The Qatari Forum for Authors calls for employing modern means of communication to serve Arab and Islamic heritage

05 April, 2021

During the conclusion of the fourth annual forum of the Qatari Authors Forum, which was held remotely today, over a period of two days, as part of the activities of Doha, Capital of Culture in the Islamic World 2021, the Qatari Forum for Authors called for developing Arabic and Islamic digital content on the Internet as well as for introducing a serious and valuable Arabic language and moving towards computerizing the Arabic language and using artificial intelligence programs to develop this language, in addition to paying attention to developing Arab educational curricula to enhance Islamic identity through modern technologies.

The participants in the forum called for benefiting from social media platforms and adapting them to serve the community, by enriching these platforms with sound historical information from reliable sources. They also called for employing modern means of communication in the service of Arab and Islamic heritage, with a focus on translation programs to transfer heritage to others. In addition to that, the participants called for paying attention to historical and Islamic drama to be a source of information for young people with the re-broadcast of the historical series produced by the State of Qatar.

The participants stressed the need for Arab coordination to develop a unified law to protect the Arabic language to clarify linguistic policies in the Arab world, in addition to coordinating efforts and positions with cultural and literary associations and unions in Arab countries to conduct literary, cultural and religious annually competitions at the level of the Arab world in order to select the best books or literary and artistic works that promote Arab and Islamic identity, while promoting youth initiatives aimed at preserving the Arab Islamic identity.

The forum continued their work for the second day, as they held several sessions to discuss a number of cultural issues. The first session was devoted to discuss the activation of the Islamic scientific heritage, in which Dr. Nama Muhammad al-Banna, from Ibn Khaldun Center for Human and Social Sciences at Qatar University, presented a topic entitled “The role of Muslim scholars in the modern renaissance of Arab societies”.

The researcher, Dr. Badr bin Salem Al-Senani, Assistant Professor at the University of Technology and Applied Sciences in the Sultanate of Oman discussed pioneering international strategies and experiences in preserving the Arab and Islamic heritage, including Qatar and the Sultanate of Oman. In an intervention entitled “Bridging the link between Arab youth and their literary and cultural heritage, the writer Muhammad Al-Shabrawi spoke about Al-Jazeera network.

The next session discussed the issue of “the technological revolution and societal transformations of contemporary Islamic countries and their role in authorship and writing”, during which the writer Hessa Al-Mansouri, a consultant in the community development sector at Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, presented a topic entitled “The Information Revolution Weakens or Enhanced the Arabic Language”, pointing out some features of the information revolution.

For his part, Mr. Duane Musa Al-Zobaidi, a researcher, linguist and auditor from the Republic of Turkey, addressed in his topic “Patterns of technological communication between societies and their role in activating human values.” As for Dr. Jaafar Yayoush, professor of computational and cognitive linguistics at the University of Abdul Hamid bin Badis Mostaganem in Algeria, he presented a topic entitled “Islamic Heritage and Technology, Heritage Controversy and Renewed Modernity”, explaining that the large number of evaluative works dealing with heritage is evidence of the inherency of this past to us, and an awareness of its importance.

Dr. Yayoush noted that the total Arab and Islamic manuscripts scattered throughout the Arab world, in official institutions other than holdings and private collections, reached a million and a quarter of a million Arab and Islamic manuscripts. In fact, about 17 thousand manuscripts are distributed in the State of Qatar. He also noted that these manuscripts can be used in the era of contemporary technology by digitizing and classifying them in a huge database, employing them in educational and teaching curricula at various educational stages, and encouraging researchers and authors to study heritage.

Within the activities of the fourth annual forum of the Qatari Forum for Authors, in a session entitled “Rhetoric and its role in societal reforms”, the journalist Muhammad Al-Johary spoke on Qatar Radio about public speaking and its role in the cultural construction of societies, referring to the history of rhetoric in ancient societies, whether in the West or among Arabs who excelled in its social use. Until Islam came, it is on its own when the Messenger of Allah “may God bless him and grant him peace” adopted the rhetoric method for communicating his message and publishing his call in a clear Arabic tongue and eloquence and a statement that helped spread it over time, as well as dealing with the most important types of rhetoric and its social benefits.

The topic of Dr. Ahmed Al-Janabi, the linguistic expert, about the importance of rhetoric in reviving the Arab and Islamic heritage, in which he emphasized that rhetoric in our heritage is an ancient material with its origins and rich in evidence, and that it includes all areas of life, and from the reformist side in societies. Rhetoric evaluate individual and community behavior.

The last session entitled “Writing and Authorship between Documentation, Classification and Law” was attended by Dr. Badriya Shehi from the Sultanate of Oman, stressing the need for electronic documentation of heritage and addressing historical errors that are circulating on social media platforms.

Ali Nasser Al-Masoudi, Director of the Suad Al-Sabah Publishing and Distribution House, from the State of Kuwait, spoke about the role of libraries in promoting Arab and Islamic culture and the challenges they face. The writer Jamila Al-Sayed Ali, a member of the Kuwaiti Writers Association, addressed the role of associations, cultural institutions, authors and writers in promoting the Arab-Islamic cultural identity.

The Iraqi poet and writer Fadhel Abbas al-Kaabi also spoke about the cultural identity of our Arab and Islamic societies and the challenges they face.

The Qatari writer Abdullah Al-Marri, a law researcher, concluded the session by talking about the role of law in protecting copyright and the relared rights in strengthening the Arab and Islamic identity.

The fourth annual forum of the Qatari Forum for Authors was held in conjunction with the celebration of the World Book and Copyright Day on April 23, under the title “Contributions of Authors and Writers to Promoting the Arab-Islamic Identity”, as part of the activities of Doha, Capital of Culture in the Islamic World 2021. In the first day, the forum discussed some important issues like “Qatar’s national strategy … integration in order to enhance the Arab-Islamic identity in the field of culture”, and the contribution of publishing houses in promoting Arab and Islamic culture and inspiring Arab and Islamic civilization between history and documentation.