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B&R helps Chinese language learners realize Chinese dreams

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-05-07 12:55

BEIJING - Since childhood, Palestinian Dima Albughdadi dreamed of going to China to learn the Chinese language.

"When I was a little girl, I used to stare in wonder at the Chinese ornaments displayed in shop windows and imagine going to China myself one day."

She remembers copying down Chinese characters crookedly in her notebook and seeing them on T-shirts. "Although I had no idea what they meant, joy would fill my heart whenever I saw them," she said.

However, in Palestine, it was never easy for girls like Albughdadi to go to university. She applied to study Chinese at the University of Jordan after high school, but as a Palestinian her options were limited and she couldn't enroll in her dream major unless she paid double the amount in the tuition fees.

Out of practical considerations, she eventually studied engineering. "My mind grew numb with dull formulas and mechanical thinking, and I derived no pleasure from it," Albughdadi said, recalling her two years of engineering study.

As her request to change major was repeatedly denied by her family, she realized that she had only herself to rely on in the pursuit for learning Chinese. So she began seeking whatever way possible: searching free online materials, watching video courses, and looking for Chinese-major students as language partners.

During her final year in college, Albughdadi was granted a scholarship by Dalian University of Technology for a one-year study in northeast China's port city of Dalian.

She said China gave her a sense of "deja vue" upon arrival, but the country is "far more beautiful that I thought, and the people here much kinder ... I've brought myself closer to my dream. My dreams of learning Chinese have come true over and over again."

Learning Chinese has become increasingly popular overseas in recent years, especially after China proposed the Belt and Road Initiative in 2013. Like Albughdadi, more young people from around the world have become fascinated with the Chinese language as well as Chinese culture.

The ever closer ties between China and countries along the Belt and Road have provided ample opportunities for young people to realize their Chinese dreams.

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