Chinese students studying Islam in Egypt

Sent On: 
Sun, 2015-12-13
Newsletter Number: 

Not many people in the West know that many Chinese Muslim students are studying Islam in Egypt. Even less people know about the impact this has on Chinese-Egyptian relations. Yet, China has emerged as one of Egypt’s most important trading partners, gradually replacing the USA in Egypt.


China seems to employ Islam and its Muslim minority as a diplomatic tool to improve economic and political relations with Egypt and the Middle East and sponsors a number of scholarships of Chinese Muslims at the Azhar, Egypt’s most important institute of Islamic learning.


If one wants to study Chinese-Egyptian relations one needs to know both Chinese and Arabic. Our German intern Maurice Gajan, student at Leiden University in the Netherlands, studies both Chinese and Arabic and prepared a paper “Chinese students of Al-Azhar and their impact on Sino-Egyptian relations.


Maurice Gajan will be presenting his paper on December 15, 2015 at 5.00 pm at the library of theDominican Institute for Oriental Studies, in Abassiya, Cairo. Masna al-Tarabish. This is opposite Gama’a Umalia, near midan Geish, Darasa. The location for this lecture is interesting since many Chinese Muslim students are living in this area and some may attend Maurice Gajan’s presentation.


The Center for Arab-West Understanding is pleased to be able to organize this presentation in cooperation with the Dominicain Institute.


Cornelis Hulsman,

Deputy Chairman Center for Arab-West Understanding