CAIRO - 1 February 2024: The International Hall of the Cairo International Book Fair hosted a discussion session on "Chinese Literature on the World Map: Experience and Ambition", in which a group of Chinese writers and poets spoke, including the Chinese poet and novelist "Chao Li Hong", Vice President of the Shanghai Writers' Association, "Liu Yi", Director of the International Cooperation Department of the Beijing Book Fair and children's writer, and "Shoui Tao", a novelist specializing in youth literature and Vice President of Liaoning Books.
The session was moderated by publisher, writer, and translator Ahmed Al-Saeed, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bait Al-Hikma for Culture Foundation.
Chinese poet "Chao Li Hong" spoke about his experience with writing and poetry, which began more than 50 years ago, saying: "I am delighted and honored to be with you today to talk about Chinese literature at the Cairo International Book Fair. This is my first visit to Egypt, which I have longed to visit for a long time. Egypt is a country of civilization, and whenever I see Egyptian antiquities, I wonder how this country could offer all this human heritage to humanity with such grandeur.
He continued: "I have been practicing literary work for more than 55 years and the act of writing has not left me until the present time. Writing makes me feel that my life is full of vitality. When I started creative writing, the goal was not to become a writer or poet at first.
I was assigned to work in the village as a farmer, and all that was required of me in life was to become a farmer. Writing poetry is what saved me from this fate.
He continued: "I used to work in the field every day in agriculture and I felt tired and hungry. But when I felt that at night I would go to my small hut and sit by the fire to write, I felt that there was a purpose for me in life. I used to tolerate that hard and difficult life inside the village, and I never imagined that what I wrote would be translated into other languages, or would be said about it as world literature. My "Book of Pains" has been translated into more than 20 languages around the world, and its translation into Arabic is my greatest pride.
In this book, I talk about pain, and how poetry can express the feelings that a person goes through. What I love to say is that human creativity is always influential and its impact remains between people. Poetry is the oldest literary genre in the world and it is the most expressive genre of human feelings."
The Chinese novelist "Shoui Tao" also spoke about his experience of emotional breakdown, and how it affected his writing and poetry. He also spoke about a story related to one of the fishing boats on the cover of one of the editions, pointing out that he has a wish that Egyptians visit China and meet Egyptian writers in China.
For her part, the Chinese writer "Liu Yi" said that she feels great pride and happiness to be with everyone to talk about Chinese literature here in Cairo, saying: "I believe that there is a civilizational and human similarity between Egypt and China not only in history, but also in forms of human communication. We have a shared sense of life, and therefore Egypt and China have written part of the civilized history of humanity."
She also spoke about the relationship between civilization, history, culture, and literary creativity, saying: "I believe that literary creativity is one of the components of human cultural heritage. When we read history books, we cannot be sure of those events, but literature records the lives of humans in those historical periods. Therefore, literature expresses more about humanity than history books.
Literature is a fun journey that takes us to other countries and through it we see how humans think about this world and how they see it. Therefore, through my multiple readings in world literature, I have reached a personal conviction that no matter what religion, color, or race, human beings are seeking one goal in life."