Miami Florida. December 20, 2021.
The Miami Language Institute welcomes UNESCO’s decision to declare Arabic calligraphy ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity’. As early as 2021, UNESCO established Arabic Language Day in Baghdad, and recently a coalition of 16 Arab countries requested UNESCO to add Arabic calligraphy to its list of the Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Its current inclusion on the list is a great recognition of an ancient language, spoken and written by approximately 422 million speakers, being one of the five most widely spoken languages in the world. There are currently 25 Arab countries that consider Arabic their official language, and there are around 30 different dialects. Modern Standard Arabic, or classical Arabic (Fusha), has remained in force, and it is the only Arabic taught in schools and universities. It is a universal, pluricentric language used in the media, the workplace, the laws, and official state communications. About 22,000 college students are learning Arabic in the United States alone. Although Spanish continues to be the second favorite language in the United States (76% of students choose Spanish), Arabic and Chinese have seen a considerable increase in recent years. After Spanish, Arabic has become the most learned language in American public schools with around 122,000 students, ranking as the third most learned language in the United States.