by Zhao Jiasong
CAIRO, April 23 (Xinhua) -- Altogether 12 contestants from eight Egyptian universities in the auditorium of Cairo University have demonstrated in Chinese their eagerness to win and links to China and its culture.
The Egypt regional final of the 18th "Chinese Bridge" Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign College Students kicked off on Tuesday in Cairo, under the theme of "One World and One Family."
The Chinese-major students from universities across Egypt gathered to compete for two places to represent Egyptian students at the worldwide final to be held in China.
After fierce competition, Passant Sayed Khalil from Cairo University and Mohamed Jihad Mohamed from Ain Shams University, both senior students, won the qualification to the next stage.
The first round of Tuesday's event consisted of themed speeches, talent shows and knowledge quizzes. The contestants who ranked top eight were eligible to the second round, during which they were asked to do impromptu performances with randomly chosen topics.
In the talent shows, the students staged singing, dancing, cross talk, Kung Fu, Chinese traditional operas and other forms of arts to show their excellent language abilities and creative performances.
"When I was a freshman, I was also standing on the stage of this competition, but just as a supporting actor for a senior student who won the second place in the global final," Mohamed told Xinhua.
He regarded the winner as his hero, who inspired him to come up to the stage. With unremitting efforts, he has finally fulfilled his dream and become a winner this year.
The other winner Khalil, a Egyptian Nubian girl, dressed in a traditional Chinese yellow jacket, performed a Kung Fu show with a team from her university. It took one month for them to rehearse for the stunning performance and even more time to prepare for the whole competition.
"Much pressure was felt as I was warmly encouraged by my teachers and friends," Passant told Xinhua.
"I hope that one day I can work in an Internet company in China, or return to Egypt as a Chinese-language teacher, which is always my original aspiration to study Chinese," she added.
Her passion for the cause of education was manifested when she impressed the audience with her story about volunteering to be a teacher in a primary school in eastern China's Jiangxi Province.
After the competition, the auditorium was overflowing with endless applauses and shouts of joy.
"Chinese is one of the languages that Egyptians need to learn most. Egyptian universities will further enhance the cooperation with the Chinese counterparts, in order to provide help and support for those who wish to learn Chinese," said Heba Nouh, vice president of Cairo University.