World Arabic Language Day: between tradition and future

The FICRT Foundation joins, once again, the celebrations on the occasion of World Arabic Language Day, December 18, with a virtual conference with the participation of prestigious university professors and doctors, who spoke on various aspects of Arabic, one of the most widely spoken languages in the world.

The two sessions of the event were moderated by Professor Josep Puig Montada, from the Complutense University. The first session was opened by Ali Al Marzooqi, Counselor of the Embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Spain and Jumaa AlKaabi, Director General of FICRT. This was followed by the first session, which reflected on “The cultural richness of the legacy of the Arabic language”. The speakers were Dr. Ignacio Ferrando Frutos, from the University of Cadiz; Dr. Rosa Isabel Martínez Lillo, from the University of Malaga; and Dr. José Miguel Puerta Vílchez, from the University of Granada.

The second session, “The Arabic language today”, was attended by Dr. Victoria Aguilar, from the University of Murcia; and Nouf Ahmed Alsheihhi, from the Mohamed Bin Zayed University of Humanities (UAE).

These are the profiles of the speakers:

Professor Ignacio Ferrando Frutos obtained his doctoral thesis in Arabic and Islamic Studies from the Universidad Complutense in 1995 with the dissertation “Los mozárabes de Toledo: estudio lingüístico del dialecto andalusí de la marca media”. He is currently Professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Cadiz, where he has taught the subject “History of the Arabic language”. In 2016 his translation of the work Azazel by Egyptian author Youssef Ziedan was awarded the second prize in the Arabic to Spanish Translation category of the 2016 Sheik Hamad Translation and Cultural Understanding Awards. In addition to being the author of two Arabic-Spanish dictionaries, he has published several academic articles in Spanish, Arabic and English on the Arabic language, relevant Andalusian authors, Arabic culture, poetry and translation in various Spanish and international journals.

Professor Rosa Isabel Martínez Lillo obtained her PhD in Arabic Studies from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid in 1990 with a study on the poetic work of Salah Abd Al-Saburr. After teaching at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, she is currently a full professor in the Area of Arabic Studies at the University of Malaga (since 2019). He has taught at other foreign universities: La Sapienza, Naples, Florence, Lecce and the University of Chile, Tucumán and COLMEX in Mexico, among the main ones. He has done research at Jordan University in Amman, Cairo and Ayn Al-Shams Universities in Cairo, Tunis, Syria and Lebanon. Professor Martínez Lillo has also translated the poets Darwish, Adonis, Dunqul and other contemporary Arab poets and has written several scientific articles on Arab civilization, identities, al-Andalus, the Mahyar and post-Mahyar, poetry and literary translation. His latest publications include “Al-Andalus: de paraíso recuperado a experiencia esencial” and “Sadeq Hedayat y tres autores españoles”. He is currently directing the research project “Arabs in the Triple Frontier of Paraná: Diaspora and Identity” of the University of Malaga’s Plan Propio.

Professor José Miguel Puerta Vílchez holds a degree in Art History and a PhD in Arabic Philology. He is currently a full professor in the Department of Art History at the University of Granada. He has also worked as a translator for the Spanish-Arabic department of the EFE news agency, translating current Arabic narrative and poetry and has written several literary and opinion articles in Arabic. Between 2004 and 2021 he was co-director, editor and reviewer of the Library of al-Andalus. Professor Puerta Vílchez has also published a dozen books on Arab aesthetics and art, including Los códigos de utopía de la Alhambra de Granada ( Granada, 1990), Historia del pensamiento estético árabe (Madrid, 1997; reed. Granada, 2018), The adventure of the calamus. History, forms and artists of Arabic calligraphy (Granada, 2007), La poética del agua en el islam ( Gijón, 2011), or Read the Alhambra. Visual guide to the Monument through its inscriptions (Granada, 2010; reed. 2015).

Teacher. Victoria Aguilar Sebastián D. from the Complutense University of Madrid in 1991 with a doctoral thesis on “The Arab tribes in the Maghreb in the Almohad period”. She is currently a full professor of Arabic Language at the University of Murcia, where she teaches standard Arabic language and Moroccan dialect. She has participated in research projects related to the Arabic language and the Arab world, as well as directed others on the teaching of the Arabic language. She is the author of works on the history of North Africa and manuals for learning the Arabic language. Professor Aguilar has coordinated the “Arabele” group (Arabic as a foreign language) at the University of Murcia. Her research interests include studies on Arabic language teaching and medieval history.

Dña. Nouf Ahmed Saeed Ahmed AlShehhi is an internationally certified trainer and researcher specializing in Islamic jurisprudence and contemporary societal issues. He has taken several courses in Arabic language and literature, which have provided him with training in grammar, morphology, linguistics and literary issues. He has participated in different artistic and literary initiatives, as well as in statewide storytelling contests. His literary interests and creations combine poetry and prose.