Need plans to preserve Arabic manuscripts: Fiesta Arabia

Malappuram (Kerala), Dec 19 : The government, voluntary organisations and academic institutions should formulate comprehensive plans for preservation of Arabic manuscripts, Fiesta Arabia, a gathering in this Kerala city in celebration of the Arabic language, said in a resolution.

Fiesta Arabia is organised by Ma'din Academy here, in connection with World Arabic Language Day, Dec 18.

Unesco, in 2010, dedicated this day to the celebration of multilingualism and cultural diversity, and the promotion of equal use of all six of its official working languages throughout the organisation.

The meeting in Malappuram took note of the numerous valuable Arabic manuscripts in the country, and pointed out that there were large collections of great value in the Arabic in Waqf institutions, masjid libraries and with private individuals.

The experts said there was no facility for preserving, categorising or publishing these manuscripts. Many documents and manuscripts have already fallen prey to worms and termites.

"The universities in the country should create more opportunities for comprehensive studies on manuscripts, and these should be included in the syllabi, to make people aware of them," the resolution said.

Muhammed Musthafa Shareef, chairman of the Board of Studies in Arabic and director of Dairatul Maarif Manuscripts Centre, Osmania University in Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, said the importance of Arabic extends also to the study of other languages.

"It would be a great service for human history to find out and bring out the unpublished but valuable collections of manuscripts that guided generations," Shareef said.

Ma'din Academy, Malappuram, established in 1997, is one of the fastest-growing educational institutions in Kerala with more than 15,000 students and 25 educational and charity ventures.

Ma'din chairman Sayyid Ibrahimul Khaleelul Bukhari said manuscripts are treasures of human civilization.

"So, the Academy has decided to focus on the collection and preservation of rare documents. With the support of the Islamic Manuscripts Association based in United Kingdom and similar organisations, we are planning a series of workshops and training sessions," Bukhari said.

--IANS (Posted on 19-12-2013)

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