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Wuhan's Pakistani students feel festive

Updated: 2021-02-24 09:03 ( Xinhua )
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With a Chinese calligraphy brush in hand, two Pakistani students, Amar Razzaq and Waseem Abbas, wrote down the Chinese character fu.

"Fu means blessing in Chinese, and I hope the Year of the Ox will bring good luck to us," says Razzaq.

It was part of the Spring Festival activities organized recently by Huazhong Agricultural University in Wuhan, capital of Central China's Hubei province, which attracted a number of international students.

"We missed Spring Festival last year as Wuhan was then hit hard by COVID-19. Now, the city has returned to its normal hustle and bustle, and we want to make up for that missed Spring Festival atmosphere this year," says Abbas.

They are PhD students at the university, with majors in agricultural economic management and functional genomics of rice.

"Wuhan is well-known for its education, with over 1.2 million college students. It's also a modern metropolis which has undergone rapid development and offers sufficient opportunities for international students to study and work," says Razzaq, who has developed a deep affection for Wuhan.

He adds that international students are cherishing this winter holiday as they recall the tough days Wuhan endured over the last year.

At the beginning of 2020, they had planned to visit their Chinese friends and have New Year's Eve dinner with them. However, the plan fell through when the sudden COVID-19 outbreak saw Wuhan announce an emergency lockdown.

"Everything changed overnight," Razzaq recalls. "But we decided to stay."

"We believed China would be able to overcome such a difficulty, and that the lockdown was a reasonable measure to curb the spread of the virus," Abbas says.

To keep international students from getting infected, they devoted themselves to distributing epidemic prevention materials and food to foreign students at the university. Razzaq was also in charge of taking the body temperature of students and recording their health condition during the lockdown.

"The epidemic prevention work went smoothly and many students participated in the volunteer work," Abbas says.

"There were rumors that international students in Wuhan didn't have protection at that time, but we posted on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to show people that we were well protected and leading a comfortable life," Razzaq says.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Pakistan. Not long ago, China decided to provide COVID-19 vaccines to Pakistan to battle the coronavirus. Razzaq and Abbas cheered as a batch of the vaccines was sent from Beijing to Pakistan on Jan 31.

"Thanks to China for providing vaccines to Pakistan. It will consolidate the bilateral relationship between the two countries," Razzaq says.

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