writers Mahmoud Fouly, Zheng Kailun CAIRO (Xinhua) --
At the palace-like Gezira Art Center in downtown Cairo, an
Egyptian female photographer tells vivid stories about the
everyday life of Chinese, as well as many of China’s famous
landmarks and landscapes through the “Tales from China” photo
With decorative red lanterns hanging
from the ceiling of the exhibition hall, red paper-cuts of fish
and the Chinese word “happiness” put on the walls, and
traditional Chinese music playing in the background, the
exhibition by Sara Fouad shows a unique photographic vision of
the Chinese capital city of Beijing and Shandong Province.
The exhibition, held under the
auspices of the Egyptian Ministry of Culture from Sept. 13 to
27, reflects the Chinese culture and civilization as seen
through Egyptian eyes.
“The exhibition hall has separate
corners and I made each corner tell a separate tale from
China. A tale can consist of one, two or three photos out of
total 44 photos in the exhibition,” Fouad told Xinhua.
The photos were taken by Fouad during
her two-week stay in Beijing and Shandong in 2014 in a trip
supported by the Chinese Cultural Center in Cairo.
Fouad, a bachelor of arts in Middlesex
University of London and also a member of several photography
associations in Egypt, Britain and the United States, said that
her photos of the Chinese people were inspired by the kindness,
hospitality and warm help she received from them during her
short stay in China.
“The Chinese people are so kind and
friendly. Although I did not speak Chinese, they were
helpful and they never annoyed me or prevented me from
taking photos. A female hotel worker even left me a gift in
my room before I left China,” Fouad added.
The largest photo at the center of the
exhibition displays an overview of a Chinese woman in
traditional garment holding a red umbrella with embroidered
Other photos show a newly-wed couple,
common Chinese people on the streets and marketplaces, a chef
grilling fish and shrimps outside a seafood restaurant, the
cliffy road on the way to the Great Wall, a bird’s-eye view from
a cable car and many others.
Mohamed Hadad, an architect who likes
visiting art exhibitions, was obviously impressed by the photos.
He carefully studied nearly every photo on display in the
gallery, while stopping before some photos to take a deep look
and reading the captions.
“This photography exhibition
introduces different details about China, such as their
food, habits and traditions. It tells also details about
nature and landscape. I like so much the photo showing the
way to the Great Wall of China over there. I also like the
central photo of the woman with a red umbrella,” Hadad told
“The exhibition lets me know more
about China from inside. Each photo talks itself,” he
continued. “I am impressed that the Chinese people preserve
their culture, habits and traditions. They are not so much
affected by globalization like others.”
Another visitor, Amira Nour, a
photographer of a magazine belonging to Egypt’s largest
state-run media foundation Al-Ahram, said that her profession
urges her to attend various photo exhibitions, noting that she
herself held an exhibition on China after her visit in 2013.
“I found that ‘Tales from China’ is so
different in terms of the neat layout and method of display
that take a visitor from one corner to another as if from
one tale to another, moving from social life, habits and
traditions to temples and architecture,” she told Xinhua.
Besides people, the exhibition also
displays many photos of unique Chinese landmarks, famous
structures and tourist attractions, including the Forbidden
City, the National Museum of China and the National Grand
Theater in Beijing, the Jiaozhou Bay Bridge in Qingdao, the Kite
Museum and railway station in Weifang, and the Thousand Buddha
Cliff and Daming Lake in Jinan.
Fouad was recommended to the Chinese
Cultural Center by award-winning Egyptian photographer Ayman
Lotfy, who said that it was an advantage to get a country
photographed by a different eye.
“Street photography is not easy as it
is crowded and full of details and icons, but Fouad’s eyes
discovered China so neatly and calmly with so accurate
components, and the cuts and angles make the photos look
like enjoyable works of art that a visitor would like to get
and hang at home,” Lotfy told Xinhua at the exhibition.
China and Egypt have held several
joint cultural activities including festivals, folklore
performances, and art exhibitions to celebrate the growing
bilateral relations and cultural exchanges since the two
countries marked 2016 as the China-Egypt Cultural Year.
Chinese Cultural Counselor to Egypt
Shi Yuewen, who attended the opening ceremony of the “Tale from
China” exhibition, praised the photos as “artistically and
He said that Fouad took pictures of
what caught her eyes in China, especially from her Egyptian and
“The exhibition effectively enhances
the Egyptian people’s understanding of modern China, which
is vitally important to deepen the friendship between the
two peoples,” Shi told Xinhua.