The Syrian government recently added Russian to their school curriculum leading to approximately 24,000 youngsters learning the language of Syria’s most powerful ally. In the past, Russia has helped Syrian President Bashir al-Assad to win back the territories it had lost to ISIS.
The youngsters from all across Syria are now eager to learn the language in order to travel to the transcontinental country or in the hope to work in the Russian companies they expect to spring in Syria in the near future. Graduates in the language who further plan to teach it, attend classes in Moscow supervised by experts from the Russian capital.
Omar al-Tawil, who is one of the thousands learning Russian said that at first, he didn’t understand anything. He said that when he and his fellows first heard the words they started laughing adding that he finds the language difficult. He also revealed that their teachers are helping them to love the language.
Radwan Rahhal who is the Coordinator of the Russian language in the Syrian Education Ministry, said demand for the classes outstrips supply. He said that they have more than 24,000 students who are currently learning the language and the number is constantly increasing.
Rahhal also said that they cannot expand further unless they have more teachers. Russian is the third optional foreign language to be introduced in schools by the Syrian education ministry after English and French which were added back in 2014.
Russian President Vladimir Putin made a rare visit to Syria on January 7 where he held talks with his Syrian counterpart, Bashar al-Assad, as reported by Syrian media. This also marks his first trip in the war-hit country since his last visit to the Khmeimim airbase in Latakia province in 2017.
Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin press secretary said that, in his conversation with Assad, the Russian President noted that they can now say that a huge distance has been travelled towards statehood and country's territorial integrity.