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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - JAKARTA: Scholars and students in Indonesia are observing Arabic Language Month — a series of events organized by Saudi Arabia to engage learners in the world’s largest Muslim-majority nation.
The King Salman Global Academy for Arabic Language partnered with universities in Jakarta and Malang to hold a series of events aimed at promoting Arabic and developing and improving its teaching for non-native speakers. The KSGAAL-led events started on Jan. 7 and will end on Feb. 2.
Hundreds of people took part in the program in Jakarta, including university students who participated in various Arabic language competitions, said Mukhshon Nawawi, head of the Arabic study program at State Islamic University, or UIN, in Jakarta.
“There’s been incredible enthusiasm for Arabic Language Month, and of course that’s the case because there are these international seminars and discussion forums with experts from Saudi Arabia,” Nawawi told Arab News on Tuesday.
The academy also hosted intensive training for Arabic language teachers from different parts of the country — including the islands of Maluku, Kalimantan and Sulawesi — with UIN Jakarta hoping to strengthen cooperation with KSGAAL in the near future.
“We want to make the most of this opportunity to establish a more intensive cooperation. As the King Salman Global Academy has authority in Arabic language in Saudi Arabia, we feel that it’s very important to foster ties on many aspects in order to improve the quality of Arabic language speakers in Indonesia and its teaching on our campus,” Nawawi said.
“We hope that similar activities will take place in the future with even more concrete programs that would be beneficial for the development of the Arabic language in our country.”
The King Salman academy was established in 2020 to foster a greater understanding of the language. It is also committed to preserving and sharing Arab culture and heritage.
Badrus Sholeh, the education and cultural attache at the Indonesian Embassy in Riyadh, welcomed the latest partnership between KSGAAL and Arabic language teachers and departments in Indonesian universities.
“This cooperation is important for several reasons … It shows the increasing academic cooperation among Indonesian and Saudi lecturers, researchers and students,” Sholeh told Arab News.
Indonesia currently has more than 400 university programs dedicated to teaching the language and Arab literature across the country, he said, adding that more than 17,000 Islamic boarding schools also serve as centers for teaching from basic to advanced levels.
“It proves the high interest to study Arabic language among students and lecturers in Indonesia.”
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