The Outer

Chairman of the Arab Publishers Union: The biggest gift China has given to the world is paper

By Manal Abdel Fattah

The ceremony to present Chinese President Xi Jinping’s book on governance and administration began today in Cairo, in the presence of Du Changyuan, Chairman of the China International Media Group, Liao Liqiang, Chinese Ambassador to Egypt, Dr. Essam Sharaf, former Prime Minister of Egypt, and Ambassador Hussein Al-Hindawi, Secretary-General. Assistant to the League of Arab States, and a representative of the President of the National Media Authority, Mohamed Rashad, President of the Arab Publishers Union, and Sama Suleiman, Undersecretary of the Foreign, African and Arab Affairs Committee in the Senate.

In his speech, Mohamed Rashad, President of the Arab Publishers Union, stressed that the conference supports Chinese-Arab relations, as celebrating the translation of the book “Government and Administration” by President Xi Jinping is an event worthy of attention, in light of the continuous successes achieved by China under his leadership.

He added: We Arabs stand wondering how China has succeeded in an unprecedented way in recent years. Its economy is second in the world and is nominated in the coming years to be first in the world. It invites us to study this unique experience, and we will not find a better book than President Xi Jinping’s book to learn how to manage… And successfully leading a country the size of China, which will make our knowledge of China stronger, and we learn the concepts and tools with which China achieves unprecedented breakthroughs.

He continued: For centuries, China has been associated in the Arab imagination with high-level craft production, which is the product of knowledge that began since prehistoric times.

This knowledge led to the discovery of what is in common between pictorial writing or signs in Chinese writing – which continues to this day and pictorial writing among the ancients. Egyptians (hieroglyphics), as if the roots of the two civilizations were common.

He added: In Cairo, Egypt received, throughout the ages, Chinese goods that indicated luxury and good taste, and through which Europe became aware of China. China became a land of wonders and legends were woven around it in Europe, at a time when the Arabs’ knowledge of China was increasing day after day, and even acculturation took place between Chinese civilization and Arab civilization are a wonderful picture of artistic, intellectual and cognitive exchange, until we saw an artistic convergence between the two civilizations.

We recognized Chinese decorative clouds and Chinese dragons in our arts, and Arabic calligraphy became Arabic in China.

He explained that this happened in the context of a partnership and interaction in which there is neither a victor nor a loser, but rather two parties exchanging benefits and experiences.

This type of relationship has become in dire need of study and research into its mechanisms and the reasons for its steadfastness.

The Arabs did not enter China by military force, but rather Islam entered China through goodwill. The morals and honesty of the Arab merchants, and they were welcome on Chinese lands.

Rashad said that the greatest gift that China has given to the world is the paper that was invented in China and then spread and developed at the hands of the Arabs in a major shift in the history of knowledge and science in the world. Paper, as a material for recording knowledge, is easy to manufacture and circulate and can be obtained easily and conveniently, which is the reason for the arrival of… There are more than 3 million manuscripts from the Arab heritage, a number that exceeds in terms of the size of the codification everything that we have received from the civilizations that preceded the Arab civilization.

He continued: To this day, we still use paper to print books. Indeed, the beginnings of printing techniques also go back to China. Here we must bring the past to the present.

The growth of the publishing and knowledge movement in China in recent years has made us appreciate the knowledge production in China, which we follow in the Union.

Arab publishers of books, and China’s support for translating this production into the Arabic language during the last two decades has motivated us to rediscover China, not only because China is witnessing progress in all scientific fields, but because China, with its history, heritage, arts, and even its contemporary literature, is full of much that we must draw from.

Translation from Chinese to Arabic was a door through which we entered contemporary China, which amazes us day after day. We now have a generation of translators from Chinese to Arabic that we are proud of and of their abilities.

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