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China Daily Global / 2021-04 / 13 / Page016

Egyptian inspired by wushu and ancient culture

China Daily Global | Updated: 2021-04-13 00:00

CAIRO-Teaching wushu and acupuncture in several faculties of sport in Egypt, Yahia Fawzi says he "feels happy when the Egyptian students believe I am a Chinese citizen".

"I consider myself half Egyptian, half Chinese as I lived a long time in China and benefited a lot from Chinese culture and civilization that has much common feature with my country of origin," says Fawzi, vice-president of the Egyptian and Arab Federations of Wushu.

He visited China for the first time in 1990 and stayed for eight years, before regular visits later on.

"I visited China 20 times, and spent nearly a month on each trip," he adds.

Fawzi says in a recent interview that he dreamed to go to China to learn wushu from its sources.

"Wushu boosts self-confidence and helps people to defend themselves," he says, pointing out that he loved Chinese kung fu from the movies of Bruce Lee, and from watching the Chinese wushu team during its visit to Egypt in 1974.

To fulfill his dreams, he studied Chinese at the faculty of languages of the Ain Shamas University, and his high grades entitled him to a free scholarship for studying in China.

Once manager of Ahram newspaper in Beijing, he has a diploma in translation, a masters in Chinese literature and civilization and a PhD in Chinese sport and medicine. He is also an international arbitrator in wushu.

"China is an old civilization with authentic characteristics whose impact exceeds both boundaries and neighbors," he says.

He says his Chinese professors were very generous with giving him "many valuable books, sports tools and clothes as gifts", and also thanks Chinese people who helped him in his studies.

He also says the two people share common cultures related to family and social bonds.

Fawzi has written 40 books about China, including 20 about wushu, and the rest discussing Chinese medicine, language, economy and leaders.

"The main goal of writing these books was to expand knowledge among Arabs about Chinese culture and civilization," Fawzi adds.

Chinese people are friendly, serious, and value time, he says.

The wushu expert says Chinese culture has been spreading in Egypt, and the number of students who are eager to learn Chinese is increasing. He is now calling for Egypt to add Chinese civilization to its school curriculum.


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