Video: Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs Kicks off Her speech at the General Assembly in Arabic

By Alaa El Gohary

On the 73rd Session of the UN General Assembly, Karin Kneissl, the Austrian Minister of Foreign Affairs surprised the audience, and presumably the world, by starting her speech in the Arabic language for full 20-minutes. The Minister revealed that she had learned Arabic at the United Nations headquarters in Vienna and in Beirut during the war.

“Arabic is one of the six languages of the United Nations. I studied Arabic at the UN in Vienna. It is a beautiful and important language and part of the Arab and ancient civilization,” Mrs. Kneissl said. She continued: “during the years of war in Lebanon, I learned how people moved on with their lives despite all odds and difficulties, and this is the secret of life.”

Not only this, but she also astonished the audience with her polylinguist skills by continuing her speech in French and Spanish before concluding her speech in English.

WE SAID THIS: This is definitely a lot of memorizing!