For Arab students studying in Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region in northwest China, the 6th China-Arab States Expo, scheduled to kick off next Thursday in Yinchuan, the capital of Ningxia, is undoubtedly the most anticipated event of the year.
“The exhibition will provide a platform for Arab officials and businessmen to come to China, deepen communication with the Chinese people, and expand business horizons,” said Fatima Yousry, an Egyptian student from Ningxia University.
After learning Chinese for four years in her country, Fatima came to Ningxia in 2018 to fulfill her academic dream. She speaks fluent Chinese and is now a second-year doctoral student.
“My Chinese has been improving since I came to China, because I have more opportunities to engage in conversations with Chinese students and teachers,” Fatima said.
During her stay in China, Fatima was amazed by the country's achievements in infrastructure, which boosted its economic development.
Fatima said: “Chinese companies have made significant contributions to the construction of our new administrative capital.” “It is helping us build a 385.8-metre-tall tower at the site of the Central Business District of the new capital, which is expected to become the tallest skyscraper in Africa after its completion.”
Fatima is also a big fan of Chinese dishes. “I used to buy Chinese tea and instant noodles in Egypt, but Chinese snacks are very expensive there,” she said.
As the exhibition approaches, Fatima hopes that trade between the two countries will be more favorable. “We hope that, with lower transportation costs, Chinese products will be cheaper and easier for Egyptians to obtain.”
For Nisreen Al-Abed, a 29-year-old Moroccan, what attracted her to China six years ago was the wonderful Chinese culture. “China is a country with a long history and wonderful culture,” said Nasreen, who is currently pursuing her doctorate in Ningxia.
Nisreen loves the Chinese arts of Wushu and often spends her free time practicing Taichi, enjoying the distinctive cultural features of the Chinese Wushu disciplines.
As a student majoring in educational sciences, Nisreen wants to become a teacher after graduation and help more Moroccans learn the Chinese language. "I want to enhance exchanges between the two peoples and help them understand each other better," she added.
Muhammad Al-Alimi, a Yemeni student from Ningxia University, is also following the China and Arab Countries Exhibition. He said that China-Arab cooperation has huge potential, especially in the field of trade.
“Living in China is very convenient. You can buy almost everything online and have it delivered to your door.” Online shopping, food delivery and electronic payment platforms have made people's lives easier.
Mohammed's father has been working in Yemen for more than 20 years, selling Japanese tea sets to Yemenis. He is fluent in Chinese and plans to expand the family business by introducing Chinese teapots to Yemen.
"China has a profound tea culture, and the dark red enamel pottery is famous for its superior quality," Muhammad said, adding that he hopes to bring more high-quality products to his hometown.
Mohammed said: “I hope that the China-Arab States Expo will open more opportunities to enhance exchanges and cooperation between China and Arab countries.”