Let’s Celebrate Arabic Language Day!

اتَّكَلْنا منه على خُصٍّ الاتحاد قوة
“Unity is power.”

The Arabic language is spoken by 420 million across the world, in countries like Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Iraq, Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, and dozens of others. Modern Standard Arabic is a descendant of Classical Arabic, a language from the 6th century. It’s written alphabet is the Arabic alphabet, read from the right to the left.

On December 18, 1993, the United Nations General Assembly approved Arabic as an official UN language. We’ve been celebrating it every December 18 since 2010, when the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) officially established Arabic Language Day! The day is dedicated to the long history of the Arabic language and the many works of literature and philosophy that are written in Arabic.

Arabic is an ancient language and an ancient, rich culture with an equally rich bank of proverbs and sayings. Many of the proverbs below will include the original Arabic writing, but with English translation. 

إذا قصرت يدك عن المكافأة فليصل لسانك بالشكر
“If you’re unable to reward, then make sure to thank.”

أرى كل إنسان يرى عيب غيره ويعمى عن العيب الذي هو فيه
“Everyone is critical of the flaws of others, but blind to their own.”

أشد الفاقة عدم العقل
“Lack of intelligence is the greatest poverty.”

 أول الشجرة بذرة
“A tree begins with a seed.”

أول الغضب جنون وآخره ندم
“Anger begins with madness, but ends in regret.”

اختر أهون الشرين
“Go with the lesser of two evils.”

اجتنب مصاحبة الكذاب فإن اضطررت إليه فلا تُصَدِّقْهُ
“Avoid the company of liars, but if you can’t, don’t believe them.”

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