For a while now, an impressive campaign called ‘Preserving the Arabic language’ has been running in the streets of Hamra, a district in Beirut, Lebanon, to create awareness about the risk of extinction of the Arabic language. Although Arabic is Lebanon’s official language, French and English especially are widely spoken and written. Most Lebanese speak French (which is al legacy of the colonial occupation of France), while the younger generations prefer English. A large number of parents send their children to French lycées or British and American schools, in the hope of having a better chance to find a job in the future. Some even speak French and English at home with their children.
The campaign highlights the importance of the Arab heritage and the Arabic language in a creative way. Large Arabic letters on the sidewalk are blocked off by barrier tape with the Arabic text “لا تقتل لغتك” (‘Don’t kill your language’), just like a crime scene. The revival of Arabic involves various workshops and nationwide ads to inspire people to embrace the Arabic language.
This post is also available in: Dutch