By Adem Demir and Hikmet Faruk Baser
Turkey has sponsored 40 Sudanese students to get the Quran memorization course in Istanbul.
Mufti's Office at the Kucukcekmece district of Istanbul sponsored Sudanese students, aged between 9 and 20, to get the Quran memorization and Turkish language courses.
After finishing their courses, the group comprising 12 girls and 28 boys are expected to give lessons to others in their country.
Mustafa Temel, Kucukcekmece district mufti, told Anadolu Agency that 15 students had previously taken courses in Turkey and returned to their homeland and started teaching locals.
"We, as a delegation, went to Sudan 4-5 years ago. We had discussions with non-governmental organizations about the Quran lessons. We then started a project to let Sudanese children come here and study the Quran. In 4 years, about 15 students have returned to their country after finishing their lessons," Temel said.
He also emphasized that they are aiming to cooperate in the field of mutual education projects with the northeast African nation.
“We will send students to Sudan in the near future, there are many foreign students studying in universities in Khartoum and they are being taught Arabic language there,” he added.
Ibrahim Omar, one of the students studying the Quran in Istanbul, said: "I'll be back to my country when I finish my lessons. I will transfer to my people the education I received here."
15-year-old Ahmed Rather, for his part, said he is very happy for being in Turkey and pleased with the opportunity provided to him.
Islam Abdulhay, nine-year-old student, told Anadolu Agency that he wants to be a doctor. "I am the youngest student in the classroom. I have just started learning the Quran. My teachers and brothers take good care of me," Abdulhay said.
Dua Hasan, a 15-year-old student, said she is impressed with the generosity of the Turkish people.
"We came to Istanbul at the beginning of September. I love the weather and nature. Turkish people are very generous. The teachers are very receptive. So far. We visited historical and touristic places such as the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, and Miniaturk. My goal is to become a teacher in my country after completing the Quran lesson here," she said.
Amine Abdulhay, another student, said: "Turkey is a very nice country, Istanbul is great. I am very happy to be here. I will return to my country after completing my studies and help others learn the Quran.”