saudi youths inspired by president xi's reply to their letter
alruwaili faisal sabti, one of the chinese learners who wrote a letter topresident xi jinping.(courtesy photo)
by staff reporters
"it came as a great and pleasant surprise to me that president xi jinping managed to reply to our letter despite his busy schedule," said alruwaili faisal sabti, one of the chinese learners and enthusiasts who wrote a letter to the chinese leader and recently received a reply.
in 2022, the sino-foreign language exchange and cooperation center of the ministry of education and chinese testing international (cti) launched an online seminar for international chinese teacher scholarships in saudi arabia. more than 1,000 people participated in the chinese language training project. as one of the host universities, tianjin university undertook the training of 90 saudi students in this project.
sabti and six others who co-wrote the letter, got to know each other while attending an online chinese training program at tianjin university, supported by the international chinese language teachers scholarship from june to october 2022. "at the end of the program, we wanted to share our feelings of learning chinese with president xi and our dedication to being envoys of friendship between the two countries. with the encouragement of our chinese teachers, we joined the group of more than 100 saudi people in the same program at different universities to write the letter," he said.
during the training program, sabti was fascinated with chinese culture and made up his mind to further his studies in china. "i'm planning to study for my master's degree at tianjin university as i learned it is the first modern university in china," said sabti.
yin xiaojing, sabti's chinese teacher from tianjin university's school of international education was proud of the students. "president xi said that language is the best key to understanding a country. it's our goal to help saudi youths grasp an idea of what china is like through language and culture learning. to achieve this, we tried to provide a relaxing, engaging and fun learning environment." according to yin, besides chinese language classes, the university designed many courses about chinese food, festivals and traditional culture, hoping to give a panoramic view of china during the program.
kholoud mohmmed almutairi from the king saud university, another co-writer of the letter, said he loves the courses about chinese cuisine, adding that, "there is a chinese restaurant near my home, so i [can get to] know more about chinese food. if chance permits, i shall visit china and try authentic chinese food, like kung pao chicken."
many saudi youths paid great attention to the first china-arab states summit and the china-gulf cooperation council (gcc) summit. samiyah aaleh almutairy from the king abdulaziz university is among them. he believes that the summit could have a great impact on his future career. "china and saudi arabia are having greater ties with each other. learning chinese will prove to be a huge advantage in the future. i'd like to work in an international company that fosters cooperation and exchanges between the two countries and, as president xi has urged in his [letter] reply, make contributions to enhancing china-saudi arabia and china-arab relations."