By Dr Khalid Al-Saleh
The countries of the entire world are interested in teaching their children science in a way that enables them to comprehend and excel in it. Science students worldwide receive lessons in their native language for a simple reason, which is because the mother tongue is the gateway for information to enter their minds easily.
Our Arab nation faced great challenges, and maybe the biggest challenge was the wall built by colonialists to become a barrier between our language and sciences. History stands witness to the Arab nation’s creativity in medicine and sciences, and we have countless examples of that, as who doesn’t know Ibn Al-Nafis, Al-Kindi, Ibn Al-Haytham and many others.
If we compare old innovations with what our Arab nations suffer from today, after they came under siege, we will discover the bitter truth – that we will remain behind in scientific aspects as long as knowledge and science are taught to our children in a language other than their mother tongue.
I sometimes meet individuals whose minds are under control of Western culture, and find them in firm belief that medicine and sciences can be taught only in English, but they get surprised when I tell them the entire world does not have a country that speaks a language other than their own. They become more surprised when they realize that countries like Malta, Chile, Myanmar and tens of others, large and small, teach medicine in their language. They become more amazed and some start demanding our language right lost since many decades.
Arab researchers proved in published papers, which are available for those who wish to see them, that Arab doctors and scientists face difficulty in understanding scientific material entirely, and find more difficulty in writing research papers and scientific studies, so their production is weak and their publications are very limited.
It is really strange to see the Zionist entity teaching its students science and medicine in Hebrew, so the Zionist entity is active in the field of scientific research and publishes more that what the entire Arab nation publishes (6,000 scientific papers for each one million Zionist entity residents compared to 1,000 papers for the same number of Arabs).
We must differentiate between learning a foreign language and learning in a foreign language. Our youth must learn a foreign language or more to be in touch with the world, but to deprive our language from scientific dealings and deprive our children from the correct understanding and imaginative creativity linked to the native language is a major sin. Our scientists are paying the price and their ability to compete with the world is limited compared to scientists worldwide. They are infected with a mental disability that keeps them from scientific creativity due to their deprivation from thinking in their mother tongue.
I found in the Arab Doctors Union members of the Arabization committee a high spirit and unprecedented enthusiasm. All of them are experts, who firmly realized there is no hope from our Arab nation in the field of medical or scientific production if our language is not at the forefront in universities, institutes and laboratories. All what Arab doctors hope for is to find leaders of this nation who defend our children’s right to understand science correctly, leaders who defend our nation’s rights and fend off intruders who live among us and fight our language and culture.
It is our language’s right to be the means of science to enlighten the minds of our children and open the road for medical and scientific innovations to become true additions to the world like their colleagues in other countries.