Confucius Institute at Cairo University

History and Structure

Peking University has a long history of friendly cooperation with Cairo University. As early as 1986, the two universities signed an inter-school exchange agreement, after which they have completed the renewal of the Inter-school cooperation Agreement in year 2000. On 29th December 2007, the two sides sighed an implementary agreement of establishing Confucius Institute through cooperation, and held a grand opening ceremony for the new institute, which had the honor of the attendance of Mr. Wu Chunhua Chinese Ambassador in Egypt, Mr. Ali Abd el-Rahman Yousef President of Cairo University, Mr. Zhang Guoyou Vice President of Peking University and other leaders. On 18th March

2008, the Confucius Institute in Cairo University---the first Confucius Institute established both in Egypt and North Africa--started its recruitment and Chinese language courses.

Dr. Rehab Mahmoud, associate professor, also the director of Department of Chinese Language and Literature in Cairo University, and Dr. Li Shengjun, deputy director of the Institute of Arabic-Islamic Studies, professor of School of Foreign Languages of Peking University, have held separately the office of Egyptian and Chinese Dean of Confucius

Each year, the institute will hold a council conference, in which the implementation of the passed year’s works will be discussed, meanwhile the schedule and administration measures of works coming for the next year will be made in detail. Up to now, three council conferences have been held. As for the third council, there have been seven members ---four Egyptian deputies and three Chinese members, which were listed below:

Egyptian members:

1. Houssam Kamel, President of Cairo University, president of the council of Confucius Institute at Cairo University

2. Adel Zayd, Vice President of Cairo University for students affairs and education

3. Zayn Abedin, Dean of Faculty of Arts of Cairo University

4. Rehab Mahmoud, Director of Department of Chinese Language and Literature, the Egyptian Dean of Confucius Institute.

Chinese members:

1. Liu Wei, Vice President of Peking University, vice president of the council

2. Zhang Xiuhuan, Director of Hanban office in Peking University

3. Li Shengjun, professor of School of Foreign Languages of Peking University, Chinese Dean of Confucius Institute.

Teaching and Education

Currently, there are seven teachers in the Confucius Institute at Cairo University, one Egyptian teacher, three Chinese teachers and three volunteers. Meanwhile, the institute has achieved the goal of sharing its teaching resources with the department of Chinese Language and literature by inviting six Chinese teachers from the Department to engage in the teaching of the institute, of whom there are one professor and four associate professors from Peking University, Beijing Normal University, Yangzhou University, Harbin University, Tianjin Normal University and Westnorth Normal University, each of them has achieved a doctor or master degree. The institute has a construction space of 450 m2, which consists of offices, classrooms, one meeting room, and one library. Apart from basic teaching facilities, each room has been equipped with nice air-conditionings. The multimedia language laboratory and multi-functions hall are also under preparation and construction. At present, students could study and borrow books from our library which has a collection of over 20,000 books of various types. Since the beginning of the first class in March 2008, the institute has carried out a variety of different training courses, including intensive training course for tour guides, elementary Chinese A, elementary Chinese B, elementary Chinese C, intermediate Spoken Chinese A, intermediate HSK test, and business Chinese. Moreover, the Confucius institute at Cairo University is one of the only two test centers in Egypt, and we’ve invited professional HSK teachers of Peking University to teach this course. To meet the need of the students and local society, we set up two new courses this summer vacation --- “advanced class for elementary Chinese” and “intensive training course of Spoken Chinese”. Each course takes eight class hours a week on average, meanwhile, in order to fulfill the Egyptian students’ demand of understanding Chinese culture, the Institute has specially set up classes of Chinese talents, among them are Chinese calligraphy, Taijiquan, Chinese paper cutting and other traditional Chinese Arts which are all taught by professional Chinese teachers. Different from the department of Chinese language and literature, the teaching purpose of Confucius Institute at Cairo University focuses on enhancing students’ practical skills of using Chinese language, such as listening and speaking skills, translation studies and so on. Thus, based on corresponding language levels, each teacher compiles and selects their own teaching text books or even writes some reference books by themselves such as text books on “Chinese language for tour guides”, “Chinese-Arabic translation”, “Chinese-Arabic interpretation”. Through penetrating instructing, intensive drillings, and strict trainings on listening, speaking, reading, writing and translation, our teachers are also able to waken the passion of students on learning Chinese by means of adding entertaining vivid teaching elements of Chinese culture and history into their teaching process. In class, the amusing and innovative teaching methods, and regular tests could evoke students’ aspirations on studying. The enrollment number of students in the Institute has increased from 20 in the first term to 260 students in the sixth term of year 2010. By October 2010, more than 660 students have registered in our Institute, most of whom are now working in different fields such as culture, education, economy and trade after completing their studies at the Institute.

Colorful cultural events

The Confucius Institute at Cairo University attaches great importance to use Chinese language as a carrier, thereby encourages students to practice their Chinese through their participation in various cultural events held by our institute, thus, from year 2008 to 2010, The Confucius Institute at Cairo University has successfully held twelve cultural events including exhibitions, ceremonies, competitions, and seminars.

From year 2008 to September 2010, our institute has held 5 grand graduation ceremonies; Among the competitions held by the Institute were the First and Second competition of reciting Chinese Poetry for Egyptian College Students in 2009 and 2010, the preliminary competition of “Chinese Bridge” in Egypt in 2010. On January 27th 2010, the Institute accepted the Chinese books donated by the Chinese delegations in Cairo International Book Fair, among which were China Publishing Groups, Department of Foreign Exchange and Cooperation in General Administration of Press and Publication, Beijing Municipal Bureau of Press and Publication, and Jiangsu Provincial Department of Press and Publication. On behalf of domestic exhibitors, Mr. Wang Junguo vice President of China Publishing Group transferred the catalog of the donated 34 sets of books to the Institute. In addition, we’ve also successfully held colorful cultural ceremonies and festival parties, for example: On December 4th 2008, the Institute held “Chinese Culture Month”, which included three parts ---lectures on Chinese culture, the 1st anniversary of the foundation of the Institute and a large-scale photo exhibition on China; In 2009 and 2010, the Institute also organized New Year Parties for the coming Ox and Tiger year, both of which ended in a joyful and peaceful atmosphere. The cultural activities and photo exhibition for the 60th anniversary of Chinese National Day, the 2nd anniversary of foundation of the Institute were also held in 2010. During the academic years from 2008 to 2010, the Confucius Institute at Cairo University has welcomed more than 20 visiting groups including of morn than 300 members, among which there were other Confucius Institutes, delegations from Chinese ministries and commissions, publishing groups, education delegations, TV stations, performing groups and scholars of research institutes in Europe, North America and Hong Kong. On October 7th 2009, a delegation of Confucius Institute Headquarters headed by Mr. Hu Zhiping Deputy Director of Hanban visited Confucius Institute at Cairo University, during which Mr. Hu Zhiyuan raised some specific comments and guidance on the future development of the Institute. On Feb. 2nd 2010, PKU Student Cultural Acting Group offered their first splendid performance in the auditorium of Cairo University, which successfully uncovered their tour in Egypt. The main Staff from Chinese Embassy who were led by Mr. Wu Chunhua the Chinese Ambassador in Egypt, also attended the event, meanwhile more than one thousand students and teachers from Cairo University, Confucius Institute at Cairo University, Ain Shams University, Al-Azhar University watched the performances. On March 23rd , a six-member delegation from Beijing Municipal Education Commission make an inspection to the Institute, after which a seven-member delegation from College of Application Arts and Science of Beijing United University payed a visit to the Institute on May 2nd. On September 14th, a delegation from Shangdong province led by Mr. Liu Yugong Deputy Director of National People’s Congress arrived at Cairo University, where they made an in-depth investigation into work of Chinese teaching and culture promotion in Confucius Institute at Cairo University, and presented a status of Confucius and Chinese-English version of The Analects of Confucius as a gift to the Institute. The group of MBA program of National development and research center at Peking University was warmly welcomed during their visit to our institute in October year 2010.

Educational activities

In addition to a variety of cross-cultural activities, the Confucius Institute at Cairo University has held several academic events. On November 24th 2009, the Institute and Department of Chinese Language and Literature jointly organized the 1st seminar on “Chinese-teaching experiences in Egypt”, which achieved a complete success. On May 6th 2010, the two sides also successfully hosted “Dialogue between Chinese and Arab Culture ---International Symposium on Chinese and Arabic Language and Culture”. Many famous scholars and professors have participated in the various academic events of our Institute, among them were Professor Zhang Ying President of International College for Chinese Language Studies at Peking University, Professor Zhong Jikun, Director of the Arabic Literature Research Association in China, Professor Li Zheng vice-president of School of Foreign Languages in Peking University and Professor Fu Zhiming Director of the Department of Arabic Language and Literature of Peking University.

From July 24th to August 6th 2009, the Confucius Institute at Cairo University have hosted “the 1st seminar for Egyptian teachers of Chinese language”. In November 2010, three teachers of the Institute have also participated in the seminar of Chinese teaching materials for Chinese teachers which was hosted by Confucius Institute Headquarters. We’ve organized colorful activities in our institute, in each April of year 2009-2010, we recommended 30 outstanding students in our institute to participate in “the Summer Camp of Chinese Culture” which lasted for about 25 days. For those excellent students in our institute or teachers who are working or will work for the promoting career of Chinese language and culture, we also offer them rich scholarship sponsored by the headquarters of Confucius Institutes and Hanban. Moreover, we’ve set up several awards for our training programs. Meanwhile, to encourage our students, we also grant one student of with the first prize in each class, two students with the second prize, and three students with the third prize. Until year 2010, there have been 20 students of our institute who were granted with our scholarship got the chance to study in Peking University, Renmin University of China, Beijing language and culture university, Dalian Foreign languages institute, Northwest normal university and so forth.The Confucius Institute at Cairo University, ever since its establishment, has attracted much attention from the media including

XinHua China, International Online, China Daily, Guang Ming Daily, CCTV International, and Hanban Website to report our important events and activities. On 12th December 2007, the Gomhuria Newspaper of Egypt reported the foundation of the Confucius Institute at Cairo University with the title of “Chinese Language entered into Cairo University”, at the same time, the president of Cairo University also pointed out “the worldwidelyspread ‘China Fever’ leads us to learn Chinese language in order to benefit

from this cultural and economic wave. Thus, Cairo University will continue its way on training and educating students, which is also the main responsibility of a university.” Nowadays, more and more Egyptians fall in love with learning Chinese language and become eager to learn it well. In answer to Hanban’s expectation, in June 2010, the Confucius Institute of Cairo University took on the task of editing and publishing the Chinese-Arabic magazine “Confucius Institute”. For us teachers, editing and publishing a magazine is not easy, however, with the careful direction from our deans, and the direct assistance from Hanban, with two more months’ hard working in which we have conquered a lot of hardships and difficulties, the very first magazine has been published in the early September, the second and third publication is under editing and proofing. To handle all sorts of issues in the institute is almost impossible without the close cooperation between the two deans of our institute. Since the establishment of the Confucius Institute of Cairo University in year 2008 and under the direction from the office of education in Chinese Embassy in Egypt, our two deans have been keeping a nice relationship on communication, consultation for their mutual works, through the respects one for another, a harmonious and friendly working atmosphere has been established. In addition, each teacher and volunteer in the Confucius Institute of Cairo University has received much cares and concerns on both their life and works, which encourages them to work actively and energetically in our united team. As for the main goals of Confucius Institute in Cairo University in the following years, we are aiming to continue expanding the scale of recruitment and enhancing our teaching quality, meanwhile holding more effective cultural events, and combining degree programs and non-degree programs together, therefore to tie the department of Chinese language and the Confucius Institute more closely to promote each other. We believe that under the direction of Hanban, with the concerns we received from both Cairo University and Peking Unviersity, with the assistance from the Chinese embassy in Egypt, the Confucius Institute at Cairo University will achieve greater accomplishments in the future.

Contact information:

The Confucius Institute of Cairo University


Cairo University,

Faculty of Arts,

Chinese Department-Confucious Institute,

Orman garden-Giza 12613

Contact us Associate Professor Rehab Mahmoud Professor Li Shengjun

Tel 002-0101414336 002-0189720815

Fax 0020-2-35729659 0020-2-35729659