a standardized language test designed to measure proficiency in formal Arabic communication. It is comparable to proficiency tests in other languages and was designed by lecturers at UAEU, where it is run by the Arabic Language Unit in the Continuing Education Centre. This project won the Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Arabic Language Award for the best Arabic teaching initiative in higher education in May 2015. So far about ten thousand students have taken the test and we look forward to its spread throughout the UAE and abroad.
The memorandum reflects the growing interest from the national leadership in the status of Arabic language as a language of identity and Islamic heritage. This is part of the UAE’s 2021 Vision launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. It seeks to protect Arabic and is part of UAEU’s positive contribution to the development of the country by transferring knowledge and skills to the community.