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Egypt, UNESCO to cooperate on widening scope of ‘Speak Arabic’ initiative

By December 3, 2020 No Comments

Egypt’s Minister of State for Emigration and Egyptian Expatriates’ Affairs, Nabila Makram, has met with Ghaith Fariz, Director of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) office in Cairo. 

During the meeting, the two sides discussed ways of enhancing cooperation on, and widen the scope of, the presidential initiative “Speak Arabic”.

During the meeting, Makram reviewed the efforts made by her Ministry to connect Egyptians living abroad with their homeland, and present the concepts of Egyptian national security. This will take place by organising field visits and meetings with ministers to answer all inquiries put forward by youth.

It aims to inform them of the development projects that Egypt has been implementing, in addition to organising camps for children aged between nine and 16 years old.

She noted that most Egyptian youth abroad cannot speak Arabic, which has motivated the ministry to launch the “Speak Arabic” initiative. It aims to preserve the Egyptian culture and identity among Egyptian children living abroad, using various activities with which they can learn the Arabic language and making them familiar with Egyptian customs and traditions.

She said that such activities try to strengthen the sense of belonging among youth to their motherland, and explained that Egypt and the Arab region are facing a war of identity obliteration.

Fariz welcomed UNESCO’s cooperation with the Ministry of Immigration and Egyptian Expatriate Affairs on the “Speak Arabic” initiative. He also asserted UNESCO’s readiness to provide all forms of support for the initiative.

He praised the initiative’s goals, which focus on accepting others, and immunises youth against extremist ideas. He has also presented a report by UNESCO, entitled “The Arabic Language, the Gateway to Knowledge”.

The report includes everything related to the language and what the Arabic language is exposed to in terms of obliteration and its deterioration among children abroad and at home.

The two sides agreed to activate bilateral cooperation between the Ministry of Immigration and Egyptian Expatriate Affairs and UNESCO within the framework of the initiative. They also agreed to include the initiative as part of the celebrations for the World Arabic Language Day, which is celebrated every year on 18 December.

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