KAMPALA – A delegation from the King Abdul Aziiz International Centre for Arabic Language confirmed the Centre’s preparedness to establish a fully-fledged Institute of Arabic Language at Makerere University.
This was revealed during a meeting with the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academic Affairs, Dr. Umar Kakumba on January 13 2020. H.E. Mr. Bandar Al Faifi, Chargé d’Affaires of the Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia in Uganda accompanied the delegation.
In the 2015/2016 academic year, King Abdul Aziiz International Centre for Arabic Language donated USD $90,000 towards the teaching of Arabic at Undergraduate and Postgraduate levels to students in the College of Education and External Studies and College of Humanities and Social Sciences over a three-year period.
During the meeting, Dr. Sulaiman Alangari, the Head of the delegation announced the Centre’s approval to continue with the scholarship programme and establish an Institute of Arabic Language at Makerere University.
“The Institute once established will create space for students to learn and master the Arabic culture and norms, explore the historical background of Arab countries and lead to the promotion of Arabic both nationally and internationally. I call upon both Muslims and non-Muslims to take up the Arabic language course,” said Dr. Alangari.
Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe extended his gratitude to King Abdul Aziiz International Centre of Arabic Language for the generous support aimed at supporting the University’s core function of teaching and learning.
He reflected on Uganda and Saudi Arabia’s historic background when he noted that the first traders to come to Uganda were Arabs.
“To trade, relate and communicate with the people from Arab countries, we have to study their language first. I, therefore, thank the Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and King Abdul Aziiz International Centre for Arabic Language for funding the study of Arabic language at Makerere University. The Institute will not only promote the teaching of Arabic but also other aspects of cultural significance such as architecture, music and art,” said Prof. Nawangwe.
Dr. Umar Kakumba, said that the Institute for Arabic Language at Makerere University will lead to the visibility of Arabic language both locally and internationally, strengthen Saudi Arabia’s relationship with Makerere University and also promote cultural integration.
In his remarks H.E. Mr. Bandar Al Faifi, noted they are looking forward to seeing graduands utilize Arabic to develop and transform societies.
He added that Makerere University is ranked highly globally thus the best University to collaborate with.
Dr. Ebraheem Ssali, Co-ordinator Arabic Language applauded the Royal Embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Uganda, King Abdul Aziiz International Centre for Arabic Language and Makerere University for their support towards the Programme.
“The project has benefitted 67 students, 52 Undergraduate and 15 Postgraduates. I thank King Abdul Aziiz International Centre of Arabic Language for renewing the three-year grant to enable students in the Department of European and Oriental Languages to study Arabic. The study and teaching of Arabic has enhanced communication and friendship between the people of Uganda and the Royal Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” said Dr. Ssali.