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The experience in New York opened my eyes to the extent to which our youths from different backgrounds are connected. I was mesmerized by how my fellow winners were so poise and eloquent in their command of either one or several of the six official languages of the UN. I listened intently to every language spoken, but Arabic resonated the most in my heart. This resonation drove me to learn this poetic language which is filled with grace.
Upon returning back home in Spain, where Arabic is not part of my studies, (I specialise in Translation and Interpretation studies with the following languages: Spanish, Catalan, English and German) I committed myself to studying Arabic at a government sponsored school. After attending university classes studies in the mornings, I attended Arabic lessons which would often end late in the evening. I considered this as indispensable preparation to better understand the vast dynamics of the Arabic-speaking world.
I am of the fixed conviction that without a firm command of the Arabic language, it would be near impossible to “taste and digest the real meanings behind the language”. My inspiration comes from Mohandas K. Gandhi, a great leader who valued multilingual skills as a tool to changing the world including Nelson Mandela who said, “if you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart”. Throughout history, Arabic has greatly influenced the structure of other languages such as Spanish notwithstanding the numerical numbers used in Latin-based languages. Arabic is the fourth most spoken language in the world. In this light, mastering Arabic will permit me to communicate with around 420 million people across 20 countries.
My goal is not merely to overcome the linguistic limitation, as expressing myself in Arabic will lead me to better understand the Arab world which, in turn, would reinforce my sense of dialogue and involvement with different cultures and international cooperation for the building of a better world.