Maronite Arabic language symposium to be held in Cyprus

A two-day scientific symposium to codify the Cypriot Maronite Arabic language begins on Friday.

The symposium, organized by the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry of Interior, is held following a recommendation of the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in September 2006 for the implementation of the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages (ECRML) by Cyprus.

The Charter is a convention designed on the one hand to protect and promote regional and minority languages as a threatened aspect of Europe’s cultural heritage and on the other hand to enable speakers of a regional or minority language to use it in private and public life. Its overriding purpose is cultural. It covers regional and minority languages, non-territorial languages and less widely used official languages.

First and foremost, the Charter sets out the main objectives and principles that states undertake to apply to all regional or minority languages existing within their national territory.

Legislation Commissioner Leda Koursoumba, who has prepared the national report on behalf of Cyprus, will open the symposium which will also be attended by head of the Charter Secretariat Alexey Kozhemyakov, Representative of the Maronite religious group Antonis Hadzirousos, non-governmental organisations belonging to Maronites and dealing with the protection of the Cypriot Maronite language and Maronites who speak the language.

The interventions will be evaluated by a scientific group from Cyprus and overseas who will attend the symposium.

The symposium’s conclusions will be submitted to the relevant authorities to determine what action to take, within the framework of the European Charter.

Source: Cyprus Embassy in the USA

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