Tuesday, 17 December 2019 | Vienna | UNOV
On 11 December, ambassadors, distinguished guests and VIC staff came together in the Rotunda to celebrate Arabic Language Day 2019 at a midday event organized by the League of Arab States, with the support of UNOV and IAEA conference services and the UN Arab Staff Association.
Citing poetry and prose, speakers extolled the beauty of the Arabic language and highlighted the many contributions of Arab culture to the world. A video on the theme of this year’s celebration – “Learning Arabic” – was also shown, featuring VIC staff who are studying Arabic at UNOV and IAEA. They spoke, in Arabic, about some of the challenges that students face when learning the language: a new alphabet, hard-to-pronounce sounds and a script that is not entirely phonetic. They emphasized, however, that the journey of learning Arabic was full of rewards, including direct access to the richness of this multifaceted culture.
For those interested in more immediate rewards, there was plenty on offer as well: buffets of traditional dishes and delicacies from across the Arab world lined the Rotunda; henna and calligraphy artists demonstrated their skills next to carpet-lined tents; and the hall vibrated with traditional Arab tunes and contemporary tracks.
Arabic Language Day marks the adoption by the General Assembly, in 1973, of Arabic as one of the official languages of the United Nations. Celebrations to commemorate the day have become a cherished tradition at the VIC.
What better way to prepare for next year’s festivities than by taking advantage of the Arabic courses offered as part of the UNOV/UNODC Language Training Programme? Give it a try and see what everyone is talking about. A new semester will start in February.