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NGO: Arabic faces 'serious challenges' in Morocco

The capital city of Morocco, Rabat [Magharebia/Wikipedia]
The capital city of Morocco, Rabat [Magharebia/Wikipedia]

The Arabic language faces "serious challenges" in Morocco, local NGOs have warned, urging for the main language of the Middle East to represent a "joint heritage" for all Moroccans", the Anadolu Agency reported yesterday.

In a statement released to mark World Arabic Language Day, the National Coalition for Arabic, which includes 110 NGOs interested in defending the language, lamented the problematic situation of the language in the country.

"The local reality [of Arabic] indicates that the language faces serious challenges in its land of origin, as well as facing a very dark future," the statement said.

Regarding how to remedy this problem, the statement explained: "Promoting the language is not carried out by issuing statements and organising celebrations, but through deep awareness of the real battle, its goals and consequences."

The statement accused the Franco-Zionist lobby of working to destroy the Arabic language. "By controlling the main state institutions," the statement said, "the Franco-Zionist lobby works hard to dismiss the language from schools."

Fu'ad Bo'ali, the coordinator of the coalition, told the Anadolu Agency that the "war on the language in the country takes many forms despite the constitutional guarantees and other laws that keep it the official language of the state."

Bo'ali cited the use of French as a basic teaching language in the country as one of the forms of war on Arabic. He also cited the support of the state-funded mass media, which uses the street language and spreads "trivial content", as another form of the war on Arabic.

"Arabic language is not merely a means of communication, but a basic sign of national identity which marks an existential link with history," Bo'ali said.

The Moroccan Constitution stipulates that Arabic is the official language of the state which must be protected, promoted and its use developed.

In 2010, the UNESCO Executive Board adopted a decision to celebrate 18 December of every year as World Arabic Language Day.

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