(Xinhua) -- Holding a ball at hand, Yasmine Garbi was
jumping, leaping, with balanced and flexible movements. This
15-year-old Tunisian girl took rhythmic gymnastics lessons every
Friday afternoon in a youth center in Tunis built by China.
El Menzah Youth Sports Culture Center
is located at a densely populated area surrounded by
commercial and residential areas. Finding a parking
space is always no easy job as there have always been
many parents coming and going to send or pick up their
Yasmine’s father Karmi Garbi said he
didn’t know the center’s relationship with China until
last year’s remodeling.
“The center has been in use for more
than 20 years and has been one of the most important
venues for young people in Tunisia”, said Garbi.
The center, built with financial aid
from the Chinese government in the 1980s, officially
opened to public in 1990. Covering a space of 5,200
square meters, it has a theater, a swimming pool, a
dancing hall, a gymnasium, an outdoor basketball yard
Jiang Tianli, vice manager of China
Dalian International Economic and Technical Cooperation
Group responsible for the remodeling of El Menzah, told
xinhua this center was handed over to Tunisia for
management after completion, which is why local people
rarely know its history with China.
TUNIS (Xinhua) --
People are learning painting in China-built El Menzah
Youth Sports Culture Center in Tunis, Tunisia.
XINHUA PHOTO: LIUKAI
China started to upgrade this center
in 2016 and finished in 2017. “During the reconstruction,
advanced technology was utilized so young people could enjoy a
modern center,” said Jiang.
“I have been taking courses here for
three years. I am totally in love with this place,” Yasmine
Tunisian Minister of Youth and Sports
Majdouline Cherni highlighted the social value of this center.
“Built with China’s aid and support,
this center provides more space and choices for Tunisian youth,
and has become a major place for cultural and sports activities
in the capital city,” Cherni said.
According to Cherni, the development
of youth is the foundation for various programs in the future
and Tunisia wants to increase investment to build more cultural
and sports facilities.
“China-Tunisia cooperation in this
field is in line with the long term development strategy of
Tunisia,” Cherni said, “we also hope bilateral ties could
continue to grow.”
Tunisian Foreign Minister Khemaies
Jhinaoui stressed that China is a real partner of Tunisia,
especially in the area of infrastructure, and has financed
important projects in Tunisia.
“China will also build a larger-scale
youth center in the southern suburbs of capital city to meet the
needs of local residents”, said Jhinao