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His Highness launches the first eight volumes of the dictionary

Sultan: "Arabic Language Historical Dictionary" documents nation's history, preserves its civilisation

His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, launched the first eight volumes of “Arabic Language Historical Dictionary”, the biggest Arabic linguistic knowledge and information project that documents the history of Arabic language lexicons and their usage transformations over the last 17 centuries (Pre-Islamic to current times).

This came in a ceremony hosted by His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah on Thursday in the city of Khorfakkan, and attended by a number of heads of Arabic Language Academies, Arabic Language scholars and researchers from the Arab World.

On this occasion, the Ruler of Sharjah gave a speech addressed to Arabs, Arabic language speakers, and the community of Arabic language study and research at large.

“Welcome to your home country, the homeland and cradle of Arabic language. In the beginning, I would like to thank all of those who contributed and participated in editing the “Arabic Language Historical Dictionary”, especially the Language and Science Academy Union, headed by Dr. Hassan El Shafei, and all the scholars working with him.

This project has been a dream of mine for a long time, and I became more eager and keen on supporting and executing this project when I learnt that previous similar attempts were not so successful. So I prayed to Allah Almighty to grant us success in this endeavor, and I still pray for His guidance to be able to present it in best way possible.

I would like to congratulate the Arab Nation for this dictionary that documents the history of Arabic lexicons from pre-Islamic, Umayyad, and then Abbasid eras, all the way to our modern times.

Today we witness the launch of the first eight volumes of the dictionary, executed and printed in a beautiful manner to be put in the hands of Arabic language and culture for their own knowledge and leisure.

Being a historian myself, I have always thought: Why Arabs do not have a historical dictionary documenting their language? Are Arabic linguists and scholars incapable of accomplishing such a project.

The answer is no, the lovers and scholars of Arabic language are not incapable of producing such a dictionary.

I then realised that the project requires gathering the forces, inspiring the morals, unifying the lines, organising the efforts, and providing the finances that are suitable of a project of this magnitude.

Praise to Allah Almighty, and with the help of the scholars of the Arabic Language Academies, we were able to overcome the challenges that faced of the completion of this project before.

Thanks to your dedication and devotion, the project that was a mere dream 80 odd years ago, is now a reality that I hold in my hand.

I reiterate my congratulations to the Arab and Islamic nation for the launching of the first eight volumes of the dictionary, covering only the first two letters of the Arabic alphabet.

We promise you that the coming few years will witness the issuing of dozens of new volumes of this dictionary, a monumental task that we shall accept with the guidance and bless from Allah Almighty.

This dictionary would be the biggest and richest reference for specialists in various domains, students, academics, poets, linguists, and all of those who adore this great language.

I am sure that this dictionary will not only provide history, origins, meanings, and explanations of words, but will also document the history of the nation, preserve its civilisation, and celebrate the achievements of Arabs from the Arabian Peninsula to the Atlantic Ocean, in addition to recording  Arabic poetry, literature, tales and news carried by Muslims spreading Islam far in Asia and deep in Africa.

This is a joyous day for me, as I have been waiting for this day for over two decades, and Allah Almighty chose Sharjah to be the cradle that embraces this project, to cement its status as a beacon of Arabic culture and a capital of Arabic language. I have spent my entire life making Sharjah a cultural centre that attracts lovers of culture, language, literature, theatre, and knowledge.

In the end, I thank you again, the guardians of language and I pray to Allah almighty to guide you through your path of preserving and promoting this great language.”