By Abdellatif Sharaa
KUWAIT: Chairman of the Arabization committee at the Arab Medical Union (AMU) Dr Khalid Ahmad Al-Saleh said Arabization is the future of research and medicine in the Arab world, with many studies revealing that speaking in a language other than one’s mother tongue in the field of science is the reason for countries falling behind.
Saleh who is also the Assistant Secretary General of the AMU for Cancer Control made the remarks during the opening of the Scientific Symposium themed “the effect of the mother tongue in enriching knowledge and scientific research and the need of doctors and patients to communicate in it”.
He said that scientific research in Arab countries is very sparse compared with the countries that use their language in the medical field. He said it is necessary to believe in Arabization and understand the losses and gains made in the scientific, cultural and social fields due to the deprivation of speaking in Arabic. He added that work should be done to convince decision makers of the importance of Arabization, provide budgets and manpower, establish translation centers and expand scientific studies supporting these claims.
He said foreign languages have taken over the scientific field and has gone further to include literature specialties that were exclusive to our mother tongue. This reflects the extent of our loss and that Arabizing science and restoring the Arabic language to status is not an easy task.
Saleh hoped this symposium would be the start of moving in a clear path towards fulfilling the dream of reviving Arabic so that our Arab nation remains a leader in scientific fields.
The symposium included an elite group of scientists and professors who are members of the Arabization committee selected by the AMU to work on continuing efforts of Arabizing medical and health sciences to propel forward scientific research in the Arab world.
Advisor to the Secretary General of AMU for Media and International Cooperation Dr Essam Al-Sayyed said the two-day symposium will discuss many issues, including the importance of speaking in one’s mother tongue, especially in the field of science and its effect on the development of nations.
He said it will also discuss the social, cultural and political obstacles that face teaching in Arabic and the role of the intellectual and cultural establishments in teaching in the language.
He announced that a decision has been made to activate the Arabization committee issued by AMU’s Secretary General Dr Usama Raslan. He asked Dr Khalid Al-Saleh to chair the committee and former head of the translation department at the World Health Organization Dr Qasem Sarah as rapporteur.
The committee is set to have 15 specialized members entrusted in preparing its vision, mission, goals and working plan during the coming days.