"Today is a solemn celebration for the graduates. Seventeen students graduated from our department. Of them, 10 will continue their studies in Russia. We hope that the rest will go there the next year, too. Since I have taught them for four years, I can say that they are very good people, the level [of their skills in Russian] is high. We hope that [in Russia] their skills will further improve," Khaisam Mahmood, who heads the Russian language department, told reporters.
Ziyad Khamad, who graduated from the Russian language department, is 41. He speaks several languages and teaches English and French. Khamad told reporters he believed Russian was the most beautiful language he had heard. He added he had sold his house to continue his studies in Russia.
Elena al-Wadi, the professor at the Russian language department, said that when the center had been set up, there had been no materials to teach students with. She expressed hope that the graduates would return home from Russia in four years and teach Russian in Syria, too.
The Russian language department was established in 2014 and has become the largest foreign language center of the university. The university had to build a separate building for it due to the increasing popularity of Russian in Syria.