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The Kuwaiti poet Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain has been awarded the United Nations Award for World Arabic Language Day.

December 17, 2021

         On Friday, the United Nations awarded the Kuwaiti poet Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain the award for World Arabic Language Day. The award was presented during a ceremony held to celebrate World Arabic Language Day on December 18th each year, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York and the United Nations International School (Arabic Language Department).

         The event was attended by the President of the United Nations General Assembly for its 76th session, Abdullah Shahid, as well as representatives from accredited Arab countries to the United Nations and representatives from member states.

         The award was received by the Permanent Representative of the State of Kuwait to the United Nations, Ambassador Mansour Al-Otaibi, on behalf of the poet Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain.

         The closing remarks of the ceremony were delivered by poet Albabtain in a recorded speech, in which he expressed his pride in receiving this award, which is not only a recognition for him but also for Kuwait and the Arab world. He discussed the role of the Arabic language in fostering cultural communication among nations and peoples, and he highlighted his efforts in promoting, supporting, and enhancing its international presence.

         Mr. Albabtain remarked, "The Arabic language is one of the oldest living languages known to humanity. It has interacted with other languages, and recognizing the significance of the Arabic language and its role in cultural and civilizational communication with other nations and peoples, the United Nations made its historic resolution in 1973 to designate the Arabic language as an official language within the organization, alongside several other living languages. This decision was made because the Arabic language is among the most widely spoken and used languages in the world."

         He emphasized that his efforts through the Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain Cultural Foundation, since its establishment in 1989, have been directed towards encouraging Arabic language education, promoting its culture and literature, and facilitating translation both from and into Arabic. Towards this goal, he initiated training and educational courses, as well as Arabic language chairs in more than 50 Arab universities and in many universities across European, African, and Asian countries. One of his significant priorities was Arabicization in the Arab Comoros, where he took on the task of renaming streets after Arabic personalities and writing their names in both Arabic and French scripts. He also advocated for Arabicization of state administrations and official institutions, ensuring that their names were written in Arabic alongside the French script. This was accompanied by organizing hundreds of Arabic language training courses for teachers to enable them to teach Arabic in public schools within the country.

         In his speech during the ceremony, the Permanent Representative of Kuwait to the United Nations, Ambassador Mansour Al-Otaibi, stated, "It is extremely important to preserve and support the Arabic language within the United Nations forum. I would like to thank those responsible for honoring Mr. Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain. This is a well-deserved honor, and on his behalf, I thank you for recognizing the efforts of this prestigious foundation that we are proud of and value."

         The opening speech was delivered by the Permanent Representative of the Kingdom of Bahrain to the United Nations, Ambassador Jamal Alrowaiei. Recorded messages were also shared by the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, the Secretary-General of the Arab League, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, and the Director of the Arabic Language Program at the United Nations, Ibrahim Diallo. In the closing session, the Permanent Representative of the Sultanate of Oman to the United Nations, Ambassador Dr. Mohammed Al-Hassaan, addressed the audience.

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