Globalization tends to make populations forget their roots and parts of their identity. The Arab world, and most particularly Lebanon, is tending to lose interest in the Arabic Language, yet globalization may not be the only cause. Does this language stand a chance?
“Lebanon is in danger of being stolen from its citizens: its economy, soil, and even culture are slowly being taken away. The language is a very essential aspect of the identity of a population. One who loses their native language, loses their identity and their ancestors’”, stated Mr. Bassam Barrak, a broadcaster and Arabic teacher. The original Arabic language is being overcome by other languages especially the English language, that has taken over the movies people watch, the songs they listen to, and even the restaurants they go to.
Students are rarely using Arabic to write, and in case they do, they make countless mistakes. Social media has a huge effect on the recession of the Arabic original language, especially with the use of the common Arabic in Latin characters (movement which was originally started by the late Said Akl).
“It seems true that the whole country was more attached to the Arabic written language a few decades ago than it is now: we barely see any television shows, like for example “Captain Majed” or “Grandizer” for kids, or even for grownups, aired in original Arabic nowadays, and perhaps it is an essential reason why new generations tend to grow further apart from their native language,” added Mr Barrak. It is actually getting harder and harder to make children love the Arabic language and to prefer using it over other foreign languages.
However, the jeopardy that the Arabic language is in does not discourage Mr. Barrak, on the contrary, it motivates him to be more attached to it, and to try harder to shed light on its amazing features, showing the world what they are missing by putting it aside. In his opinion, this rich language can be updated, changed, improved, just like it has changed throughout the centuries, from Al Jahilya to Al Abbasya, till now. Its horizons can be enlarged, by adding new words, so that it can reach a larger crowd.
Barrak continues his fight to revive the Arabic language by organizing a yearly Arabic dictation competition that attracts students and journalists from all over the country. The work of Mr. Barrak and many others, who share their love for their heritage and roots, proves that there still might be hope for the revitalization of the Arabic language.