Israel okays Arabic Language Academy

Knesset law establishes first Arabic Language Academy outside of Arab world.

melchior 224.88 aj (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
melchior 224.88 aj
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The establishment of an official Academy for the Arabic Language received final approval on Wednesday as the "High Institute for the Arabic Language 2007" bill passed its second and third readings in the Knesset plenum and became law. "This is the first time an Academy for the Arabic Language is established in a country outside the Arab world, heralding an important change on the part of the state of Israel in its treatment of its Arab citizens," said Knesset Education Committee Chairman Michael Melchior (Labor-Meimad), who cosponsored the bill with MK Nadia Hilu (Labor). According to the law, the new academy will conduct research on the history, dialects, structure and vocabulary of the Arabic language. It will also publish dictionaries, hold conferences and cooperate with organizations in Israel and abroad that deal with Arabic. The new Academy will also coordinate its work with the long-established Academy for the Hebrew Language, contributing to the study of the similarities, differences and connections between the two languages.