QU-CAS hosts symposium on language and nature in southern and eastern Arabia

Qatar University organized on February 18-20 a symposium on “Language and Nature in Southern and Eastern Arabia”.

The Center for Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) at Qatar University College of Arts and Sciences (QU-CAS) organized on February 18-20 a symposium on “Language and Nature in Southern and Eastern Arabia”, aimed to examine the symbiotic relationship between local languages and nature in southern and eastern Arabia through a multidisciplinary network of ecosystem and humanities.

The event brought together experts from Canada, Oman, Qatar, Russia, The Netherlands, the UK, and the USA. The opening session featured remarks by CHSS Director Prof Kaltham Al-Ghanim and Professor of Linguistics at Leeds University Prof Janet Watson.

The event’s program featured numerous sessions delivered by speakers from QU, Leiden University (The Netherlands), Middlebury College (USA), Ministry of Education in Oman, National Research University (Russia), Royal Botanical Gardens (UK), Sultan Qaboos University (Oman), University of Carleton (Canada), and University of Leeds (UK).

Discussions focused on a wide range of topics such as “The Modern South Arabian languages”, “Poetry, figurative language and nature in Modern South Arabian poetry”, “Is the Qatari dialect an endangered language?”, “Kumzari and the languages of Musandam”, “Flora of Southern and Eastern Arabia”, and more.

In her remarks, Prof Kaltham Al-Ghanim said: “Local languages are under threat in many parts of the world, this is of global concern because these languages reflect the close relationship between people and their natural environment, embodying the complex relationship with landscape and seasons. When the languages are lost, these connections are broken. Areas of the world which enjoy the greatest language diversity tend to exhibit the greatest biodiversity, and loss of the one commonly precipitates loss in the other.”

Prof Janet Watson said: “We are delighted that this symposium on the symbiotic relationship between language and nature in southern and eastern Arabia is being hosted by Qatar University. This event, which comes within an Arts and Humanities Research Council, UK funded international network, is the first interdisciplinary symposium to examine the language – nature relationship in southern and eastern Arabia. The symposium brings together participants from eleven different disciplines, from seven different states and speakers of eleven different languages. We envisage this initiative as taking forward an ambitious research agenda to make a significant societal impact, build capacity, and encourage interdisciplinary research through enabling international collaboration to develop major strategic partnerships.”


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About Qatar University:
Qatar University is one of the leading institutions of academic and research excellence in the GCC region. It provides high quality undergraduate and graduate programs that prepare competent graduates, primed to shape the future of Qatar. The organization's strong relationship with Qatari society is reflected in its community service efforts and in its vibrant research portfolio that addresses relevant local and regional challenges, advances national goals towards a knowledge-based economy, and contributes actively to the needs and aspirations of the society.

Published: 19 Feb 2018


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