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Celebration of Spring Festival in Cairo
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Chinese dancers perform at the Chinese Culture Center in Cairo, capital of Egypt, January 30, 2008. More than 300 Egyptian and Chinese guests attended the celebration of forthcoming Chinese Spring Festival Wednesday night.  

Some Egyptians perform Tai Chi at the Chinese Culture Center in Cairo, capital of Egypt, January 30, 2008. More than 300 Egyptian and Chinese guests attended the celebration of Chinese Spring Festival Wednesday night.

With cheerful smiles on their faces, several Egyptians were beating drums and playing traditional musical instruments at the entrance of the Chinese Culture Center in Cairo, welcoming Chinese and Egyptian guests.

More than 300 guests from China and Egypt flowed into the Chinese Culture Center in Cairo on Wednesday night to celebrate the upcoming China's traditional Lunar New Year or Spring Festival.

Red lanterns, shining Chinese letters "FU" (blessing) and other decorations of traditional Chinese flavor added a festive atmosphere.

Songs, dances, games and lottery attended by participants from both countries were given much applause and great laughter broke out frequently during the celebration.

"The celebration of China's Spring Festival is very impressive. It witnesses how Egyptians and Chinese shared the good time, the civilizations and the harmony," Ahmed Waly, vice-chairman of the Egyptian-Chinese Friendship Association told Xinhua, sending his best regards to China and the Chinese people.

For his part, Afro-Asia Writers' Organization President Magdy Morgan praised the high quality of the performance, saying that " All the Egyptians here enjoyed this ceremony and expressed thanks for the Chinese people's hospitality and generosity."

Speaking of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Morgan said that the world chose China to host this great event because China has the capacity, expressing his hopes to watch the games.

Li Jingfang, cultural counselor of the Chinese Embassy in Egypt told Xinhua that the top Egyptian officials invited to attend the celebration include a vice-minister of culture and two major generals from the Interior Ministry among others.

"They are happy to attend this event and have knowledge of China's Spring Festival," he added.

Commenting on the performance that Egyptians and Chinese sing each other's songs, Li said it's a kind of innovation and shows the exchange of Chinese and Egyptian cultures and the widely oversea spread of Chinese culture.

For his part, Wu Chunhua, Chinese ambassador to Egypt, hailed the form of the celebration and the wonderful program performed with the Chinese-Egyptian cooperation.

Amr, a 19-year-old student of Fayyum University, which is about 85 km south of Cairo, told Xinhua that he likes Chinese people and Chinese culture very much.

After having learned Chinese for four months, Amr is able to express himself in Chinese, noting that he expected to be a Chinese tour guide in the future.

He was eager to learn how Chinese greet each other when they meet during the Spring Festival and immediately spoke to a Chinese guest "Happy China's Lunar New Year" in Chinese, that is "Guo Nian Hao".

As many Egyptians are tending to learn more about China, the celebration of China's traditional festival has become an effective way to spread the Chinese culture in this most populous Arab country.

(Xinhua News Agency January 31, 2008)

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