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Morocco: intellectuals' appeal to save Arabic

Founding element of national unity

13 May, 14:23

    (by Diego Minuti) (ANSAmed) - ROME, MAY 13 - The alarm has been sounded in Morocco over the future of the Arabic language. As all languages connected with specific nations or geographical areas, Arabic is not a mere subject matter to be studied but a key element consolidating national unity through culture and interpersonal relations.

    However, it cannot be abandoned to itself, confiding in its potential ability to self-regenerate without distortions.

    The language needs to be defended against the superficiality and sloppiness in which it often falls not due to someone's will but because of the carelessness used outside official places and circumstances.

    The spokesmen for this battle, full of difficulty, are a wide group of intellectuals, as well as politicians and clerics, who from the capital Rabat have called on the whole country to react and find a common stance to ''defend national identity against all forms of distortion''.

    The words should not be useless in a country which, in the Constitution approved in 2011, considers Arabic as an indispensable part of national unity as a consolidated base of its culture.

    Those who signed the Rabat appeal hinted that defending the Arabic language did not imply relegating others behind - like Amazigh, the second official language of the Kingdom - contributing to strengthen the common heritage of Moroccans.

    But Arabic is being marginalized daily by languages - notably English - on which international relations are based and it is this instance which the appeal's signatories want to oppose, claiming that what binds all citizens together is also the safeguard of common elements of their culture, and thus of their being Moroccan.

    Such words could appear like a mere declaration of principle or a manifesto to be filled with content later. However, the intellectuals, ulama and politicians who have signed it have made a specific request: they want to create an academy - perhaps to be called King Mohamed VI - with the funding and institutional and judicial mechanisms enabling it to defend Arabic as the official language.(ANSAmed).

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