The "Marco Polo" hall of the Khartoum University was opened on 23 May. It is entirely a "Marco Polo" hall which is dedicated to Italian language and culture.A public contest was launched on Facebook for the more than 8,500 followers of the "Italy in Sudan" page. Many Italian personalities are taking part in the contest, with dozens of preferences and comments being posted by young Sudanese web surfers on the wall of the page of the Italian Embassy in Sudan. This is a new Italian initiative and has turned out to be a great success!The ceremonial cutting of the ribbon at the Linguistics Department of the Khartoum University on May 23 inaugurated the "Marco Polo" hall, entirely dedicated to Italian language and culture, for the many Sudanese students who have enrolled.The ceremony was attended by the university's top executives, the Rector and the Deans of the Languages and Arts Departments as well as many students and followers.The Italian Ambassador to Khartoum, Fabrizio Lobasso, said: "It is a race against time, but is thanks to the passion the Sudanese people have for Italy." The first Italian language course, which is about to end, is 60 hours long and based on Dante Alighieri's experience as regards textbooks and the curriculum. The students are ready to start again in September with a second course that will enable them to take the PLIDA exams at the Dante Alighieri and be awarded an A2 language diploma.Ambassador Lobasso went on: "Students interested in starting a new A1 course in the Italian language are already queuing up. If we combine it with the current course, the Italian course taught at the International African University and the one due to start in September at the El Nilain University in Khartoum, it will strengthen our role in the local university environment to expand our presence and finally establish chairs of Italian studies in the country. Inshallah, as they say here!"