(File photo: CFP)
BAGHDAD, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) -- The first institute to teach the Chinese language in Baghdad was opened by the Iraq-China Friendship Association to promote cultural exchange between the peoples of the two countries, the association told Xinhua on Wednesday.
"Teaching the Chinese language is one of the association's goals, and this institute is the first of its kind in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad," said Haider al-Rubeiy, head of the association.
Many Iraqis, including merchants, tourists, and others interested in relations with China, wish to learn the Chinese language, he added.
According to al-Ribeiy, the Chinese language teaching at the institute, which will be carried out at different levels, opens three days a week: Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday to both male and female students.
The first batch of 20 students learning the Chinese language at the institute are 12 from Baghdad, who will go to the institute for classes, and eight from other provinces who will learn through the internet, al-Rubeiy explained.
The institute adheres to health protective measures, including wearing masks and social distancing, amid the spread of coronavirus in the country, he noted.
"The Chinese language is now important to the world. The whole world deals with China economically and in other aspects, so learning the Chinese language will enhance all relationships at all levels," al-Rubeiy told Xinhua.