Editor's note: Details and the ambassadors' statements were added in the article
Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 14 / Trend E.Ostapenko /
A center of the Czech language and culture was opened at the Baku Slavic University on Wednesday.
"I believe the establishment of this center will serve to spread of the Czech language and culture in Azerbaijan, development of bohemistika, expansion of knowledge about the traditions of the Czech Republic and will be another step in the development of bilateral relations and cooperation between our countries," Czech Ambassador to Azerbaijan Radek Matula said at the opening ceremony.
The Czech center at the BSU was opened six months after the embassy of the Czech Republic started activities in Baku.
The Czech language is taught at two faculties of the BSU - Translation and Regional Studies. Each year, about 50 students of Czech speciality study at BSU. Both faculties operate for nearly a decade.
"In addition to activities on the Czech language, the center plans to conduct various cultural events, celebrating the dates associated with the history and culture, traditions and customs of the Czech Republic, meeting with representatives of the political circle, science and culture of the Czech Republic, thematic talks and lectures," he said.
The opening ceremony was also attended by head of Baku Slavic University, professor Kamal Abdullayev, Deputy Education Minister Elmar Gasimov, Foreign Ministry representative Mammad Aliyev, members of the Academic Council of the University, students and guests.
"I hope that the opening of the center will be an impetus for an active work by the students studying the Czech language at the BSU. Now students will feel that there is an interest toward the region that they study," Abdullayev said.
The center was opened with the financial support of Czech and Azerbaijani companies, including OHL ŽS (Czech construction company involved in laying the Baku-northern border highway), as well as the Azerbaijan Caspian Investment Company.
"The center has some 100 books, including 50-60 textbooks on the modern Czech language, about 30 dictionaries, including the Czech-Russian and Czech-British, as well as fiction and manuals for teachers", Matula told Trend.
This list of books is going to be extended and diversified step by step, he said.
The Ambassador's wife, Iveta Matula, has been teaching a course of Czech language and literature at the BSU since March last year. The course enters a mandatory program. By now Iveta Matula is the only teacher in the BSU, who is a native speaker. In the long run, acording to Ambassador, there are plans to bring Czech lecturer for a period of one year.
The Ambassador presented the center four films in the Czech language. The films are directed by known the Czech film director, Oscar winner Jan Svěrak.