A competitor performs during a Chinese singing contest in Cairo, Egypt, on Nov. 23, 2019. An annual Chinese singing contest dubbed "Egypt Sings" was held here on Saturday at the Chinese Cultural Center, where 11 contestants from Egypt competed in the final round. (Xinhua/Wu Huiwo)
by Ahmed Shafiq
CAIRO, Nov. 24 (Xinhua) -- "Chinese songs are difficult to sing, but they are very beautiful," said Sandra Ghattas, a student learning Chinese at Suez Canal University in Cairo.
She was the winner at an annual Chinese singing contest dubbed "Egypt Sings" held here on Saturday at the Chinese Cultural Center, where 11 contestants from Egypt competed in the final round.
"My professors encouraged me to join the competition. They even helped me choose the songs, and I think it was a good idea to participate in the singing competition," Ghattas said.
Ghattas said that the competition was difficult, as many of the participants have "great voices."
Esraa Mansour, a graduate from Ain Shams University, also won the first place in the contest. Both winners were awarded a one-week cultural trip to China.
"I love Asian cultures, especially that of China," said Ghattas. "That is why I chose to learn Chinese."
The jury, composed of seven judges, highly appreciated the performance of the contestants.
Han Bing, head of the jury and minister counselor for commercial affairs of the Chinese embassy in Egypt, said the performance was "extremely excellent."
"As a Chinese, when I listened today to Chinese songs just beside the River Nile, I feel so proud and happy," Han said during the awarding ceremony.
The contestants impressed not only the jury, but also Chinese audience.
"The performances were really professional, not only the language and pronunciation, but also the voices and the way they sang," said Zhu Tingting, Chinese director of Confucius Institute at Suez Canal University, adding that such competitions are important as they help spread Chinese culture and language through art and music.
China and Egypt elevated their relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership in 2014, and since then there has been a steady stream of artists and cultural delegations between the two countries.
Han said that he is confident that more Egyptians will join the singing competition in the future.