Mdm. Liu Yandong attends the foundation stone laying ceremony for the building of the Confucius Institute at Cairo University, Egypt
The construction of the building for the Confucius Institute at Cairo University, situated in Giza Province of Cairo, officially began on March 26th. At around 4 o’clock in the drizzly afternoon, Cairo University held a foundation stone laying ceremony in a typical Egyptian style, in which Chinese and Egyptian guests were invited to jointly lay bricks for this new building.
Mdm. Liu Yandong (fourth from Right), Vice Premier of the State Council of China, attending the foundation stone laying ceremony for the building of the Confucius Institute at Cairo University
To date, two Confucius Institutes and one Confucius Classroom have been established in Egypt, with a total of 68 full-time and part-time teachers, among whom 55 are dispatched from China and 13 are local Chinese language teachers. In 2015, the Confucius Institutes and Classrooms have offered 156 Chinese language classes of various types, attended by over 2,000 students, and organized 54 cultural events of different kinds, receiving over 10,000 participants in total. Currently, the Confucius Institute at Cairo University has a teaching area of around 700 m2, complete with eight classrooms, one administrative office, one library room, one language lab and one multi-function room. In December 2014, it was designated by Confucius Institute Headquarters as a model Confucius Institute. The foundation stone laying ceremony for its dedicated building marked the official beginning of its construction. The new building will have six floors, five above the ground and one under the ground, and will house classrooms, a language lab and a library, as well as a top-floor canteen, etc.
Mdm. Liu Yandong (second from Left), Vice Premier of the State Council of China, attending the foundation stone laying ceremony for the building for the Confucius Institute at Cairo University
Speaking at the event, Professor Dr. Gaber Gad Nassar, President of Cairo University, stated that President Xi Jinping’s recent visit to Egypt not only took the Egypt-China political and economic ties to a new height, but also enhanced the cultural and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries. He also mentioned that the Confucius Institute had played a highly significant and effective role in such exchanges. Since this year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Egypt and China, the Confucius Institute at the Cairo University will organize a variety of cultural events. He hoped that the Confucius Institute would serve as a bridge of cooperation and friendship between Egypt and China.
Also addressing the event, Ashraf Shihi, Egyptian Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, said that for a long time the Confucius Institute at Cairo University had made unremitting efforts to promote cultural and educational cooperation between China and Egypt and played an active role in maintaining friendship between the two countries. The Chinese Government and Confucius Institute Headquarters speak highly of and trust the Chinese language teaching at the Confucius Institute and will provide strong support for the construction of this building. Given the new international situation, China and Egypt should carry forward their cooperation. As a signature program, the Confucius Institute at Cairo University has witnessed the cultural and educational exchanges and cooperation between the two countries. He hoped that this Confucius Institute would embrace its even brighter future through joint and concerted efforts by the two sides.
Mdm. Liu Yandong, Vice Premier of the State Council of China, speaking at the foundation stone laying ceremony for the building of the Confucius Institute at Cairo University when attending this event
Vice Premier of the State Council of China Mdm. Liu Yandong, now on her visit to Egypt, attended the foundation stone laying ceremony and delivered a speech. According to Mdm. Liu, Confucius Institutes are an important platform that connects China and the world. Since its establishment eight years ago, the Confucius Institute at Cairo University has offered Chinese language teaching for learners at different levels and organized various events of cultural exchanges. With a total of over 3,000 registered students, it offers service to practical cooperation between China and Egypt on all fronts and has become one of the best Confucius Institutes in Arab countries. She wished the Confucius Institute an even brighter future so that it can make greater contributions to deepening cultural and people-to-people exchanges and enhancing friendship between the two peoples.
At the ceremony, hundreds of students of the Confucius Institute sang and danced joyfully, holding flowers and Chinese and Egyptian national flags in their hands. Their wonderful songs, poem recitation and Guzheng performance won waves of applause from the guests.
During her interview with people.cn, Lin Xiaoying, Chinese Director of the Confucius Institute at Cairo University, said that the foundation stone laying ceremony marked a milestone for the Confucius Institute at Cairo University, showing that it had come to maturity with distinguishing characteristic after eight years of initial development. In the future, it is expected to scale new heights in developing local Chinese language teaching materials, training local Chinese language teachers, compiling the Chinese-Arabic version of the magazine Confucius Institute, designing on-line courses, etc.
CAIRO, March 26th (people.cn)
Story by Liu Shuiming, Wang Yunsong & Han Xiaoming