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Chinese artists join Egypt's festival ahead of Pharaonic solar event

Updated: 2016-02-22 10:34:04

( Xinhua )

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Thirteen Chinese artists participated in the fourth Aswan International Festival for Arts and Culture that runs from Feb 17 to 22, 2016. [Photo/Xinhua]

Thirteen Chinese artists have participated in the fourth Aswan International Festival for Arts and Culture that runs from Feb. 17 to 22, when Egypt marks the sun illumination of the face of ancient King Ramses II at famous Abu Simbel temple in southern Aswan province every year.

The Chinese artistic group of dancers and musicians joined other 15 groups from at least eight countries including Greece, Croatia, Tunisia, Romania, Ethiopia, Uganda and India.

China is the guest of honor in this year's festival, organized by the Egyptian ministry of culture in cooperation with Aswan province; the event also coincides with the Chinese-Egyptian cultural year.

The Chinese community in Egypt also celebrated Friday the Chinese Spring Festival at Maadi Island Park in Cairo and were joined by hundreds of Egyptians in a unique scene of cultural interaction.

"During this week, we made touring performances in several towns in Aswan province and we received warm welcome by the Egyptian audience everywhere, which made us so excited," Shen Junjun, leader of the Chinese group, told Xinhua on the eve of the solar event at the exterior of Abu Simbel temple.

"We are here to let Egyptians and the world know more about China and Chinese arts, and it's our pleasure that we can perform on this special occasion," Shen continued, describing the trip as "an unforgettable experience."

For his part, Egyptian Culture Minister Helmi al-Nimnim praised the artists that came to join the festival and stressed that art and culture bring countries together without boundaries.

The festival, which includes various activities such as street performances, concerts and folkloric shows, comes this year at a time Egypt is launching a war against terrorism that grew over the past few years of political turmoil resulting in security issues.

"Art and culture should be used to promote peace," the Egyptian culture minister said Sunday evening in a statement at the temple.

Sunshine beams into Abu Simbel sanctuary and illuminates the face of King Ramses II twice every year, on Feb. 22 and Oct. 22, marking the birthday of the ancient Egyptian king and the date when he was crowned as king.

The occasions are considered tourist seasons in Egypt, where tourism is currently suffering a recession over security issues.

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