Many aspects of culture are divided; including economics and religion, but one thing unites all cultures. The language.

Many aspects of Arabic culture are divided; including culture, economics and religion, but one thing unites all Arabic cultures. The language. Abdul Aziz Saud Al-Babtain, a prominent Kuwaiti intellectual, recently told ANSAmed that their language must be defended at all costs. His foundation, which hosted an Arabic Poetry Spring Festival, claims that the Arabic language is “the last bastion standing, because in every other field, it’s each to their own”.

Al Babtain intends to preserve the classical form of Arabic from the Quran because he believes this can improve intercultural and inter-religious dialogue. He feels that regional dialects become an obstacle to communication. “Which is why in poetry, as in any other literary genre, dialect should stay out”.

Other intellectuals argue that this classical form of Arabic is only suited to religion and official use, because most people only speak their own regional form of Arabic, so it is necessary to understand and preserve these regional differences.

Al Babtain hopes that the celebration of Arabic poetry and scholarship can promote the Arabic culture and help to foster an international understanding of the Arabic people. It also prevents the need for Arabic speaking countries to use translation services to understand each other.

“The West needs to understand that Al Qaeda doesn’t represent the Arab world – it certainly exists, but it’s a microscopic part of our world” he says. “We want the West to understand that we have different values and we’ll do that through these activities.” Al Babtain encourages Arabic nations to¬† be forgiving. “They, and the West, need to learn to forgive the mistakes of the past”.

He is optimistic about the future of relations between the Arabic world and the West “it will take ‘time, but we are convinced that relations between our two worlds will improve and that the distances will get narrower”. One way the distance can be made smaller is with the cultural language bridge provided by Arabic translation services.

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