Seminar highlights linguistic richness of Oman

MUSCAT: The Youth Lab held a seminar at Bait Al Zubair under the theme Linguistic Richness in the Sultanate of Oman. Khalfan al Zeidi, journalist and writer, opened the seminar on the contribution of geography and the Sultanate’s proximity to ancient civilisations and the availability of natural resources to cultural richness of the Sultanate.

Asmahan al Jarou, Professor in History, spoke about the language and writing of people of Oman before Islam. She also discussed the most important monuments found for the people of Oman in ancient times.
Mustafa Mokhtar al Lawati, writer and litterateur, spoke about what is known as the “Lawati” Language in Oman. He said that it belongs, along with other languages like Maimanya and Zrdjalya, to the Sindhi language.
Dr Mohammed al Mahri, Director of the Education Department in the GCC Secretariat General, focused his speech on Mahri language.
He said that its documentation was delayed in writing compared to other languages. He touched on the importance of literature and arts in documenting the language and provided examples of poems, proverbs, tales and legends in the Mahri language.
Makiya al Kimzariya, senior teacher of Arabic language, spoke about the “Kimzariya” language, which is a non-semitic and non-alphabetic language. It is a mixture of several languages. It is called Kimzariya after the town of Kamzar in the northern Governorate of Musandam.
The seminar was concluded about the Swahili language. Nasser al Riyami, researcher in Omani-East African Relations, said: “There is no conclusive evidence of the beginning of the birth of the Swahili language, but the researchers believe that it derives from the Arabic and Bantu languages. For decades, it has been written in Arabic script before the coloniser changed that.”
The seminar is one of the sessions of the Youth Lab, which aims to talk about topics of interest to young people. — ONA