Skopje, February 21, 2024 – Today, at Mother Teresa University in Skopje, in the organization of the Faculty of Humanities, February 21, International Day of Mother Languages, was celebrated. On that occasion, a panel discussion took place in front of the students and the academic staff on the subject matter of “The Mother Tongue vs Globalization”. The panelists were Lecturer Mustafa Ibrahimi, Ph.D., Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at MT U; Lecturer Vladimir Martinovski, Ph.D., dean of Blaze Koneski Faculty of Philology at SCMU, and Lecturer Berton Suleimani, Ph.D., Dean of the Faculty of Philology at the University of Tetovo. 

The panel discussion was opened by the dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Lecturer Mustafa Ibrahimi, Ph.D., who informed the audience that February 21 has been chosen as the International Mother Language Day by UNESCO in the memory of the Bangladeshi students shot, and some killed, by the Pakistani police on February 21, 1952 in Dhaka, now the capital of Bangladesh, then part of Pakistan. They started their demonstrations to demand official recognition of their language, Bengali. Since 1999, UNESCO has declared February 21 as the International Mother Language Day. In 2007, on the same day, it was accepted by the UN Assembly. 

Lecturer Vladimir Martinovski, Ph.D., dean of Blaze Koneski Faculty of Philology, SCMU, in his speech, extensively elaborated the importance of the mother tongues for the culture, traditions, and history of every nation. Special emphasis was placed on nurturing the standard Macedonian language, as well as Blaze Koneski’s contribution to the Macedonian language and culture. He further discussed the importance of translations and the contribution of the translator in expressing the pulse of a literary and artistic work.  Lecturer Vladimir Martinovski, Ph.D. emphasized that in UNESCO Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger, there are 7 languages from the Balkans, as well, including Vlach and Romani and Macedonia as a state should prepare special programs to save them from extinction. He also mentioned the global issues and danger caused by globalization. 

Lecturer Berton Suleimani, Ph.D., Dean of the Faculty of Philology at the University of Tetovo, among other things, emphasized the importance of nurturing Albanian language as the mother tongue. In his opinion, young people should read more and use the authentic and standardized Albanian language. He reviewed the works of the Renaissance that were an inspiration for generations. He highly valued the translation skill and highlighted Fan Noli as an example as worthy as Shakespeare’s works. According to him, institutions such as the Departments of Albanian Language in Skopje and Tetovo, Flaka e vëllazërimit daily newspaper, Skopje Macedonian Radio and Television in Albanian language, as well as the Agency for the Implementation of Languages and the Institute for the Heritage of the Albanian Language have a great contribution. 

Lecturer Mustafa Ibrahimi, Ph.D., Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at MTU, addressed several important topics. He spoke of the history of the birth of languages; UN, UNESCO, and EU efforts on the fate of minor languages; linguistic ecology and its subject matter. Furthermore, Lecturer Mustafa Ibrahimi, Ph.D., relying on Ethnologue magazine, stated that there are about 7,000 living languages in the world, but that by the end of the 21. century, about 90% of the languages may disappear. He presented many statistics about the extinct or endangered languages. He also spoke about illiberal globalism and the consequences of colonialism for the conquered languages. Finally, Lecturer Mustafa Ibrahimi, Ph.D., discussed the dominance of the English language, the linguistic reality in Europe, and the new linguistic order in the world. 

After the presentations, there was a Q&A with the staff and the students, opening constructive debates. The three deans agreed that such collaborations should continue in the future.