Interview: Egyptian translator hails Chinese increasing presence in Egypt

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CAIRO, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) -- Ahmad al-Saeed, chief of Cairo-based Chinese "Wisdom House for Cultural Industries" institution in Egypt, hailed expanding Chinese presence in Egypt.

He added that not only books but also Chinese movies and TV series are translated into Arabic.

He added all what China has been doing is to build new secured international trade routes to preserve the human, social, cultural communication and Egypt will constitute the heavy weight for the cultural part due to its high population and its unique geographic location with many ports on its lands.

The initiative, proposed by China in 2013, refers to the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, which aim at building a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient trade routes of the Silk Road.

Al-Saeed, who is also working as coordinator in the center, said that the harmony between the two universities was important for establishing the center, noting the dire need for the two countries' people to know more about each other.

"China is getting bigger in the brain and the emotions of the Egyptian people, and ordinary Arab citizens have started to get attracted to the Chinese experiences, as they deemed China has always been working on bringing mutual benefits," he added.

In Egypt, there are also some publishing houses for children books, and there are others in the UAE, Jordan, Bahrain, Morocco and Lebanon, which are an evidence of success for the spread of the Chinese translated books.

Al-Saeed added that the center will work as a consultative body like "bank of ideas," that will provide information for governmental institutions and large investing companies.

He mentioned the increasing number of the students learning the Chinese language in Egypt, currently about 10,000, the spread of the Chinese book translation houses and the establishment of more think-tanks in the Egyptian universities as good examples of the growing Chinese role in Egypt.

The center is the third of its kind in the world, mentioning the other two are located in Russia and Luxemburg, which helped in enhancing the ties between those countries and China, he said.

He stressed the number of countries who realized the importance of the Chinese trade are on rise, because China has been always working for the win-win principle.

Concerning the translation of Chinese into Arabic, al-Saeed said that in 2011, there is only the "Wisdom House" which translates Chinese into Arabic, but now there are four more publishing houses.

The research center will also present a model for cooperation between China and the other countries concerning the Belt and Road, he said.

by Marwa Yahya

His institution for translation has translated around 83 Chinese books in the fields of economy last year, including literature and politics.

On Jan. 13, Renmin University of China and Egypt's Ain Shams University inaugurated the Belt and Road Cooperation Research Center in Cairo.

"The mutual cooperation between the two countries is very promising especially in light of the Belt and Road Initiative," al-Saeed told Xinhua.

"Most of the Egyptians have little information about the Belt and Road Initiative and such research centers will help a lot," he added.

"Egypt needs Chinese advanced equipment and coordination with China in construction of the smart villages, and both sides could benefit from the vast desert areas in Egypt," he said.