In August 1926, an article appeared in the Beirut-based francophone newspaper L’Orient declaring that the Arabic language was on the wane and would soon disappear (Untitled article 1926).2 A week later, the journal al-Ma“rad responded with an editorial sharply stating that Arabic would never die: it was the language of the Lebanese people, and that even the immigrant communities abroad were establishing Arabic newspapers and schools to keep the language alive and pass it on to their children (“Al-Lugha al-“Arabiyya” 1926: 7).3