by Marwa Yahya
SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt, March 8 (Xinhua) -- Growing Egypt-China relations and the similarity of the old civilizations are main reasons for the current leap and momentum in the cultural cooperation, according to Egyptian officials and analysts.
China currently participates as a guest of honor in the Sharm el-Sheikh Asian Film Festival which kicked off on Saturday. Three movies were displayed and other music and dancing performances were showcased on the sidelines of the festival.
In February, China took part in the International Aswan festival for Arts and Culture, while in late January, series of events have been organized in Cairo, Alexandria and Sharm el-Sheikh for celebrating the Chinese Spring Festival. The Chinese activities also included dragon boats competitions on the Nile River in Cairo.
Before that, Beijing has sent the first archeological mission to Egypt to conduct restoration work in a temple in Luxor city, southern the capital.
"There is turning point leap in the cultural events that have been organized by China in Egypt, which reflects the growing cultural cooperation between the two countries," Mohamed Ramadan, media official in the Cultural Ministry, told Xinhua.
He praised the accelerating momentum of the growing ties between the two countries in the cultural, economic and political fields.
He also said the "common history between the two countries that own two ancient civilizations as well as the real communication between them were also reasons for the increasing cultural cooperation."
Ramadan stressed that the Chinese cultural activities in Egypt brought positive and fabulous impact on both countries.
He added Egypt also took part in many events in China, receiving great enthusiasm from the Chinses audience, noting that Egypt folklore Reda band has garnered 6,000 Chinese views in Shanghai last year.
He proposed a protocol to be signed between both countries to exchange broadcasting of translated films and documentary movies about the history of the two countries to help the people better understand each other's cultures.
Meanwhile, Samy al-Qamhawi, researcher in the Chinese affairs, deemed the Egyptian-Chinese cultural cooperation as "old and deeply rooted," stressing that the exchange dates back to the beginning of the diplomatic ties between Cairo and Beijing and even before that via the old Silk Road.
He told Xinhua the popular ties are important part of the mutual relations, adding the culture, customs and traditions are the basic components of those relations.
He pointed out that the growing path of the cultural cooperation reflects the improving political relations. "Since the signing of the strategic partnership between China and Egypt in 2014, the mutual ties have witnessed big leaps in the cultural field."
In Egypt, the number of the Chinese language learners is increasing obviously. There are around 11 universities that teach Chinese in Egypt, and more than 1,000 students studying in China now, according to official statistics.
Former tourism consular in Egyptian embassy in China Naser Abdel Aal expected that mushroomed cooperation at the cultural level will continue and grow further, especially that China desires to reach the heart of the Egyptian people.
"The Chinese activities in Egypt enhance the mutual cultural ties which in turn promote the level of cooperation and friendship between the peoples," Abdel Aal added.