Syrian students choose to learn ‘Russian’ language at school for a better future, World News


Omar al-Tawil, a 15-year-old schoolboy in Damascus, is one of 24,000 young Syrians who are now learning Russian in school after the country added the language of the government’s most powerful ally to the curriculum .

Many young people in Syria, where Moscow intervened in 2015 to help President Bashar al-Assad reclaim territory, are eager to study Russian in order to travel to Russia or to work in Russian companies they hope to see. appear in Syria in the future.

“At first we didn’t understand anything and when we heard the words for the first time we started to laugh, it was difficult,” Tawil said. “The teachers help us love this language.”

Radwan Rahhal, Russian language coordinator at the Syrian Ministry of Education, said demand for courses exceeds supply.

“We have over 24,000 students learning Russian and their numbers are increasing. But we cannot increase more than that in the meantime, unless we have more teachers.”

The Syrian Ministry of Education added Russian as an optional second foreign language in schools after English or French in 2014. Russian literature graduates willing to teach it for special courses supervised by experts from Moscow .

Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Syria on Tuesday for the second time since Moscow’s decisive intervention and met Assad in Damascus.

Support from Russia and Iran has helped Assad regain almost all of the territory lost to rebels who tried to overthrow him in a civil war born out of a crackdown on opposition protests nearly nine years ago. years.


Sylvester L. Goldfarb

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