FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — The University of Arkansas will present the Arkansas Arabic and Japanese Language Speech Competition on Friday, April 19, at the UA School of Law.

The annual competition, sponsored by the Arabic and Japanese Programs of the university’s department of foreign languages, is being launched this year.

UA students studying Japanese and Arabic at different levels will deliver their original speeches to panels of judges consisting of both native and fluent non-native speakers of the two languages. Cash prizes are to be awarded to the winners.

Preceding the awards ceremony will be an extraordinary musical interlude organized by the International Center for the Study of Early Asian and Middle Eastern Musics. The interlude will feature traditional Japanese and Turkish music never before performed together in America. Talat Halman (voice and baglama saz, a Turkish lute), Shiori Yamaguchi (voice) and professor Ronda Mains (flute) will respectively perform works ranging from Turkish musical poems of the 14th century to 1000-year-old Japanese court songs to an avant-garde flute composition.

Refreshments will be served to the contestants, judges and the public.

The Arabic-language competition will take place in the UA School of Law courtroom (Room 113) from 2-5 p.m. The Japanese-language competition will take place in Room 325 from 3-5 p.m. The musical interlude, refreshments and awards ceremony will commence at 5:15 p.m., in the School of Law courtroom.

The public is invited to attend the speeches, the musical interlude and the awards.

Funding is provided by the King Fahd Center for Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, with support from the department of foreign languages and the UA School of Law.

For more information please contact any of the following -- professor Tatsuya Fukushima (Japanese language), 575-5535,;

professor Rkia Cornell (Arabic language), 575-4157,; or professor Elizabeth Markham (music), 575-5020,

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