Anwar Moghith, director of Egypt’s National Center for Translation (NCT), displays his translation work about China’s industry after an interview with Xinhua in Cairo, capital of Egypt.

The Chinese-Egyptian cultural year is a great chance to know more about Chinese culture, Anwar Moghith, director of Egypt’s National Center for Translation (NCT), told Xinhua in a recent interview.

“The Chinese literature is rich, but we do not know much of it. That is why the cultural year is really important, as it is a gate to the Chinese culture,” the Egyptian official said.

Chinese-Egyptian Culture Year was launched by the two countries earlier this year to mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Egypt.

Egyptians paid much attention to the western culture in the 20th century in an attempt to modernize the Arab communities, the official said, adding that the Arabs have become “prisoners of Eurocentrism.”

“However, the results were not what the Arabs hoped for,” the official said.

Moghith believed that cultural openness to China’s experience is extremely vital, especially since China has undergone historic conditions similar to the experiences of the Arabs such as foreign colonialism and underdevelopment.

“But China has managed to become an important world economic, industrial and scientific power, a model that many countries admire and follow,” he said.

China and Egypt have been promoting their friendship and bilateral cooperation in the past six decades, and in December 2014, leaders of the two countries upgraded the relations to a “comprehensive strategic partnership.”

China has become Egypt’s largest trading partner, with bilateral trade reaching 12.9 billion U.S. dollars in 2015, while Chinese investment in Egypt hit over 6 billion U.S. dollars and the number of Chinese enterprises in Egypt exceeded 80.

Moghith revealed that the NCT is playing a major role in enhancing mutual exchange by translating books.

“We have recently translated 20 books from Chinese into Arabic, and another 20 Chinese books from European languages into Arabic, which are about Chinese political, economic and cultural experience,” the official said.

Moghith stressed the necessity to translate more Chinese works because Egyptians “really need to know more about China and its culture with a history of thousands of years.”

“I have met with many Chinese officials who are very keen to cooperate, but we have not so far signed any protocols to decide which books would be translated and the commitments of each side,” Moghith added.

He said the procedures to translate a Chinese book is complicated as the NCT should first ask China Writers Association which contacts the author to get his/her permission.

“This takes a long time… we suggest that these procedures be done directly with the Chinese embassy in Cairo,” he said.

Talking about Egypt’s participation at the G20 summit to be held in China’s city of Hangzhou this September, Moghith said the economic meeting will similarly serve the cultural interests of both nations.

“Economic partnership enhances cultural exchange because trade requires communication, which is an important tool to connect cultures,” Moghith explained.

September 29, 2016

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