It could be your flag, a dance, a song, or maybe its your inner voice: your language, which is the aspect that differentiates you from other people, from other countries, from other identities.
Every nationality has its own culture. With this culture, comes a unique mother tongue which the person usually learns before any other language. Qatar, as well as a number of other middle eastern countries, uses the Arabic dialect to communicate.
There are a total of 2.2 million people currently residing in Qatar, almost 88 percent of whom are foreign. Consequently leaving only 220,000 Qatari locals (12%) living in the country as of right now.
With the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2022, we can expect even more foreigners to come into the country as well. This includes people from international businesses, construction companies to build stadiums, food franchises, sponsorship brands, and other sports events such as the Handball World Cup 2015. As you can see, the ratio of Qatari to Foreigners is only going to change more and more.
As the number of non Qatari's increases, businesses, schools and companies begin to adjust to this change. Work places are speaking english, schools teach in english and friends communicate in english. The only place locals are able to speak their mother tongue is at home, with their parents and their grandparents. With the lack of practice, they may find themselves beginning to forget words, or misuse phrases- little mistakes here and there.
Qatar has begun to take small steps to ensure that the language is not lost. For instance, Qatar Foundation is currently building a National library in it’s premises- and it has been selected to be Regional Arabic Speaking Preservation and Conservation Centre by the IFLA. Students and readers from all over the country are welcome to come and enjoy the pleasures that come with reading- in their own language!
The goal that the Qatar National Library is hoping to achieve is to support QF’s vision to protect and preserve the region’s heritage and culture so that they are accessible for the generations to come.