Giving Chinese the Arabic edge
Zayed centre in Beijing has produced some of the Arab world s top Chinese diplomats
Beijing: There are currently 12 Chinese diplomats in Abu Dhabi who are fluent in Arabic, and nine of them have been educated at a renowned academic wing in Beijing, the Shaikh Zayed Centre for Arabic and Islamic Studies.
Housed within the Beijing Foreign Studies University in a golden domed building, the programme is well known for the expertise and breadth of knowledge about Arabian and Islamic culture that it offers Chinese speakers. Having produced nearly 2,000 graduates since its establishment in 1994, the centre now hopes to deepen its research initiatives, especially those that focus on modern Arabian thought and the Gulf region.
“At a time fraught with tension in which extremists work to create a negative outlook of the Arab world, a programme like ours is essential to dispel myths about Arab culture and allow people to understand and respect it,” Dr Xue Qing Guo, director at the centre, told Gulf News.
“This is why we are also renewing our efforts to translate more literary works. Soon, in fact, we will set about translating important short stories written by Emirati authors,” he added.
Dr Guo was speaking to Gulf News during a visit to the facility in Beijing on January 5. The facility now enrols 250 students, mostly of Chinese origin, with 50 of them pursuing graduate studies and the rest enrolled in the undergraduate programme.
Source: Giving Chinese the Arabic edge