Beijing University Hosts Conference on Arabic Language & Culture

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Beijing University hosted the joint conference of the Arab sub-department of the Foreign Language Teaching Steering Committee of the Chinese Ministry of Education and heads of Arabic Departments at Chinese universities, besides the opening ceremony of the annual meeting of the Chinese Society of Arab Literature Research.

The event was attended by Ali Al Darmaki, Minister Plenipotentiary of the Embassy of the Sultanate of Oman in China, Ms. Li Shu Jing, Secretary of the Party Committee of the Faculty of Foreign Languages, Beijing University, Luo Lin, Head of the Arab Sub-Department of the Foreign Language Education Steering Committee, Ministry of Education, Professor at Beijing Language and Culture University, and Cai Wei Liang, President of the Chinese Society for Arab Literature Research, Professor at Shanghai Foreign Languages University, along with 120 academics from 51 universities across China and renowned researchers in literary studies. The opening ceremony was presided over by professor Fu Chi Ming, vice dean of the Faculty of Foreign Languages of Beijing University.

Ms. Li Shu Jing, Secretary of the Party Committee of the Faculty of Foreign Languages, Beijing University, delivered an opening speech expressing warm congratulations on behalf of the Faculty of Foreign Languages, Beijing University for holding the conference, and praised the outstanding progress made in teaching Arabic and Arabic studies in China. Li reviewed the historical achievements of foreign language teaching at Beijing University.

In his speech on behalf of the Sultanate’s ambassador to China, Ali Al Darmaki, Minister Plenipotentiary of the Embassy of the Sultanate of Oman in China,  pointed out that the Arabic language has a long history and is widely used, and that there is a high demand for learning Arabic across the world.

Al Darmaki added that China has been in constant contact with the Arab world since ancient times and it gives great importance to the Arabic language. He praised efforts exerted by the Arabic Language Department at Beijing University in the field of international cooperation, staff training and cultural exchange in recent years, expressing appreciation for the high-level Arabic-speaking talents who graduated from Beijing University.

In his speech, Luo Lin, Head of the Arab Sub- Department of the Foreign Language Education Steering Committee, Ministry of Education, expressed his sincere thanks for the tireless efforts and hard work of colleagues in the field of teaching Arabic. He reviewed the development of teaching Arabic in China, looking forward to broader prospects.

Luo pointed out that the key to the development of this specialization lies in inheritance, and that university education is the future of Arabic language specialization. He appealed to universities to seize opportunities to move forward in the development of this specialization.

Cai Wei Liang, President of the Chinese Society for Arab Literature Research, reviewed the development of Arab literary research in China over 32 years since the establishment of the Society. He stressed the need to make use of young teachers and graduate students as a new force to promote the teaching of Arabic language and Arabic literature studies in China.

At the opening ceremony, an awards ceremony was also organized for the Arabic Calligraphy Competition for Chinese Universities and the “That’s” Competition for translations of Arabic novels published online.

During presentations, Professor Zhang Hongyi, a member of the jury of the Arab Booker Prize, presented the selection and judging process of the award, characteristics of nominated works and the attitude of the development of Arabic literature. Professor Ding Long of University of International Trade and Economics explained the academic relations between Arabic and Middle Eastern studies. Prof. Ye Liang Ying of Beijing University of Foreign Studies presented an analysis of the teaching status of Arabic in China through the results of the Arabic Language Test in Chinese Universities.

On the sidelines of the conference, a seminar on teaching Arabic at the undergraduate level in China and a seminar on translation and studies of Arabic literary works in New China were organized.

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