Artists from the University of Jinan dance at the theatre of the Suez Canal University in Ismailia province, Egypt, on Oct. 3, 2018. The theatre of the Suez Canal University in Ismailia province was fully packed late Wednesday with Egyptian students, who were enchanted by the traditional Chinese music performed by a delegation of Chinese artists. (Xinhua/Meng Tao)
by Ahmed Shafiq
ISMAILIA, Egypt, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) -- The theatre of the Suez Canal University in Ismailia province was fully packed late Wednesday with Egyptian students, who were enchanted by the traditional Chinese music performed by a delegation of Chinese artists.
The artists, from the University of Jinan in China's Shandong Province, held a concert of classical Chinese music which deeply impressed the young Egyptian audience.
The concert was organized by the Confucius Institute and the Suez Canal University of Egypt.
Hou Qihai, director of the Theatrical Troupe of the University of Jinan, said the performance was presented by 19 students and teachers from the music school of the university, which is located in Shandong Province, the birth place of ancient Chinese philosopher Confucius.
"The show is meant to bring Chinese traditional culture to countries along the Belt and Road. It also aims at enhancing cultural exchange between young people from Egypt and China," he told Xinhua.
The University of Jinan set up its music school in 2011. The school has been striving to create a distinctive Qilu music culture.
Students of the Suez Canal University were captivated from the very beginning of the show, especially by the very traditional Chinese instruments used by the artists.
"It is really nice that our counterparts from Chinese universities fly to Egypt to bring their traditional arts to us," Nour Allah Hussam, a student of English Literature College, told Xinhua.
The young lady, who studies Chinese as a second language at college, said that Chinese traditional melodies are so close to the Arabic music that they gave her the feeling that she somehow was listening to eastern music.
"Such activities help us as Egyptians to know more about the Chinese culture," she added.
Her classmate, Mariam Abdel Menim, also said that she was impressed by the folk Chinese music and the performance of the Chinese artists.
"Art is the easiest way to bring peoples together...the Chinese culture, mainly music, is really amazing and breathtaking," she said.
Opened in April 2008, the Confucius Institute in Suez Canal University attracts hundreds of Chinese language learners from Ismailia and nearby provinces.
The institute is a symbol of the rising Egyptian-Chinese educational cooperation, as it plays a cultural, educational and enlightening role in the whole Suez Canal region through teaching the Chinese language and culture.
Zhu Tingting, Chinese director of the Confucius Institute of the Suez Canal University, said the Egyptian people love singing and dancing, so that was why this concert was held.
"We had some conversations with our students and found them really interested in Chinese traditional culture, so we invited the University of Jinan to put up a show here," she told Xinhua.
Zhu revealed that the institute plans to create a joint orchestra with the School of Music of the University of Jinan in future to further enhance bilateral cultural exchange and communication between young people from the two countries.
After upgrading the relations between China and Egypt to a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2014, bilateral cultural exchanges have been increasing with frequent visits by artists, cultural and musical delegations from both sides.