Arabic is one of the most globally spoken languages in the world with an estimation of 390 million speakers. It is also one of the six official languages of the United Nations, as well as the language of 1.6 billion Muslims. Being one of the only modern languages to be written and read in a right-to-left form, Arabic is a fascinating language with a huge history. And for so many reasons, we can all agree that Arabic is more than deserving of its very own day.
World Arabic Language Day (WALD) is celebrated on December 18th annually all over the world in order to promote cultural understanding and encourage dialogue among people who speak different languages.
It was first presented by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2010, seeking "to celebrate multilingualism and cultural diversity as well as to promote equal use of all six of its official working languages throughout the organization".
In fact, December 18th was chosen as it is "the day back in 1973 when the General Assembly approved Arabic as an official UN language".
Many organizations and governments hold events that showcase the history and richness of the language. Conferences and seminars highlight the current developments in Arabic literature through lectures, events, talks and workshops by Arabic poets and writers.
Additionally, schools which promote the education of Arabic as a medium of communication and organise short story and poetry competitions.