YOGYAKARTA - As many as 145 world’s Arabic linguists will participate in an international seminar entitled Role of Arabic in the Development of Civilization in Yogyakarta. Those who come from 24 countries, namely Iran, India, Sri Lanka, Brunei Darussalam, Malaysia, Australia, Macedonia and several other countries in the Middle East are experts of Arabic literature and culture, professors, teachers, observers, researchers and translators. "In addition, the event will be attended by 400 domestic Arabic linguists," Secretary of Committee, Drs. Moh. Masrukhi, M. Hum, said at Faculty of Cultural Sciences UGM, Tuesday (12/7).
The lecturer of Department of West Asian Literature said the event is held by the Association of Teachers of Arabic throughout Indonesia or Ittihadu Mudarrisi al-Lughatil al-'Arabiyyah (IMLA). The seminar which will be arranged with the 4th National Conference of IMLA will last from 14 to 17 July 2011. The event is scheduled to be opened on July 14 at Grha Sabha Pramana (GSP) UGM by Minister of National Education. Furthermore, a series of seminars will be held on the campus of Sunan Kalijaga Islamic State University (UIN Suka). "It is expected the Minister would talk about coaching and competency development as well as career for lecturers of Arabic language," he added.
The international seminar in the framework of Science Week International Arabic (PINBA) is supported by several other universities apart from UGM, such as Sunan Kalijaga Islamic State University, Muhammadiyah University of Yogyakarta (UMY), Indonesia Islamic University (UII), and Ahmad Dahlan University (UAD). Some of the topics to be discussed at the seminar are Arabic: Between Political Language and the Politics of Language, Arabic Language Learning and Character Development, Cultural Interaction and Its Effects on Arabic, Arabic Linguistics: between Authenticity and Contemporary, Arabic Literature and World Literature.
Meanwhile, Tulus Musthofa, Lc., M.A., Chairman of Organizing Committee (OC) said that after the 11 September 2001 attack in the U.S., enthusiasts of Arabic language have increased. Tulus admitted that Arabic learning, particularly in communities and colleges, also evolved from traditional to modern learning systems through the Internet. "Not just in terms of reading, listening, and writing skills only, but the ability to speak Arabic is now thriving. Members of IMLA in Indonesia currently have reached at least 3000 people," Tulus said.
Although already quite advanced, Tulus assessed there are still some obstacles in the development of Arabic language, particularly related to the standardization of human resources and assessment of the Arabic language, such as the TOEFL in English. According to the plan, keynote speakers will attend the event, including Prof. Dr. Abu Aus Ibrahim Al Syamsan (Saudi Arabia's King Saud University), Prof. Dr. Hasan Abdul Alim Yusuf (Suez Canal University, Egypt), and Prof. Ali Yunus Dahesh (Australian National University).
On that occasion, IMLA will also award people who have continuously devoted their time to the development and teaching of Arabic in Indonesia. They are Prof. H. Zaini Dahlan, M.A. (Former Rector of UII) and KH Dr. Syukri Zarkasyi, M.A. (Caretaker of Pondok Pesantren Darussalam Gontor, Ponorogo).