Iraqi scholars ask for Putin's help in restoring Russian library of Baghdad University

Iraqi Russian language scholars have asked for Russian President Vladimir Putin's help in restoring the library at the Russian language department of Baghdad University. The library was completely destroyed during the latest events in Iraq.

The open letter to Vladimir Putin by the dean of the faculty of foreign languages of Baghdad University, Professor Dia Nafiya, was published in the Iraqi newspaper Al Nahda on Wednesday.

A big library of Russian literature, dictionaries and textbooks (30,000 volumes) was collected over 45 years of the existence of the Russian language department, the letter says. The library was utterly ruined.

"We ask you, Mr. President, on behalf of professors, students and graduates from the Russian language department of Baghdad University to help us restore the library," Professor Dia Nafiya wrote.

"The learning of the Russian language in Iraq is one of bridges of the Russian-Iraqi cultural dialogue. It helps develop mutual understanding between our peoples and consolidate interstate links," the letter reads.

The Russian language department of Baghdad University founded in 1958 is the oldest and largest in the Middle East. More than 700 students annually study here the Russian language, which is highly popular in Iraq. Teachers and post-graduate students of the department carry out scientific and translation work.

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