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  • GIHR


In December of 1973 and in accordance with Resolution 3190, the United Nations General Assembly officially adopted Arabic as one of the official working languages ​​of the organization.

Arabic is one of the oldest and most widely spoken languages in the world, associated with a remarkable history and intellectual achievements. The Arabic language, in the diversity of its forms, exists as a catalyst for the promotion of knowledge and enabling dialogue across the globe.

World Arabic Language Day, an annual observance established by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2010, presents the opportunity to recognize the richness, true diversity and global importance of Arabic, as well as to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity.

Recognizing the role the Arabic language played in the development of Science, Mathematics, Medicine and Literature throughout the centuries, it is crucial to promote its place in Academia and the dissemination of information, which is particularly relevant in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the unfortunate decline of the use of Arabic in Academia and the general global inclination towards the use of English and French, the Geneva Institute for Human Rights appreciates the role academics play in preserving the language and ensuring that it copes with technological advancements. Due to a lack of Arabic translations, there is an absence of unified scientific terms in the Arab World. On a similar note, the Institute appeals to states, governmental and non-governmental organizations to promote cultural understanding by organizing workshops/events that showcase the history and richness of the language and current developments in Arabic Literature Preserving and promoting the Arabic language goes hand in hand with ensuring that it is associated with peace and promotes global dialogue and understanding.


  • Arabic is spoken by over 420 million people in the Arab world and by more than 130 million people as their second language.

  • It is the sixth most spoken language in the world.

  • Many English words are either directly or indirectly derived from Arabic. Examples include :

    • Alcohol derived from "al kohl"

    • Algebra derived from "al jebr" which translates to “reunion of broken parts”.

  • The number system used today was introduced to Europeans by Arab merchants.


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