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Posted On: 12 August 2008 08:14 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:08 pm

The return of the prodigy: Girl says goodbye to Doha

Khalifa Al Haroon
Khalifa Al Haroon
Your friendly neighborhood Qatari
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A multi-lingual three and half-year-old Pakistani girl, who is known in the Arab world for speaking classical Arabic, is leaving Qatar soon. Asia Arif was born in Doha and became famous when she appeared on Qatar TV last February and wowed viewers by her classical Arabic speaking skills. Trained by her father Arif Siddiq, a writer and educationist, Asia has vocabulary exceeding 1200 classical words. She can easily converse in pure Arabic language. Asia's father had applied the theory of “'nature and exercise”, presented by Dr Abdullah Dannan, a Syrian. Arif had started speaking classical Arabic with his daughter two years ago when she just turned one year. Then, after sometime, he decided to use the Quranic Arabic in conversing with her in order to revive it. He derived words and Quranic expressions which can commonly be used in day to day life and made them a part of her vocabulary. Asia has memorized verses of several pre-Islamic, Islamic and contemporary poets along with some small chapters from the holy Quran and some Arabic poems. She can now easily use the correct forms of Arabic verbs, make dual and plurals from singulars, correctly use Arabic prepositions. Arif wishes to universalize this experiment among young children of two to three years of age. He has urged Arabs not to ignore classical Arabic completely and create an environment where any foreigner can easily learn their language. The Pen