Learn how to write Arabic Afrikaans
Taalmonument and Historium Trust present Arabic Afrikaans workshop and competition
In honour of Arabic Afrikaans, the Afrikaans Language Museum and Monument (ATM) and Historium Trust will present a workshop on this unique writing tradition on 16 July 2022; they will also launch another competition with big cash prizes.
This comes on the back of the highly successful competition in 2020 when more than 40 new Arabic Afrikaans writings were received from South Africa, Germany, Austria and Saudi Arabia, and the three winners were rewarded with R10 000. The positive response, media coverage and numerous entries – from religious texts, original works on Afrikaans and issues such as ubuntu to the lyrics of Spoegwolf and Refentse – prove that there is still a great interest in Arabic-Afrikaans. As part of the ATM’s outreach to the community, the institution will also sponsor a few participants from the Cape Winelands District Municipality to attend the workshop for free.
The presenter (and judge of the previous competition) is dr Shamiega Chaudhari, a lecturer in the Education Faculty at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology where she teaches Afrikaans as a major and Curriculum Studies. She is not only an expert on Afrikaans and Arabic, and a lover of Jawi, but also focuses on decolonisation, identity studies and oratory. Her bilingual workshop will include an introduction to the history of Arabic Afrikaans, training in the Arabic writing system as well as examples of modern texts and how to reproduce specific Afrikaans sounds (in the Jawi tradition). After that, she will help participants to write their own texts in Arabic Afrikaans, with a version of the text in Roman script next to it.
“This workshop is especially aimed at beginners,” explains Chaudhari. “What we are going to do is recreate a type of Arabic Afrikaans madrassa class of the past to give participants a sense of how it would have worked, but with a modern touch. It is aimed at anyone who wants to learn more about this beautiful writing tradition, not just Muslims,” says Chaudhari, who is passionate about the history of Afrikaans in general, and especially how we are all inextricably linked in the tapestry of this incredible language.
Arabic Afrikaans, or Afrikaans written using the Arabic alphabet, is generally accepted as the first written form of Afrikaans. Many Arabic Afrikaans writings – such as student notebooks, voting posters, publications and manuscripts – have been preserved; thus far, 74 of these works written between 1845 and 1957 have been discovered and identified by experts. Among these are excellent examples of the earliest Afrikaans literature. In addition, many more Arabic-Afrikaans writings are privately owned, which the ATM would love to digitise for future generations.
According to Michael Jonas, director of the ATM, the aim of these workshops and competitions is to make a modern contribution to this writing tradition. “Our mission, after all, is to also highlight the lessor-known histories of Afrikaans and to celebrate the rich diversity of Afrikaans’s development as well as its modern forms. That is why we want to encourage people to reaffirm their participation in this language in this way,” he says. “In the Taalmuseum in Paarl we give a lot of recognition to Abu Bakr Effendi, who played a prominent role in the development of Arabic Afrikaans and thereby also Afrikaans in the 1800s in the Bo-Kaap. We would like to see the Afrikaans community build on this.”
The workshop is on Saturday, 16 July, from 09:00 to 13:00 in the Historium Trust in Pastorielaan, Paarl, and costs only R250. The fee also includes a short visit to the Language Museum’s Arabic Afrikaans exhibition and refreshments (all halal). To enter, contact Jeffrey Pietersen on 021 872 3441 or firstname.lastname@example.org by 13 July. Residents of the local district municipality can also make representations to him regarding sponsorships.
For more information on all the other exciting events, concerts and courses at the Taalmonument, call 021 872 3441/863 0543, visit www.taalmonument.co.za
or follow them on Facebook. The website also offers virtual tours of the monument and museum, information in six languages on the symbolism of the Taalmonument as well as many interesting articles on Afrikaans, multilingualism and the institution’s past, present and future. There are also many resources for school and research projects. THE LANGUAGE MONUMENT, LANGUAGE MUSEUM AND COFFEE SHOP ARE OPEN TO VISITORS. Annual permits are available at only R120 for individuals or R220 per family, which includes access to all Full Moon Picnics.so