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‘Today Is a Wonderful Day, Because I Hear Persian Being Spoken’

The Institute for Oriental and Classical Studies of the Faculty of Humanities has launched a Center of Iranian Studies and the Persian Language. On December 6, representatives of HSE University and the Cultural Representative of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Moscow signed the cooperation agreement.

According to HSE Vice Rector Ivan Prostakov, the signing of new cooperation agreement and the opening of the new Center of Iranian Studies and the Persian Language constitute a significant event not only for HSE’s Faculty of Humanities but for the university as a whole.

© Mikhail Dmitriev/ HSE University

‘We look forward to continuing to develop multi-faceted partnerships with our Iranian partners,’ said Vice Rector Prostakov. ‘A year ago, I was in Iran and met with a lot of representatives of local universities, and they expressed a keen interest in HSE. I think this new joint endeavor between our two countries will provide a point of departure for further collaboration in many directions. Russia sees Iran as an important partner, and I hope that today’s opening of the Center of Iranian Studies and the Persian Language at HSE University will strengthen the ties between us.’

Ilya Smirnov, Director of the Institute for Oriental and Classical Studies, noted that among the few dozen languages that are taught at the Institute, Persian, as one of the most ancient, holds a special place.

© Mikhail Dmitriev/ HSE University

‘We at the Institute love antiquity, and for me, this is a wonderful day, because I hear Persian being spoken—a language that I have known since my childhood,’ said Director Smirnov. ‘I don’t think I am making an overstatement when I say that the Center of Iranian Studies and the Persian Language will provide our students a little piece of Persia and serve as a gateway to Iran. Some of our students will be traveling to Iran this year on a study tour, after which they will go for a longer, more in depth, stay in their third year of study.’

Maria Gen, Director of the Center of Persian Language at the Cultural Representation of the Iranian Embassy in Moscow, underscored the Center’s willingness to assist in arranging internships for HSE students, as well as providing support for research.

The Institute for Oriental and Classical Studies at HSE University was founded two years ago. The Institute conducted its first admissions cycle in 2018.

© Mikhail Dmitriev/ HSE University

Qahraman Soleimani, Head of Cultural Office at the Iranian Embassy, ​​recalled his past experience heading the Persian Language Distribution Center in Iran. ‘Among the students and teachers who came from all over the world,’ he said, ‘it was the Russians who were the best experts in the language, because Russia has advanced pedagogical methods for the teaching of Persian language. Iran has always been and remains a country of inspiration and a spiritual country for many people. I am certain that all respected friends who become students of Persian will also be inspired by our culture.’

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