CHENNAI: In what is considered to be a first in Tamil Nadu, an International Arabic seminar on the significance of the differently abled in Arabic Pedagogy (teaching) and Literature was held at the University of Madras campus on Wednesday. Palestine’s Ambassador to India, Adnan Abu Alhaijaa, who is specially abled inaugurated the two-day event, in which eminent Arabic scholars from different countries participated and presented their papers.
“We managed to rope in as many as 11 international scholars from countries like Algeria, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia. Speakers too were from eminent universities from across India,” informed Dr A Jahir Husain, director of the seminar and Chairman of Arabic department, University of Madras.
Though most part of the discussions were in Arabic, the theme of the seminar was evident from the audience and speakers present. Most of the audience and a few of the speakers in the event were diff-abled scholars of varying degrees of the Arabic language. Dr K Gulam Dasdhagir, a visually impaired associate professor of Sociology from Pondicherry University was one of the main speakers in the event. He also presented a paper on academic challenges and career predicament towards disability management.
“This is a very important topic to discuss on. It has opened up a platform to explore the connectivity between learning Arabic and the world of disabled persons, which is full of barriers,” Gulam told.
He went on to add that mere removal of barriers is not enough as there is a need to build bridges for the differently abled populace, who he said have significantly increased in the past five decades..
The Chief Guest also conferred the Madihur Rasool Sadakathullah Appa Award for the years 2014 and 2015 to Dr A I Rahmathullah of the University of Calicut and Dr A Nizarudeen of the Univeristy of Kerala.