by Marwa Yahya
CAIRO, Jan. 25 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese-Egyptian cultural cooperation has become significant in achieving mutual understanding and strengthening ties between the two peoples, said Ahmad Bahy el-Deen, deputy chief of the General Egyptian Book Organization.
During a seminar dubbed "the Egyptian-Chinese Cooperation in Culture and Publishing Fields," held in the Cairo International Book Fair, Bahy el-Deen hailed the cultural cooperation between the two countries as "a backbone of cooperation in different other fields, especially the economic aspects."
Bahy el-Deen, who is also the deputy chief of the fair, said that the Chinese publishers had a "a special and large" presence at the book fair this year.
Cairo International Book Fair, which runs between Jan. 23 to Feb. 5, features 1,273 publishers from 35 countries, including 10 from Africa, 16 from Asia and seven from Europe.
He said one of the most important elements on this year's fair is the discussions on various publishing and cultural issues, starting with a seminar on Chinese-Egyptian cultural relations.
Ma Rong, manager of the Chinese culture company Wisdom Palace, stressed that cultural cooperation is a basic pillar for promoting the Egyptian-Chinese ties.
She said China owns great experience in digital publishing and in adapting the books to animation movies, in which fields the Egyptians are interested in working more.
"There are lots of internet platforms for selling books in China," Ma added, and that some Chinese writers can write their books at home and upload them onto the websites for readers to read.
She also said that the cultural cooperation will make the people of the two countries get closer.
Meanwhile, Ahmad al-Saeed, chief of Wisdom Palace in Egypt, illustrated that the two countries pay much attention to various cultural fields.
China and its cultural industry have been discussed in a number of seminars, symposiums and events on the fair. The extensive participation of China indicates the strong political ties between the two countries, he said.
The venue of the fair that celebrates its golden jubilee this year covers 45,000 square meters, and houses 748 publishers and 525 publishing agents.
The fair attracted 170 foreign and Arab guests, 300 poets and 2,500 critics and writers.
Some 217,000 visitors have flocked to the fair on the first and second days, state-run Ahram newspaper reported.
"China has an inspiring experience that could benefit Egypt in the field of the cultural industries," said Emad al-Azrak, chief of the Chinese Studies Unit at the al-Hewar Center for Political and Media Studies.
He believed the concept of culture should be reconsidered from being a mere service sector that constitutes a burden on the state budget to a profitable one that lures income.
Azrak added that the two countries could cooperate in fields including papers, ink manufacturing, and digital and electronic marketing.
On the sidelines of the seminar, Tang Ying has celebrated the launch of the Arab translated version of her book "Legends of the South."
The book tells the story about the popular heritage and literature of the people of South China and the circulated famous legends that were carried from one generation to another.