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(China Daily)
Updated: 2009-11-12 08:52

Shivering in Dalian

Comment on "High time we stopped shivering" (Page 9, Nov 5, China Daily)

I appreciated and enjoyed reading your article regarding the heating situation. We are still shivering in Dalian with temperatures below those of Beijing and with no promise of heat until Nov 15.

Our nighttime temperatures will be at the freezing level with daytime highs rising only slightly. Students sit in cold classrooms wearing coats all day. How can they focus on their lessons under these conditions?

Hopefully those controlling the heat switches have read your article and heed the advice to take care of all those living in places other than Beijing.


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Egyptians want closer ties

On Sunday, an Egyptian friend asked me enthusiastically if I was aware that Wen Jiabao, the premier of China, was on an important visit to Egypt to attend the Fourth Forum on China-Africa Cooperation. My friend told me that most Egyptians are excited about his visit, and hope Wen offers some constructive advice to the Egyptian government on stimulating the Egyptian economy.

As soon as I finished my chat with my friend, I logged on to the websites of major Egyptian newspapers to feel the pulse of the Egyptian media about the visit. I was surprised that even the newspapers supportive of the opposition emphasized the importance of the visit. As a Canadian Egyptian who was born in Egypt, I am aware that Egyptian media organizations, or most of them, focus on the accomplishments of the government without paying any attention to its shortcomings. Consequently, I don't pay too much attention to their coverage.

I also contacted some of my friends in Egypt to ask them about the general feeling of Egyptians about the visit. They were as enthusiastic as my other friend. They emphasized that Egypt has a golden opportunity to benefit from the Chinese experience in stimulating the Egyptian economy. They stressed that both countries are overpopulated but China has succeeded in using the abundance of manpower to stimulate its economy and becoming one of the biggest economic powers in the world.

During my visits to Egypt, I came to the conclusion that most Egyptians hold a feeling of fascination and respect toward Chinese. They believe that both Egypt and China are old civilizations with similar characteristics and traditions. Consequently, they believe that both countries and their citizens will benefit tremendously from collaborative efforts to cement the economic, political and social relationships between the two nations.

Thabet Hassan

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(China Daily 11/12/2009 page8)