To avoid any misunderstandings, and of being possibly stamped by my fellow Arabs as a traitor, then I want to clearly and publicly state why I blog in English. What were some of the comments that I got about my obsession with the English language? Why would I be a traitor? The full details are in this post.
Before writing my reasons, I want to clarify that I believe that the issue is not whether to to blog in Arabic or not. It is not!!! It is a matter of whether or not to blog in the “lingua franca” of any age. Lingua franca?
Definition of lingua franca by Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, 8th ed, 2010.
My reasons: Through writing my reasons, I am not trying to promote the English language and to make people do similar to what I do. I am just trying to let people know that I have my reasons… logical reasons 🙂 This does not mean that I am sure that they will convince you, but at least, I hope that you will think that they are logical ones. Aren’t they? If not, why?
Firstly: “The strength of a language is from the strength of its owners قوة اللغة من قوة أهلها”. Arabs are weak in this part of history. As a result, their language is as weak as they are. On the other hand, English-speaking countries have been ruling the world since tens of years now (The USA and Britain). As a result, English is the lingua franka of this time of history. So, by writing in English, I am not only addressing Arabs, but the greatest majority of people on this planet in this part of history. If I were living almost 800 years ago, I would be writing in Arabic. If I were living 1,500 years ago, I would be writing in Latin. If I were living 2000 years ago, I would be writing in Greek, etc. For every time in history, there is a great nation ruling most of the world. The language of this nation is naturally the language of science, politics, literature, etc. As a result, it is wise to use the language of the most powerful so as to address the largest group of people.
Secondly: The number of new publications in Arabic (whether in literature or science) is almost negligible compared with those in other languages. This also runs on the number of books that are translated into Arabic each year. As a result, it is better to practice English more (in writing) and hence, be able to read and comprehend all of these new publications that come out almost every minute. By writing in English, I am not only expressing an opinion, but also, I am improving my English.
Thirdly: An Israeli general is reported to have once said: “Arabs do not read. Even if they read, they do not understand”. I don’t know if hatred was the reason behind saying this, but statistics show that Arabs in this part of history do not read a lot and that the bestselling books in Arabic sell only in thousands of copies. So, if I write in Arabic, I am not limiting myself with to a small audience (Arabs and Arabic-speaking people), but also, I am limiting myself with an audience that is mostly not fond of reading.
Fourthly: From my experience of being an Arab, living with Arabs, and from listening and reading about what Arabs think, then I currently strongly believe that Arab people who knows a second language are more open-minded. I think that this runs on any person, of any origin, nationality, language, or faith, etc. Once you get to deal with people who are different from you, then you become more accepting of people who are “different” than you. As a result, in my Blog, I get the chance to have an interaction with a population that I expect to be mostly constituted of “open-minded” people.
Fifthly: I really do not understand the argument that because something is your own, then you need to think of it in the highest standards. “It is your tribe, language, religion, country, etc. and you must think of it as being the best“. No, there are tribes better than mine, there are languages better than mine, my religion is not perfect, it is very wise to stop here.
So, if you are to write a book in the future, or if you are simply to write a single article to share your opinion with the world, why risk writing it in a language other than English? Why not to have the “world as an audience” by writing in the strongest language nowadays?