The main purpose of the visit to Iran was to develop scientific and academic cooperation between KFU and universities, institutes and centers of Iranian Studies of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Iran is an important partner of Russia in the Middle East. It is a country that invests much in development of science, education and high technologies. At the same time, Iran is a region with which Tatarstan has long-time historical and cultural ties. The Persian language and literature have played an important role in the Tatar language and culture forming in general. There are thousands of ancient manuscripts in Persian in Nikolai Lobachevsky Scientific Library, which are still waiting for their researches.
During the two-week visit our delegation, consisting of seven professors of the Institute of International Relations, History and Oriental Studies of Kazan Federal University and the student of the Department of International Relations, Vasily Vdovin, the winner of the All-Russian Olympiad in the Persian language, visited Allameh Tabatabai University in Tehran, Shahid Ashrafi University and Written Heritage Center in Isfahan, the Institute of Language and Literature and Saadi Research Center in Shiraz, as well as other universities and centers of Iranian Studies of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
During the meetings the Iranian party repeatedly stated its willingness to cooperate with KFU in such areas as exchange of scientists, teachers and students, their language training in Iran at the expense of the host country, joint research in the field of the Persian language, literature, history and manuscripts.
It should be noted that Iranian scientists are actively engaged in the study of manuscripts. After a meeting with the rector of Isfahan University, Prof. Shahid Ashraf Imami, we noted his kindness, respect to interlocutors, ease of communication and his desire to expand the boundaries of researching into manuscripts in Persian abroad. He expressed his willingness to recruit textual critics, who will be able to conduct researches in collaboration with Kazan scientists in the field of Persian manuscript studying. Publication of scientific papers and monographs, and creation of unified electronic database of Iranian and Tatarstan manuscripts are supposed to result from this project.
The momentous event of the visit to Iran was an agreement signing between Saadi Fund and the Institute of International Relations, History and Oriental Studies of the KFU. This agreement is intended to implement projects in the field of scientific conference organizing and holding, academic mobility development for teachers and students, and joint researches.
The visit to Iran would be impossible without the financial support provided within the federal program for training of specialists in enhanced studying of Islamic history and culture. A considerable part of outlays were made by the host country.
There were refresher courses organized by Saadi Found for teachers of KFU within the framework of the trip. They were divided into two groups based on research interests and the level of knowledge of the Persian language. Farsi teachers had the opportunity to get acquainted with the course in methods of Persian teaching as a foreign language, received information on classic and contemporary literature criticism, and attended a course in press language. Classes in history, geography and culture of Iran given in the Arabic language, an introductory lesson in the basics of Persian calligraphy, as well as an intensive course in literary and colloquial Persian were offered for teachers of the Arabic language.
In addition to meetings with teaching staff from various universities and centers of Iran (besides Tehran the delegation also visited Isfahan, Shiraz, Qazvin), a heavy entertainment program, including visits to museums, exhibitions, and excursions to national historic sites, was organised for guests from Kazan by Saadi Found.
Everyone remembered the ancient Isfahan with its antique mosques and the famous bazaar selling traditional products made by local craftsmen.
Further our way ran to Shiraz, the city where the greatest poets of Iran – Saadi and Hafez – lived and worked. Upon stepping on this fertile land, we first visited memorials of poets whose masterpieces are in the world literature treasury.
After the bustling and busy Tehran, Shiraz appeared before us in a majestic calm, and for a moment it seemed that the life was flowing like a beit strung on a chain of mountains surrounding the city.
Other attractions of Shiraz also produced a lasting impression. Those were, primarily: an ethnographic museum with an original exposition of clothing, household goods, handicraft articles; a kind of arboretum surrounded by oriental architecture, and, of course, the mosque "Shah Cheragh", which impressed us not only with luxury of its decoration, but also with an extraordinary aura which was not peculiar to all cultural monuments.
During the visit the delegation of KFU was invited to an international radio station of Iran, where a very interesting meeting was held. Journalists had a detailed interview with each of our teachers and asked about the educational system in Russia.
We can definitely say that Kazan Federal University has found promising partners in the face of scientific and educational organizations of Iran, who are ready to support any initiatives in the field of Iranian Studies development in Kazan.