In Lebanon, the Arabic language is dying..and it is people like me..with our English-only blogs, our hesitance to learn Arabic, and our imposition of Western culture, habits, and ideals…who are contributing to it’s death.
The impact of this sad sad fact..can be seen all around Beirut City..where crime scenes abound, cornering off the dead, forgotten, letters of this beautiful language..
In a recent article, the BBC reported,
Arabic is the official language of Lebanon, but English and French are widely used.
Most Lebanese speak French – a legacy of France’s colonial rule – and the younger generation gravitates towards English.
A growing number of parents send their children to French lycees or British and American curriculum schools, hoping this will one day help them find work and secure a better future.
Some even speak to their children in French or English in the home.
“It’s sad, no-one in our generation is speaking Arabic properly anymore,” says Lara Traad, a 16-year-old student at Notre Dame de Jamhour, one of Lebanon’s many French curriculum schools.
“I really regret that my parents did not concentrate more on developing my Arabic, it’s too late now, but maybe for the younger students in the country something can be done.”
Despite this, all hope is not lost..starting the 26th of this month, a series of activities relating to the Arabic language will begin, encouraging the country’s youth to preserve the Arabic language. The advertisements for this campaign beautifully depict young people embracing the Arabic language..
As for me? My Arabic classes commence next month!