Building peace in the minds of men and women

World Arabic Language Day

18 December

The Arabic language is a pillar of the cultural diversity of humanity. It is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world, used daily by more than 290 million people. World Arabic Language Day is celebrated every year on 18 December since 2012. The date coincides with the day in 1973 that the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted Arabic as the sixth official language of the Organization.

In the diversity of its forms, classic or dialectal, from oral expression to poetic calligraphy, the Arabic language has given rise to a fascinating aesthetic, in fields as varied as architecture, poetry, philosophy and song. It gives access to an incredible variety of identities and beliefs and its history reveals the richness of its links with other languages. Arabic has played a catalytic role in knowledge, promoting the dissemination of Greek and Roman sciences and philosophies to Renaissance Europe. It has enabled a dialogue of cultures along the silk roads, from the coast of India to the Horn of Africa.

Arabic Language and Youth is the theme of World Arabic Language Day celebrations in 2018, which are held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, on 18 December. Organized in cooperation with the Permanent Delegation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud Foundation, the events explore Arabic language and identity, social media and arts.


"World Arabic Language Day is an opportunity to celebrate the great contributions to human civilization, notably through its unique arts, architecture, calligraphy and literature. The language has also been a conduit, channelling knowledge in science, medicine, astronomy, mathematics, philosophy and history."

— Message from Ms Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO

Download the complete message in PDF format:
English Français Español Русский العربية 中文



Download the poster: Arabic | English