Today is UN Arabic Language Day.
December 18 was chosen as the date for the Arabic language as it is the day in 1973 when the General Assembly approved Arabic as an official UN language.
This long stone exhibited at the Israel Museum carries a dedication inscription from the year 1212 in the beautiful Naskhi script.
By the 11th century CE the Naskhi script appeared and gradually replaced the Kufic script as the most popular script for copying the Qu'ran as well as secular and personal writings.
It is from the Naskhi script that modern Arabic script style developed.
The reused Herodian limestone block was found near the Zion Gate in Jerusalem.
Click on the sign to read the strange story of the building up and the tearing down of the city walls -- by the same man!
On a more personal note, you're welcome to see pictures of my 5-day immersion course in spoken Arabic in a Bedouin village in the Negev.
Hebrew and Arabic are the two official languages of Israel.