Sharjah is going to undertake the project of assembling the ‘Historical Dictionary of the Arabic Language’. The project was announced at the Arabic Language and Culture Festival in Milan, by Sharjah’s Arabic Language Academy Secretary-General Dr. Mohammad Safi Al Mosteghanemi.
The dictionary will be exploring 17 centuries of development in the Arabic language and Arabic culture.
Dr. Al Mosteghanemi said in a statement that the project is underway as directed by Dr. Shaikh Sultan Bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and claimed that it “will mark a new era for the Arabic language lexicon.”
“The project was resumed after receiving the Sharjah Ruler’s directives and is nearing completion. The dictionary will be published soon,” he added.
In order to record the Arabic language and culture over the last 17 centuries, the procedure will have three research stages- old inscriptions, the Semitic branch of languages with a focus on Arabic, and the practical use of the language. The project will be surrounded by five ages: pre-Islamic, Islamic (Umayyad and Abbasid), separatist dynasties, the Mamluk Sultanate, and modern history.
“There are many dictionaries in the Arab world, but none as comprehensive as this one, which documents the history and evolution of all Arabic words. This project faced challenges, especially those that were related to its massive scale. The historian or linguist cannot build on specific references and leave others. They should not include books on literature and its genres and ignore books on philosophy, history and other sciences,” said Al Mosteghanemi.
“The Germans were among the first to write a comprehensive historical dictionary. The Deutsches Worterbuch project was begun by the Brothers Grimm in 1838 but was stalled due to their deaths. The dictionary was finally completed about 120 years later by a succession of later scholars and institutions in 1961,” he stated.
Abdullah Hassan Al Shamsi, UAE Consul-General in Milan, said: “Our participation comes from our intent to correct confusions and misinterpretations about a foreign culture, especially internationally, which lead to the marginalization of the role and impact of these cultures. It aligns with our efforts on all fronts to promote the message of the UAE Year of Tolerance 2019, whose most recent example is the Pope’s visit to Abu Dhabi. It is yet another step forward in the development of cross-cultural exchange and bolstering fraternity and dialogue with everyone in the world.”

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